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Old 07-24-2006, 07:24 PM   #1
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Question PEX - Crimp or Flair-IT

As I enter week 3 of Airstream ownership I have decided to repair a couple of leaks in the water system by re-plumbing the entire system. I am going to go PEX but can't decide whether to go crimp or use the fittings by Flair-It. What are your opinions?

I guess from what I understand there are 2 different crimping systems, the black crimp ring and the Oetiker stainless steal Crimp ring, so what are the pros and cons?

If fittings are the way to go should I use the white Flair-IT or the black Flair-It Plus?

So many questions....

Dan
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Old 07-24-2006, 07:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano57
As I enter week 3 of Airstream ownership I have decided to repair a couple of leaks in the water system by re-plumbing the entire system. I am going to go PEX but can't decide whether to go crimp or use the fittings by Flair-It. What are your opinions?

I guess from what I understand there are 2 different crimping systems, the black crimp ring and the Oetiker stainless steal Crimp ring, so what are the pros and cons?

If fittings are the way to go should I use the white Flair-IT or the black Flair-It Plus?

So many questions....

Dan
I used white flair-it's with great success. I can recommend them highly.
My pro's were that repairs or change-of-minds can be done in seconds - the system is very forgiving and you can re-use the fitting.
the con is that the fittings cost more, but you won't have to buy and expensive crimping tool. The flair-it fittings have their own little tool ( $ 4.00 appr.) to tighten the compression nuts.
I re-did an entire trailer, and did not have single leak from the pex to flair-it connections.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:15 PM   #3
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I am going to use something called sharkbite or sharktooth. They are not cheap but they will not break as I have heard that the plastic fittings will do. You can get the shark thing at good plumbing stores. You can also remove them and reuse them.

silver 67
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver 67
I am going to use something called sharkbite or sharktooth. They are not cheap but they will not break as I have heard that the plastic fittings will do. You can get the shark thing at good plumbing stores. You can also remove them and reuse them.

silver 67
Beth,
Looing at the plastic fittings, it would be close to impossible to break them.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:28 PM   #5
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Wink

I did look at the sharkbite fittings and the plumbing supply guy said they were great. The only down side other than the expense is that it take some kind of special tool to take them apart. He also said that if you attach to old copper you need to make sure it is cleaned well.

Dan
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:31 PM   #6
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The only thing I did not like about the Flair-It fittings besides how expensive they were was how bulky they were.

I ended up going with cpvc on the safari. But I will switch over to PEX on the Ambassador. Mainly so I don't have to take the abuse of forum members

I'm not sure what system I will use. Most likely it will be whatever I can get locally. Because when I do any plumbing project I always go to the store at least three times and end up with extra parts I never needed
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:48 PM   #7
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I second what Uwe said about the flair-it connectors. I carry a few extra pieces with me just in case. Don't think I will need them, they are rock solid. I have bought fittings at http://www.pexconnection.com since they are not carried at the local Lowes or Home Depot.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:06 PM   #8
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azflycaster, I live just a few miles north of OKC so PEXconnection is about 20 minutes from my house so I should be in great shape as far as supplies goes. There is another place just down the road from them called Leggett's Mobil Mart, they have the same stuff but are cheaper.

Dan
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:08 PM   #9
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I replumbed with PEX and the Seaquest fittings (also sold under other names) , they available at Lowes, many RV dealers and the marine supply companies such as West Marine. I have done a lot of plumbing and these are the easiest thing I have ever used. The only tool you need is a good plastic tubing cutter to ensure a square cut . You snap them in and thats it. There is no special tool needed to get them apart, you just push in and take the fitting apart. They also work well with copper and cpvc pipe.

They are well worth their cost in time saved, no special tools, and ease of use especially in the tight spaces you encounter in RV plumbing work. I kept it simple and used 1/2" for everything.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63air
I replumbed with PEX and the Seaquest fittings (also sold under other names) ....

They are well worth their cost in time saved, no special tools, and ease of use especially in the tight spaces you encounter in RV plumbing work....
I second that!

I use just about every pex compatible fitting when trying to match what is in an RV when doing a repair. The Sea-Tech (Seaquest) fittings are by far the easiest to use and also the most versatile. They will work on any type of 1/2"
tubing, PEX, cpvc, or copper since they all have the same outer diameter for a given size. The lock onto the outer section of the tubing and can be re-used with no penalty, and I have yet to see one that leaked!

Expensive, yes.....but worth it!
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63air
I replumbed with PEX and the Seaquest fittings (also sold under other names) ....

They are well worth their cost in time saved, no special tools, and ease of use especially in the tight spaces you encounter in RV plumbing work....
I also used fittings, mine were JACO brand. They slip on, and tighten by hand. Not a single leak. No special tools. You can take them apart very easily and re-use them. They work with copper and all types of tubing. The only negative is the fittings are bulkier than crimps so they take up a little more room.
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Old 07-25-2006, 11:16 AM   #12
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I just got done doing my 68 Overlander end to end with pex. I used some Seatech fittings(push in), and some Quest fittings. I haven't gone on the road to see if the fittings hold up to road vibrations, so I can't say how they work in the long run, but if you have to connect to copper, and have the room to work, use Quest fittings there. The Seatech fittings seem to work great with pex, but in my case, they didn't seal with copper like they're advertised to. All in all though, I don't see any reason to use the crimping system. A plumbing supply store here told me that the crimped connections don't hold up over time, but I have no personal knowledge of that. I know others on the boards have used both methods with seemingly equal success. This repair isn't cheap, the connectors cost more than the pex, they ain't cheap.
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:58 PM   #13
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Hi Gang,

I'm doing some repair work on my 34' trailer and I am using the Oetiker stainless clamp system. This system has a slight advantage if the PEX is subjected to sub-freezing temperatures. It has the ability to give a little and return to its original diameter. These rings are not the same as the solid rings requiring a crimping tool. You will need a pair of pliers designed for these clamps. The pliers allow you to work in very cramped quarters and also let you cut the clamp off if you need to replace or repair a fitting. Chad's toolbox has some very low priced Oetiker pliers that can crimp the clamps using the front and side of the pliers; nice feature! Generally less expensive than pre-formed fittings and easier to install than the crimp rings normally associated with PEX.

Just a thought,

Sean

N.B. These clamps are the same type that are used to attach the boots on the axles of most front wheel drive vehicles so vibration should not be a concern!
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:40 PM   #14
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Dinoburb,

Thanks for the post , I have seen those clamps on the web but your the first to have any experience with them. I like the other benefits of cost and working in tight quarters.

"Buff" surely not an A-6, maybe a "uff" but Buff is reserved for 8 engines!

Dan
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