How is PEX pipe joined to copper pipe

Discussion in 'General Chit Chat' started by RenegadeT, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. RenegadeT

    RenegadeT no shirt,no shoes,no dice Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Stokesdale-Greensboro
    I had a copper pipe burst here, temporarily fixed it with a section of auto. heater pipe and some hoseclamps.
    I'm looking to see if I can do the permanent fix maybe this weekend, but I can't figure out how the copper pipe is sealed to the PEX pipe. I have like an 8" copper section soldered to the outside spigot. Inside the house, it looks like the PEX supply pipe is just slid in the inner diameter of the copper pipe, maybe a tight fit, but there's got to be more than that :confused:
    Plan A would be to remove the entire copper section and solder a new one to the spigot.
    Plan B is to cut off the split section of copper pipe and solder the spigot back to the 5" or so that is left. I'm not sure if that is do-able, it might be too short.
    Plan C involves calling a plumber or someone who knows what they're doing.
    Plan D is do nothing and see how long my temp fix lasts :beer:
    Well, off to shop vac water out of the basement...
  2. Gregoneer

    Gregoneer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    Graham
    Not sure, but I know I'd go with the :beer: plan. Sounds like it'd hold for a while. If not I'd go with A plan.
  3. SEAIRESCUE

    SEAIRESCUE Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    SO Pines
    You may want to visit Lowes and talk with the daytime guy in plumbing. Most in Lowes, but not HD, have been very helpful.

    From watching This Old House, it appears there are special crimping tools to crimp proprietary parts like a sleeve or ring at the union of copper and PEX or PET.

    Good luck.....:beer:
  4. kaiser715

    kaiser715 Doing hard time

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Sanford, NC
    They make unions that are pex on one side, copper on the other.

    If you don't already have pex tool, you'll have to get somebody to do it for you. But buying a cheap pex crimper will be cheaper than a plumber's service call. And no butt crack.
  5. csudman

    csudman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Statesville
    they make a coupler that is a compression fitting, tightens down and thats it. Had to do it on one of mine last year when I had a pipe burst. Simple.
  6. guffey24

    guffey24 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    I have never seen a cheap Pex tool(chrimper), they do make fittings to go from pex to copper, Lowes is not going to have this though, check with your local plumbing supply house, and some hardware stores carry this kinda stuff

    the cheapest pex tool I have ever seen is around $50

    I run into pex every once in a while doing irrigation jobs

    there may be a local plumbing supply that will let you borrow a crimper for a price, kinda like the Autozone loan-a-tool

    they started using pex because
    #1. It is cheaper than PVC, and copper
    #2 It bends so these lazy fuckers dont have to glue fittings, and they can dig the line where ever it needs to be and not have to worry about adding an elbow or a 45 to get it to go into the house where it needs to be

    I HATE IT

    Pex sucks, If I had the crimper I would come and fix it for you, but my Jeep needs $50 here and there, and I havent bought the crimper yet
  7. Blkvoodoo

    Blkvoodoo Letting the smoke out Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Archer Lodge
    Ok, so your house is plumbed with PEX, and this is a fixture that has ruptured ?

    MOST modern ( since early mid-90's ) use PEX, and while it's cheap ( parts and pieces) and easy, they FAWK you on the tools to assemble the parts and pieces.

    PEX uses copper bands that are compressed at the joint, the copper fitting or connection is barbed, when the crimp is made, the PEX tubing forms around the barbs and seals.

    Unforutnatly, trying to use anything else is hit or miss ( I tried a hose clamp once, it leaked ) I have since aquired " THE TOOL" for 1/2" and 3/4" PEX connections ( most common sizes).

    It pissed me off so bad that Home Depot and Lowes want to fawk you so hard on the tool ( $120, one size and it's a cheap POS )

    I was about to re-plumb the whole house in PVC or copper just to spite, then realized, the final connection to the main would STILL have to be a PEX crimp, because thats what comes in from the street. ARGH !

    SO, I searched and looked around, talked to a buddy in Illinois, and my dad (also in IL) and they found " The TOOL " at MENARDS for $100, but then Dad got a "17% off anything you can fit in the bag" bag in the mail, and he was able to get "The TOOL" (two sizes one tool ) for $83. That deal I can live with.

    Is this a sill cock for the outdoor faucet ? Been there, done that. The sill cock can be had all in one piece ( with or with out the PEX barb) for about $20, sweating it on you need to be careful not to melt the PEX ( tough to do )


    If you were closer, I'd let you borrow the tool, unfortunately I have no plans to come that way anytime soon.
  8. guffey24

    guffey24 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    dont use a compression coupling in this case, do it right

    compression couplings will fail after time

    I would never use a compression coupling on copper
  9. Ron

    Ron Still first class white trash (if you can't tell) Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Sharon, SC
    Harbor Freight used to sell a PEX tool for $35...it was comparable with most harbor freight hand tools..but no more than you'd need it it will work..

    As to the changeover fitting.

