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Old 09-26-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
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PEX what crimping techniques work best

My new to me 81 Excella II has been retrofitted with PEX and I am not real confident that is was done right. In fact I know it was not done right. There is a hodge podge of different connectors from some sort of twist on T's to crimp on connections to hose clamps etc. The system does not seem to have too many leaks using the on board pump and I am afraid to hook it to city water and flood the trailer as all the jury rigged connects pop loose.

So my question is, which type of crimp works best. There is the kind with the little tab that sticks out and you mash it together with pliers and there is another that uses a copper ring and a different type of plier. I have also seen a tool for the copper rings that uses a vice grip plier to mash it together. My engineer gut tells me the copper ring is better because it clamps more evenly. I have had some experience with the little tab things with CV joint boots on cars. I don't like the little tabs based on that alone.

How did the PO get all the new plumbing routed without dropping the pans? I have thought of going with CPVC if I can get the PEX out of there without a hassel.

Perry
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:32 PM   #2
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I use Seatek push-together fittings on PEX. Push it on, pull back, and it's done.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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Overlander63 is correct. That is what I did with my 73 using shark bites. I am doing my next trailer with the plastic versions.

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
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I replaced most of my plumbing with pex and used the copper rings (the higher grade at Lowes that also included the little plastic spacer rings that help put it in the right place). Also purchased the crimpers from Lowes which included the go-no go gauge. All joints worked well. Used brass fittings- not the plastic ones. .. Nice thing is you can also pex directly on to shutoff valves.. Put them in the line before any fixture so that if you have a problem with the fixture- you can shut it off and keep water everywhere else.
If your going to do it - do it right..
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:52 PM   #5
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Found a 45^ Pex Crimper on Ebay, comes in handy for tough to get at spots.
Many more types of valves and fittings available on line than at Lowes.

Get a pressure reducer with a gauge, stop blowing waterlines.
I set mine to 30psi.
Very low compared to house, but has worked well.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:47 PM   #6
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I use the crimp rings with the little tabs and use the $40 crimper from Lowes. I do not know what is "best" but this system sure does work well. It is what Airstream used on the trailer orginally.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:59 PM   #7
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We used the copper crimp rings with the crimp tool from Lowe's. Came with a go/no go gauge and worked well. No problems with the system since installed three years ago.

With this crimp tool, you have to plan the installation so that the tool has room to operate. We built lots of sub-assemblies to lay in place in the tight areas and planned the last connection where we had room to operate the crimper. I've since heard of a tool that will crimp the copper rings in a confined space using vice-grip pliers to apply the force. Haven't seen one.

Water lines were all above the floor, so no access to the belly pan was required.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:31 PM   #8
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My crimp tool is about the size of a big bolt cutter. Takes about 100# to close it. I used both crimp fittings and shark-bite fittings. Both styles were easy to use.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:04 AM   #9
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Highly recommend the copper rings and crimper found at Lowes. I also have the Zurn crimper (size of bolt cutter). I would also recommend a small crimper for tight areas. Throw the small crimper in your trailer tool box with a few small sections of replacement pipe/crimp rings for a possible emergency.
Forget the push on fittings - I had nothing but heartaches and leaks from those.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:22 AM   #10
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I used the copper crimp rings- this is what is normally used in residential construction. The vise grip tool is available at Lowes or HD and costs $25. It works well in tight places. You must plan ahead and build your sub-assemblies outside the Stream. Where access using a crimping tool is impossible use the plastic Seatek fittings.

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Old 09-27-2011, 06:26 AM   #11
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Been Happy with my Pex install as well, I did not use any Sharkbite fittings in the original assembly, but the thought was, I can keep a few on hand for emergencies, and if if something were to happen out on the road, you could get them most anywhere.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:39 AM   #12
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Dan did you use the vice grip tool exclusively or just for tight places?

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
I used the copper crimp rings- this is what is normally used in residential construction. The vise grip tool is available at Lowes or HD and costs $25. It works well in tight places. You must plan ahead and build your sub-assemblies outside the Stream. Where access using a crimping tool is impossible use the plastic Seatek fittings.

Dan
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:46 AM   #13
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I used the vice grip tool for tight places but most of the time a Zurn crimper when I replaced all the lines in my Trade Wind. I keep a section of pex and the small crimper in my tool box along with assorted fittings just in case. There were a couple of spots where I did use Sharkbite unions due to space limitations and because it gave me the option of disconnecting the lines in the future. Using Sharkbites for the complete job would have been extremely expensive compared to the copper rings.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:11 AM   #14
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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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