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  • Apollo Pex Any Good?

    Hello everyone, this is my first post here, but I have been viewing this forum for a couple of weeks now.

    My House is plumbed with Polybutylene, I missed the Class Action, and decided to live with it until 3 weeks ago when I had an actual pipe failure. It split down the side like it had a seam, and if I weren’t home, the damage would have been catastrophic.
    Anyway, I have decided to replumb my house on my own, with Pex tubing because it is easier to work with, cheaper, and less invasive than Copper. I spent a few days choosing a manufacturer, and decided to go with Vanguard from Lowes. After some research, and some emails to the Manufacturer, I was able to conclude that Vanguard is owned by Viega, and a Rep told me the product is the same. I haven't came across anything bad about Viega. Also, Lowes is open during evenings, and weekends, so if I need anything I can get it during my free time.
    I ordered all of the brass fittings that I think I will need online, but when they showed up, they were labeled Vanguard, distributed by Apollo, made in China. The fittings look nice, the ball valves feel smooth, and overall everything is packaged well and looks like a nice product.
    Anyway I just wanted to get some opinions from the experts here. I understand the Wirsbro/Uponor is probably the best pex out there, but the stuff from the Home Centers is easier for me to get my hands on, and the crimp fittings look easier for a novice to work with, especially in tight spaces.

    Thanks for any insight!
    Last edited by Jamey; 09-09-2010, 07:25 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

    I really wish I did some more research before I chose this product. I am pissed that the Rep from Apollo told me that Vanguard and Viega were the same product. The Viega press system uses Bronze fittings made in the USA, and the Vanguard/Apollo fittings are Brass made in China. The Apollo fittings are marked C-PEX W F1807 UPC NSFUS-PW. It is B.S. that the Apollo/Conbraco website states "Made in USA" and talks about buying American, meanwhile the stuff I bought is made in China with there name on it. Here's a link to there company profile:
    http://www.apollovalves.com/companyprofile.asp

    I have already purchased all of the Pipe and Fittings, and a pair of 1/2 and 3/4 inch Mil 3 Crimpers for $185 that I am stuck with. The Viega Crimpers are around $350 for the pair, and the fittings are only a little more expensive. All can be bought online. I might put a T-Fitting in a vice and wack it a couple of times with a hammer and see what happens. I'm also going to cut it and measure the wall thickness. Since i'm stuck with the crimpers, I will crimp a couple and see how I feel about it. I'm sure I have some brass Qest fittings somewhere in my plumbing, so I can cut one out and see if my Public water is causing any corrosion from dezincification. I really don't feel like returning all this stuff to Lowes, and since I have to constantly shut the water off now when I sleep and leave the house I am anxious to get started, but after reading about the Zurn Class Action, I am uneasy about using the China stuff. I wrote another email to Apollo to see what they have to say, but probably won't here from them until Monday.

    Am I over thinking all of this?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

      I have never dealt with pex so I can not help you, maybe some one will chime in here, do some searches and see what has been discussed in the past there have been many discussions,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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      • #4
        Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

        followed your link. apollo says "nearly all" and "95% to 98% made in usa. apparently you did not get the "nearly all" or "95% to 98%". what they are saying is that they aren't going to say how much is really made in usa..........are you over thinking this? no just the opposite. conbraco makes valves for for boilers. i never had a problem with them.................ok i'll bite. did you buy this stuff online, at lowes or both? if lowes you can return it. online maybe. if not well use it, sell it on ebay or whatever.................... this is the reason most of us buy from a supply house. i my case they cover my errors, by telling what not to buy........... last but not least, i think you are cheap. breid.................

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

          Thanks for the replies.
          I did some tests....
          First the hammer and vice test with a 1/2 tee. Seems that the zurn fittings were failing at the T-connections, and the threaded connections. I dont have any threaded fittings. Anyway I beat the crap out of that fitting. The material was maliable and hung in there pretty well, bending under hard hits. It didn't snap until I chucked it up against the shoulder and hit it very firmly. I'm just glad the broken peice didn't hit my Corvette. So I consider this a pass.
          Second, I crimped another 1/2 tee with the Mil 3 tool, and black coated copper crimp rings. Pretty nice. I like the tool, you can use it one handed, it's heavy duty, and I can get it into confined spaces. After the crimps were made I tried to twist the pipe on the fitting, it took a firm twist to break it loose, and now it twists but it takes some moderate force. Looks good to me.
          Third, I measured the wall thickness of the 1/2 tee fitting to be approx 42 thousands at the thinnest part. I think I saw somewhere that the Zurn fittings were around .030"
          I haven't gotten around to removing a brass fitting from my Qest pipe yet, but I have one installed in a soffit going to the kitchen sink. I would remove it, but my wife would probably castrate me if I start messing with the plumbing on Chrismas Day. I put that fitting in about 7 years ago when an PB Acetal fitting failed. It looks clean, and has not been leaking, but I will remove it tomorrow and investigate. I don't know who plumbed my house in 1986, but I hope they found another profession. Aside from the PB being a crap product, some of the crimp connections I found are crooked, and along with the pipe not being supported properly, I can see where there is alot of tension on some of the brittle Acetal fittings. I really have a ticking time bomb on my hands. I can't wait to write the letter to Qest, along with some photos of all of the failed peices I find.

