Re-Plumbing #2: Holes in the walls, but the water flows

Blog entry by Dan Lyke posted 05-17-2012 07:20 PM 7965 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: PEX advice? Part 2 of Re-Plumbing series no next part

So we got the plumbing in. Most of it done in a weekend, and it would have gone faster if I’d just sucked it up and bought a Sawzall and started pulling out the old plumbing with that, first.

I settled on the Upinor ProPEX system because all of my contractor and handyman friends said “go to Pace Plumbing Supply”, so I did. I asked the guy behind the counter for some parts and he said “the tool is $400”. I’d looked at the various crimp-on systems, and the Shark Bite press-on (more later), but everybody’d said to use these guys, so we started with that.

A little video overview of the system:

It’s a Milwaukee M12 tool that expands the end of the tubing and a ring encasing the tubing just long enough that you can slide it down over the fitting.

From left to right:

The tool without a specific tubing adapter installed, With the ¾” adapter installed, The cutter, and with a fitted end-ring, and A couple of ½” fittings.

PEXToolWithoutAdapter.jpg PEXToolWith34AdapterInstalled.jpg PEXCutterFittedEndAndRing.jpg PEXFittings.jpg

So on a Saturday morning, I started tearing out the old galvanized steel plumbing. Mistake #1: I didn’t figure out until, I think late that evening, that unscrewing it is a fool’s errand. Get a big-ass (or at least the beefiest ¾” stroke) Sawzall you can find (I bought a Milwaukee Sawzall) and start cutting.

I managed to get much of the house clear, and was working on the re-plumbing late on Sunday afternoon, when I made a call to a friend who came over and bailed my butt out. By the time he left at 11:30 or so we had water.

I then went down on Tuesday to City Hall and pulled my permit. Sshhh, don’t tell anyone.

There are three things left:

  • I still have some major holes in the wall.
  • The holes are there ‘til I can get my inspection, which is waiting on some electrical rework for the bathroom.
  • The shower faucet is an interim faucet.

We also ended up with a few Shark Bite fittings. These were the only things that leaked when we pressurized the system, and I’d like to work them out as I get the chance. On the other hand, they were available from OSH and Lowe’s late on a Sunday afternoon.

PEX10MissionBathroomHole.JPG PEXGarageWasherFittings.JPG

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

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Dan Lyke

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View Karson's profile


97 posts in 3651 days

posted 05-18-2012 03:23 AM

Great tour of the tool. I’ve seen the fittings in the Big Blue, but didn’t know what they were for or what they did.


-- Retired in Delaware

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Dan Lyke

345 posts in 3670 days

posted 05-19-2012 12:42 AM

There’s another system: It uses metal rings, a crimp tool, and a gauge to tell you if you’ve crimped enough. That’s the one I’ve seen in the big box stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot), but those guys seem to be abandoning it in favor of the Shark Bite stuff.

And there is apparently a hand-powered version of the Milwaukee tool, but my plumbing supply store didn’t sell it.

Now if I can just figure out how to solder these PEX fittings into this faucet housing…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

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97 posts in 3651 days

posted 05-19-2012 02:33 AM

Good Luck. Give us a tutorial. Did you finish all of the making the pipe connections.

Do they rent the tool instead of having to buy it?

-- Retired in Delaware

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