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Old 29-04-2013, 07:27   #1
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PEX - Metric or Standard?

I'm looking to replace my original copper pipes on a '71 Cheoy Lee Clipper 42 with PEX. I notice its all either 1/2" or 15mm. Any reason to choose one over the other?

Also, does anyone have advice on pitfalls in installation?

Thanks!

Jason
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Old 29-04-2013, 07:34   #2
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

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Originally Posted by Wakuu View Post
I'm looking to replace my original copper pipes on a '71 Cheoy Lee Clipper 42 with PEX. I notice its all either 1/2" or 15mm. Any reason to choose one over the other?

Also, does anyone have advice on pitfalls in installation?

Thanks!

Jason
Metric *is* standard

I would go for 1/2" though as it's enough diameter for all but megayachts and it is readily available at Home Depot, Sears etc. Use the fittings with the metal crimp around it, not the ones that you can disassemble by hand. I switch to the lighter PEX tubing with plastic fittings that can be disassembled by hand between a stop-valve and a faucet/filter etc. Or I use a tail with braided stainless steel cover there.

Even in the EU most plumbing is imperial. 12mm is often 1/2" and 15mm is often 5/8".
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Old 29-04-2013, 07:51   #3
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

Metric PEX is a PITA in the states. Many outfits don't stock it or the fittings. You have to go to an actual plumbing store. And the standard stuff is lots cheaper. Metric will also have some odd sizes like a 17X2 which is 17 mm outside diameter with a 2 mm wall thickness so you have to make sure you get the right parts and crimp tool. So that would be a 14mm fitting with a 17mm crimp ring. It's just too easy getting 1/2" tubing, fittings and the tool because everything is based on the inside diameter of the tubing. However I'm sure it's different in the rest of the world. Also those Sharkbite fittings will fit a variety of pipe and tubing types. So one fitting may fit standard, metric, copper etc and you don't need the crimp tool. They are pricey.
Pex is so incredibly easy even a boat owner can do it. Get a tubing cutter ($12) and a crimp tool and that's it. My lumberyard loans them for free. Try not to do sharp bends and don't kink the pipe. You can use a blow dryer to bend the pipe if you can't get the crimper in there to do an elbow. Warm pipe is easier to work. Buy lots of extra fittings and just do it.
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Old 29-04-2013, 07:55   #4
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Metric *is* standard

I would go for 1/2" though as it's enough diameter for all but megayachts and it is readily available at Home Depot, Sears etc. Use the fittings with the metal crimp around it, not the ones that you can disassemble by hand. I switch to the lighter PEX tubing with plastic fittings that can be disassembled by hand between a stop-valve and a faucet/filter etc. Or I use a tail with braided stainless steel cover there.

Even in the EU most plumbing is imperial. 12mm is often 1/2" and 15mm is often 5/8".
+1 on the 1/2"... Besides local stores... many more options for replacement from online vendors....

EVER ELUSIVE BENEFIT ALERT..... You can probably finance your entire plumbing refit with the $$ from the copper scrap!
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Old 29-04-2013, 08:00   #5
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

It looks like your in San Diego so I would suggest you use the standard sizes. It will depend on where you plan to buy your material and where you might need to buy additional pieces down the road. Get what will be readily available. We installed Pex in place of our old copper tubing and it went quite easy. You can read about our installation here, The Trawler Beach House: 30 Year Old Boat Plumbing Replacement . Chuck
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Old 29-04-2013, 09:38   #6
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

No question that PEX is the way to go but I really like the Sea Tech fittings made by Watts. They are so easy and quick to install a lot of boat builders are using them. You just cut the tubing to length and shove it into the fitting and you're done. They are also removable and reusable when you find you've cut the tubing a little too long or short.
Link: Sea Tech Quick Connect Fittings

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Old 29-04-2013, 10:15   #7
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

Parks, Those look like the same fittings we used except ours have a blue ring that lets you know you have tightened them down. They are also reusable. Chuck
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Old 29-04-2013, 10:44   #8
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
No question that PEX is the way to go but I really like the Sea Tech fittings made by Watts. They are so easy and quick to install a lot of boat builders are using them. You just cut the tubing to length and shove it into the fitting and you're done. They are also removable and reusable when you find you've cut the tubing a little too long or short.
Link: Sea Tech Quick Connect Fittings

Yes well, those are specifically the ones that I recommend not to use. I had these break on my watermaker product output after 8 years. I certainly don't plan to replace all plumbing fittings in my boat every 8 years... so I go for metal. Even those sharkbite fittings now start to come with plastic versions so need to check which you get.

