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Old 09-27-2011, 06:26 AM   #15
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1992 34' Excella
Austin , Texas
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I've used both the copper rings and the tab type rings and while I think the copper rings are probably the ultimate clamps, I've found that the tab rings work just as well but the affordability of the tab crimpers and their small size make the tab rings the overall winner for me. The tab type's all I use now.

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Old 09-27-2011, 07:40 AM   #16
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2013 30' International
lubbock , Texas
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shark bite & watts push on fittings

my 82 excella has pex ... my feeling is that it was most likely done at the factory that way.

on our first outing of this season, i found a leak at the shower where a t-connector had broken. when i fixed that, i found another leak, and then another. the po had redone some of the connectors with the push-and-screw-tite type connectors. i used push on connectors (a mixture of watts and shark bite brand) on all of the connectors that i replaced because of the limited access space and i did not have the space to use the crimp tool.

i used a mixture of s/b & watts cause not one mfg had all the fittings i needed at one retailer.

my question through out the whole project was "why is this not the standard?"

the o ring is probably the weak link in the push on connectors and i will see if theu are still good after another 30 years.

lets see ... i'll be 95 and maybe i'll remember to post my recommendations at that time.

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Old 09-27-2011, 07:52 AM   #17
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1981 31' Excella II
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Here is what I am talking about. It is a die that you use your vice grips with to clamp the dies together. It looks like it would get in tighter places.

The Pex Pocket Crimper- For permanent crimp connections with PEX tubing fittings


Originally Posted by dayner View Post
Both of the specialized PEX crimp tools work equally well with their respective crimp rings. Vice grip pliers are not an acceptable tool for crimping either type ring as there is really no good way to ensure uniformity/repeatability. Do it correctly and PEX will last.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:02 AM   #18
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1981 31' Excella II
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In the labs here at NASA we used push type fitting called John Quest. They were of the sharp bite type fitting. We used them mainly for temporary uses. They worked ok but sometimes they did blow out. Also over time the O-rings will take a set or get dirt under them etc. The new PEX push type fittings are propabably a little more heavy duty but they all rely on O-rings that have a finite life. I would expect the hot water side to give you trouble first. I think they are great for emergency repairs and temporary rigs but I am not sure I would consider them permanant. Permanant in the service and building industry is probably considered to be 5-10yrs. Nothing is built to last or to be maintained. You are supposed to gut and remodel every 10 yrs.

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:32 AM   #19
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my experience

#1 Pex piping is great. The weak link in the chain is the fittings.

#2 I have had many of the black plastic elbows fail

#3 If ( when ) the fittings go bad, they are a major pain to remove.

#4 Sharkbites are well worth it when you consider the time and aggravation
of using a crimping tool in tight spaces.

And what I have heard....Sharkbites can be used underground, or behind a closed wall with no worries. I had not heard about the useful life of the Sharkbite connectors. But I did HEAR that pex piping has a finite number
of freeze/thaw cycles before it fails. I have some pex piping to a toilet in my house that freezes about 5 times a year. so far about 30 freezes.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:42 AM   #20
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1981 31' Excella II
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Most frozen pipe failures are aggravated if not caused by water being trapped between two valves. The water freezes and expands and the pipe bursts. Also elbows and T's can restrict movement. If you turn off the water supply and open all fawcets you will be less likely to have pipes burst than if you leave the water on. For example, I have water pipes running to outdoor fawcets. In the winter, I turn off the water supply and open all the fawcets in the yard. One time I forgot to open all the fawcets and I had broken pipes. These were standard PVC pipe.

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:01 AM   #21
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Anyone with experience working with rv plumbing and pex knows that there are just too many places where those crimpers just can't quite get the job done.

Shark bite solves the problem every time!
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:16 PM   #22
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Oakley , California
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Commercial plumbers use a different type of PEX than what you find at the local HO store. Their "crimps" actually flare the tubing untill it is placed over the fitting then the spreader is released and finally they crimp a ring onto it. Much better system, but the materials and tools are VERY costly.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:08 PM   #23
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Oxford, , Mississippi
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The vice grip crimpers come with a go/no-go gage. You can get very uniform crimps. It is not a primary tool, but it is great for places where you can not get the big crimpers. I have had no leaks with crimps made with the compact tool.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:07 AM   #24
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1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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I used the regular crimping tool on the joints that were easily accessable because I have one and it is easier to use. I used the compact tool with vise grips on the difficult to reach joints. I think the quality of the crimp is fine. You can still test it with the go/no go gauge.

I do like the idea of a variable pressure regulator though to keep the working pressure low when connected to an unknown water pressure source. I would like to know where to get one though.

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Old 09-28-2011, 08:09 PM   #25
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1981 31' Excella II
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You should be able to get a variable regulator at any Lowe's or Home Depot. The better ones are brass and they have a screw on them like a welding regulator to control the pressure.

Shop Camco Manufacturing Brass Water Pressure Regulator at


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