          Overall I think I may use the Vanguard/Apollo product I purchased. I work with high PSI brake, Fuel, and AC lines every day in the Automotive industry, and I have seen some really poor material, but this stuff seems pretty nice. It looks like the Pex guys prefer Uponor/Wirsbro, but I don't see how I would be able to install it properly in the confined areas I am working in. Most of the plumbing is confined in my downstairs ceilings behind drywall.
          Last edited by Jamey; 12-25-2009, 01:08 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

            Around me in Seattle Home Depot and Lowes are selling all there Zurn and Apollo stuff cheap closing it out so that says something right there. If you want to sleep at night and leave the house use viega fittings, you can use the pex as most pex is the same for water lines. The reason I dont like the zurn is because I can twist the fitting after it is crimped. On the Viega it is solid. I still have $500 dollars worth of Zurn fittings.
            Seattle Drain Service

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

              Decided that I will probably install an Automatic Shut Off System, regardless of which manufacturer I choose. Water Cop looks like the best deal, only thing I don't like is it won't work with the power out, but how unlucky can one be?
              http://www.watercop.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                water cop

                yep that's what i would do. breid................

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

                  Not to hurt your feelings, but I think you are over your head and for your money and time spent you should find a good plumber you trust and have them install the better Wirsbo Pex. If in the end you can't trust your water sytem and need to rely on alarms and auto shutoff valves you are no better off than your current PB system. Just my opinion
                  Last edited by plumb4life; 12-25-2009, 09:27 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

                    Originally posted by plumb4life View Post
                    Not to hurt your feelings, but I think you are over your head and for your money and time spent you should find a good plumber you trust and have them install the better Wirsbo Pex. If in the end you can't trust your water sytem and need to rely on alarms and auto shutoff valves you are no better off than your current PB system. Just my opinion
                    No feelings hurt, and I value your opinion, but even if I hire someone to do the job, I will probably still have the Watercop installed. Call me paranoid, but when you talk plumbing to people at work and at social events, you here the horror stories of the damage caused by failed water heaters, ice maker lines, washing machines, etc. For $600, all it would take is one incident, and it would have been worth having.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

                      In the lake community where I live there are alot of vacation homes where some of the people visit them only in the summer months. For safety reasons and since it can drop to the 20's and lower in the winter, I tell my customers to shut off their water supply and drain them down, if they can, when they leave to go back home. I have visited more than one flooded out home due to the cold or old, unreliable PB and older CPVC piping. Its not a bad practice for anyone leaving for a few days, or a few months.
                      Last edited by plumb4life; 12-26-2009, 12:25 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

                        Hire a plumber! it's going to take you forever to do it. and might not be done right.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

                          Am I the only one here that see's the irony of replacing Polybutlyne with Pex?

                          Out of the frying pan and into the fire
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

                            belive it or not we've been using pex since 2001 our lowes sell appolo and all of our supply houses sell durapex rehaupex vangaurd/viega pex all with crimp fittings 99% of the new houses around here for the last 10 years have been pex whether it be the manabloc system or tees and ells in the ceiling or under slab or if off grade underneath the freaky thing about the crimploc fittings is that u can spin the fittings with the water on and no leaks very hard to get used to but its just the way it is as far as wirsbo or any of the far superior pex systems there is too much competition and the prices are too cheap nobody would spend the extra money on it so the supply houses quit carrying it thus there is no supply for it in our area don't get me wrong i like better for it to be type k under the slab and type l in the walls as we use no type m copper heck pex is better than type m its not only used around here because its cheaper but also cause the water eats copper so fast around here 10-15 years its also how its installed i've only ever had 2 major leaks that were caught before damage 1 was not crimped properly and theother one had no explanation hot side only dripped when water was hot good product if its accessible and installed properly

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                            • #15
                              Re: Apollo Pex Any Good?

                              i forgot to mention we put 120psi hydrostatic test for at lest 24 hours most of the time the test is on for weeks until ready 4 trimout

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