Pex connection in shut off valve under sink.

Discussion in 'Toilets and Sinks' started by medstudent, Mar 11, 2011.

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  1. Mar 11, 2011 #1

    medstudent

    medstudent

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    Dear plumber forums,

    >>>>>BACKGROUND TO ISSUE>>>>>>>>
    Hello. I am a med student, who is a do it a big do it yourself-er and believes greatly in the freedom and autonomy a man has by being handy by knowing plumbing knowledge. Unfortunately, my family is anything but handy, in fact they discourage my handy-ness and desire to fix stuff(badgering me that I will break something-even though I have fixed sooo many things), moreover are too cheap to actually fix anything, or to invite a professional plumber to do a job. Now I am angry, and frustrated because I decided to get a new under mount sink installed, and.....

    >>>>>KEY ISSUE>>>>>>>>

    my shut off valves underneath the sink are leaking when shut them off. So I decided to replace them . I cut off a sample of my shut of valve and brought it to my local kitchen/bath plumbing store. A gentleman who said he is a plumber said that I have pex (shut off valve attached to a grey plastic pipe,held on by a copper compression ring). The plumbing store sold me a metal pex shut off valve, some whiteish plastic pipe, and copper rings .They also rented me a pex crimping tool (which looks like the biggest wrench I ever saw). Now I fit the copper ring on teh plastic pipe using a second very little plier, I opened the mouth of the plastic pipe a bit and fit it over the mouth of the copper t tube with the copper ring. BUT THE COPPER RING WOULD NOT FIT FULLY OVER THE PIPE OVER THE THE copper "T". I tried and tried to force the ring over the copper "T" , but it could not go easily, even though the pipe did. I tried crimping it as is, the valve held for 5 minutes, then exploded gushing out water...... what a disaster.

    My thinking tells me that the compression valve should have fit over, pipe and copper "T" joint without too much force before crimping it, but it did not want to fit over.....does this mean I need a bigger compression ring, or should I just call a plumber??

    Angry frustrated med student who will never try to fix anything anymore.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  2. Mar 11, 2011 #2

    SlowDrip

    SlowDrip

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    Sounds like you got some bad advice at the store. Pex comes in blue, white and red. Grey plastic pipe is polybutylene which is a slightly different size, you can't just slap pex fittings on it.

    I would take the items back to the store where you got them and punch them in the face. I mean...discuss the situation with them.
     
  3. Mar 11, 2011 #3

    havasu

    havasu

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    SlowDrip has given you some sound advice. Having dealt with a boatload of problems with PB pipe, that stuff is a bugger. I was told Sharkbite fittings will work with PB pipe, but have not confirmed it myself.
     
  4. Mar 11, 2011 #4

    plumber4200

    plumber4200

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    med student,
    the grey "poly pipe" is a slightly different outside diameter than pex (which is red, white or blue), but you can join the two of them together. At a plumbing supply store or lowes you can get what is called a poly - to- pex transition coupling. It is a coupling that has a poly end (which has more ridges, i think 4 ridges) and a pex end that has 3 ridges. It comes with a pex crimp ring and a poly crimp ring and after you put that coupling on the pex you can then put on the tee and then you will be plumbing all in pex.

    As havasu said there are also push-fit fittings called Shark Bite or various other names that will fit over pex, copper, cpvc and poly . Make sure that if you use these fittings that you use the little plastic ferrel with pex or poly pipe because it prevents them from collapsing. With cpvc and copper you do not need to use the little plastic ferrel.

    The pex crimpers that you rented will work with pex or poly. Go to it! You can also see more advice on pex fittings and tools by going to manufacturers websites like Viega, Zurn and Manabloc.

    Good Luck

    Patrick
     
  5. Mar 12, 2011 #5

    Mr_David

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    I have done a lot of Polybutylene pipe repairs. I still do some occasionally but you cannot get PB pipe or fittings any longer. We use John Guest fittings and use copper or PEX pipe. They are kind of bulky but you can remove them after you have installed them if you need to.

    john-guest-speedfit-fittings
     
  6. Mar 13, 2011 #6

    medstudent

    medstudent

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    Hi guys, you were right, the grey pipe is poly B, which I had a feeling that it was. They gave me pex pipe, which is why I could not put it over the the copper T.

    In the end after frustration about why I was wrong, I just took a hit from a plumber 240 bucks plus taxes, and just kept the shut off valves in my garage, I lost maybe 35$ on the products. Whatever lesson learned. I thought that I was talking to experts! (a-holes). I decided not to cause a fight at teh store because I use that store for other things in the past. I will mention it to them next time. I had a feeling before being gun shy and callning a plumber

    You guys were on the money :). Maybe next time I will just ask here before doing anything.
     
  7. Mar 13, 2011 #7

    havasu

    havasu

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    There was a class action lawsuit filed against PB Pipe about 14 years ago, and the settlement allowed for full replacement from poly to copper, at no charge to the homeowner, provided the claim was filed within 3 years. My vacation home was purchased two years after the suit was settled, and was unaware of the settlement for another 14 months. When I tried to file a claim, they were real happy to tell me that I was two months too late, and therefore, told me to pound sand. Oh well, you win some, you lose most!

    I'm glad to hear your problem has been corrected, although it cost some money. Come pay us a visit anytime!
     
  8. Mar 14, 2011 #8

    medstudent

    medstudent

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    Hi Havasu, thatks for teh heads, up . Alas, my home built in the year 1997 is pull of poly b, and yes whenever we had to replace the water heater, toilet, and now sink the plumbers always go oh ****!!!!!!!!. What can I do.

    Just pay attention to this blog and move on.

    Will keep my eye on it though for diy.
     
  9. Mar 15, 2011 #9

    plumber4200

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    Whoever the chemist was that created poly should be spanked!
     
  10. Mar 16, 2011 #10

    havasu

    havasu

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    It should be considered the Guinea Pig of the PEX plumbing.
     

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