    Hook up the copper end and sweat that joint then allow to cool, then hook up and crimp the Pex end..otherwise you'll end up with melted PEX...
  10. GaryCrawlin

    GaryCrawlin New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Asheville
    At lowes they have compression coupling That you can use on copper poly or pex they will hold up to 120pds h20 press will work great. trust me I was a plumber for 7 years.
  11. RufusTheRam

    RufusTheRam New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh
    okay, there is some good info in here and some not so good. fwiw, everything i'm about to put is coming from a 3rd generation plumber. i've been doing it ever since i was old enough, and it's now my full time career.

    do NOT use a compression fitting. it's the easy way out, and not the best by far. i've seen too many fail on hard copper.

    what you need to do it right is the following (i'm assuming this is a 1/2" line like 99% of sill faucets).

    1- 1/2"x1/2" slip over sweat to pex adapter

    1- 1/2" pex crimp ring. NOT quest... there is a difference. you can tell them part by quest rings are copper, pex rings are painted.

    depending on how you want to replace the bad section, you'll need:

    1- 1/2"x1/2" sweat to sweat copper coupling
    length of 1/2" hard copper. i only use L (wall thickness). M is too thin for a long lasting piece imo.

    OR

    1- 1/2"x1/2" pex to pex coupling
    2- 1/2" pex crimp rings
    length of 1/2" pex.

    doing it with pex is going to be easier to work with if you've never done any soldering.

    like kevin said, you can also purchase a new sill faucet with the pex connection already on it which might make things easier for you. we don't use anything but woodford. they come in various lengths. quality piece. it's possible this frost proof style is what you already have, in which case the copper you're looking at is just the casing for the stem/seat and is not repairable. or, it could just be a regular hose bibb.

    there is no such thing as a cheap crimp ring tool for the weekend warrior. they're a bargain for someone that makes a living doing plumbing though. so i wouldn't complain too much, they could be ALOT more considering who's buying them mostly. i'm also not going to risk MY house by using a cheap HF tool on something like this.

    drop me a pm, i might be willing to give you the materials you need and loan one of my crimp tools to you for the cost of the materials. i should have everything you need here on my truck.

    i would offer to do the work for you on the side if you were interested, but i'm not working at the moment as a result of a motorcycle wreck. let me know if you have any other questions, etc.

    edit: just noticed you're in g-boro. i am actually going to charlotte this weekend, and could possibly work out meeting you on my way through and back to drop off/pick up things.
  12. ncpatroler

    ncpatroler Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    Clayton
    I'm going to have to agree with Rufus, don't use a compression coupling in less you can't help it. The slip over copper repair coupling is an option if this is not just the copper tail shaft on the silcock. If it is you should just buy a new silcock which you can get in several tailshaft lenths. They can be gotten with pex male ends but I think most of the ones they sale at Lowes have male threaded ends. If this be the case you can buy the female threaded by male pex adapter for about $1.25. But you will still need an 1/2 pex crimp tool. If the bad spot is on the silcock tailshaft then "DO NOT" try and sweat a slip over repair coupling on the copper because this silcock aren't made the same as a standard cutoff. The silcocks have a long shaft inside them that sills towards the back of the shaft. And if you try to sweat this it is very likily that you will melt the rubber washer inside the tailshaft. Just food for thought. Good Luck!
  13. RenegadeT

    RenegadeT no shirt,no shoes,no dice Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Stokesdale-Greensboro
    Thanks for all your input, esspecially Rufus offering the loan-a tool. I didnt realize Lowes would have ready-to-crimp hose spigots (sillcocks?) to the PEX. I'll see what they have in stock. I'm still not understanding how the copper stub seals on the PEX, but maybe once I see the piece uninstalled it will be clear.
    I'll probably pony up and buy the crimping tool. The leak is in my unfinished basement that I plan on finishing some day, so it won't be the last time I use the tool. Actually, I already installed a water filter and needed the crimping tool. The guy at Lowes told me I could always return the tool if "I didn't use it-wink-wink".
    Seems my temp fix is holding up and the basement is now dry. Somehow all our crap is stored on the high spots and the water miraculously flowed around it :huggy:
  14. RenegadeT

    RenegadeT no shirt,no shoes,no dice Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Stokesdale-Greensboro
    follow-up after my trip to Lowes this morning...
    I found some spigots that had stems attached in varying lengths, 6"-12". On the end of it was a threaded piece, so I was going to have to buy a threaded adapter to crimp into my PEX line, no problem.
    The Lowes guy, an older man, said I didnt need the crimping tool, I could just use hose clamps! I was surprised, then Sanford and Son overheard me, and they both said heck yeah that's what they always do. Can the standard worm gear hose clamps compress a PEX pipe enough, and be expecgted to last? I didnt think so, I left everything at Lowes and ran away :bounce:. My temp. fix (with hose clamps) seems to be holding just fine, but it is pulled about 6" out of the house so will need to be fixed eventually. :popcorn:
  15. RufusTheRam

    RufusTheRam New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh
    they might hold. or they might not. i sure as hell wouldn't risk flooding my house with them though.

    hose clamps are used on "black roll" pipe, which is also a plastic material. it was commonly used for a number of years in the 70's/80's for main water lines. in addition to the pipe itself, the clamped connections are common points of failure. those fittings are at least long enough you can double clamp. smaller pex fittings are not.

    plumbing is just like anything else. plenty of people out there getting by cutting corners. personally, i'd do it right way.

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