I know the failure was caused by a combination of aging of the plastic and vibration of the HP pump.

Let me add some pictures because most will think of different type of connectors:

this is the cutting tool:

NOT these type of fittings:

But these type of fittings:

NOT with these type of crimp rings:

but with these type of crimp rings:

which you crimp NOT with this tool:

But with this tool:


I spent 2 days on this stuff last summer to work it all out (there is a lot to it like access to make crimps, opening them again etc.; too much to go into here) so hope some can use this to their advantage.

The images above are all from Sharkbite brand and all from the cheapest source I saw them, the Home Depot.
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Old 29-04-2013, 12:24   #9
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

I particularly like the ProPex (wisbro/uponor) type of fittings. You need to get em mail order or from a supply house, and the tool is major $$$.

But they're far better than the crimp style. On a boat, I may consider the plastic fittings over the brass ones.

These are different than the crimp fittings, you can only use PEX-A type of tubing, but once you see one done you'll understand why it's a great system.

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Old 29-04-2013, 15:23   #10
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Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
I particularly like the ProPex (wisbro/uponor) type of fittings. You need to get em mail order or from a supply house, and the tool is major $$$.

But they're far better than the crimp style. On a boat, I may consider the plastic fittings over the brass ones.

These are different than the crimp fittings, you can only use PEX-A type of tubing, but once you see one done you'll understand why it's a great system.

Yes, these fittings are even better than the ones I list above, but harder to get, expensive and the tool is big so difficult access in small spaces, plus you must very quickly assemble which can be tough aboard a boat.
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Old 17-05-2013, 23:14   #11
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

A little update for those that are interested....I've spent about $300 total on parts, recovered only $33 from the old copper pipes. This now feeds three sinks, one shower and a water heater. I left myself room to expand out to a cockpit shower, by dead ending a T.
Jedi, I used the exact parts you recommended after hemming and hawing in the plumbing department at Home Depot for about 45 minutes. I'm pretty satisfied with it. The only thing I would have done differently is buy the tubing in straight 10' sections. I bought it in the bulk form which is coiled...what a PITA to get to straighten out. I did find that using the heat gun judiciously (but not too closely) helped me straighten the tubing out.

One other question....I have an older square water heater and like a dope, I cut off removed the old fittings without paying attention to which one was hooked to the hot water line. Does anyone have any idea if it is standard to have the input (cold) at the top or bottom?

Thanks again guys.
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Old 18-05-2013, 04:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wakuu View Post
A little update for those that are interested....I've spent about $300 total on parts, recovered only $33 from the old copper pipes. This now feeds three sinks, one shower and a water heater. I left myself room to expand out to a cockpit shower, by dead ending a T.
Jedi, I used the exact parts you recommended after hemming and hawing in the plumbing department at Home Depot for about 45 minutes. I'm pretty satisfied with it. The only thing I would have done differently is buy the tubing in straight 10' sections. I bought it in the bulk form which is coiled...what a PITA to get to straighten out. I did find that using the heat gun judiciously (but not too closely) helped me straighten the tubing out.

One other question....I have an older square water heater and like a dope, I cut off removed the old fittings without paying attention to which one was hooked to the hot water line. Does anyone have any idea if it is standard to have the input (cold) at the top or bottom?

Thanks again guys.
Cold in at the bottom, hot out at the top. Sometimes both connections are at the top in which case the cold input is marked and has an internal pipe to the bottom.
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Old 18-05-2013, 06:33   #13
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

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Cold in at the bottom, hot out at the top. Sometimes both connections are at the top in which case the cold input is marked and has an internal pipe to the bottom*.
Indeed.
*Called a "Dip Tube".
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Old 18-05-2013, 07:51   #14
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Re: PEX - Metric or Standard?

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Indeed.
*Called a "Dip Tube".
How come we know these silly things Gord?
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Old 18-05-2013, 08:10   #15
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Thank goodness you guys know this stuff. Lol. I would have guessed and tested if it came right down to it.
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