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Old 09-27-2007, 08:28 AM   #1
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PEX compression ring differences?

Looks like I'll be installing PEX water lines this weekend.

I have some copper PEX compression rings and some others that are black colored (possibly copper).

Will one work just as well as the other?



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Old 09-27-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
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We aren't quite there yet, but we plan on using the Sea Tech fittings for our PEX water system. Also considering the Shark Bite ones from "Homey D" as they are more readily available for a quick fix on the road.


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Old 09-27-2007, 08:59 AM   #3
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I have run across a few that were too small, or not thick enough to fully get a grip after crimping.
The black ones are copper too, and seem to be the thick ones = best.

Do a few on a test piece and give them full pressure.
The thick ones work on both types, the thin ones only on the Pex, I think.
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:38 PM   #4
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My recollection is that they are not interchangeable. My water heater went out while in Florida a year ago. I bought some of the brass ribbed connectors & elbows which required the compression tool. One side required the black and the other the copper. If you look at a new fitting in the plastic package at lowes, it tells which is which.

I opted out and went with qwest/pex fittings. The tools were $96 each.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:08 AM   #5
The Painted Pig
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Thanks everybody.

I bought a couple of manifolds on ebay that came with copper rings and then bought some more at Lowes. The ones at Lowes were the black colored ones.

I just assumed both would work, but maybe one would mold to the fitting better. I'll double check my fittings (still in the package) to see which goes where. Thanks for the heads up wingfoot321. What an odd thing, though. It's just a connection why all that hassle?

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Old 09-28-2007, 08:29 AM   #6
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PEX connections

I have been making some plumbing changes on my 1986 AS - it came from the factory with Polybutylene plumbing (gray). I bought some PB to PEX connectors that came with two types of rings: Copper for the PB and black colored copper for the PEX. They looked the same to me but I was careful to follow the instructions. (The PB side of the connector was about 0.020 inches larger)

No leaks so far - but I have learned more about plumbing than I ever wanted to know!

Good luck

Whit Nash
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:50 AM   #7
The Painted Pig
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That makes sense, Whit.

My fittings are all PEX to PEX (1/2").

The copper rings have the word PEX stamped on them. I'll double check the bag of black colored rings to ensure they are for PEX.

I only plan to join to Poly at the Hot Water heater (with threaded fittings) and in the lines going over to my shower. For the Shower I have Flare-it PEX to Poly fittings.

I'm sure I'm in for a learning experience. Ain't it funny how we look forward to doing these projects then when we're doing them we cuss and fuss and swear never to do it again. Must be a guy thing. My wife would just call up a plumber (or RV specialist).

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Old 09-28-2007, 08:59 AM   #8
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There is a difference (height and ID) between the copper and the black compression rings. The bare copper rings are for PB, and the black are for PEX.

However, there are also copper rings that have PEX written on them in big reverse letters. I assume these are OK to use for PEX, same as the solid black colored rings.

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