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  • Can Wirsbo Survive?

    Can Wirsbo/Uponor's PEX system Survive? You can achieve the same results with crimp systems. They take less time and the tools cost less. Ever check out a battery powered Wirsbo expander? $$$$

    I have seen no tests showing superiority. There are millions of feet of both installed.

    How can Wirsbo compete?

    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

    The few I can think of as far as pros/con's go

    1) It's PEXa so it's got one of the highest degrees of cross linking and you can repair kinks with a heat gun.

    2) It's fast

    3) There are no missed "crimps."

    4) I think it's probably slightly better in tight locations than Crimp pex is, and more difficult to screw up a crimp in tight locations.

    5) You also don't need to worry about calibrating the tool compared to crimp pex tools. I also like the convenience of having one manual tool to do 3 sizes (1/2", 3/4", 1") in a nice convenient package.


    But DAYUM has it ever gotten expensive compared to the competition and haven't the competition caught up to it warranty wise?


    ON the other hand compared to another PEXa like Rehau, Rehau is more expensive than Wirsbo for the fittings (I think the pipe for Rehau is probably cheaper though) and where I live the Rehau everloc system is the only approved connection method approved to be encased in concrete should you have a pipe damaged before or during a concrete pour. But Rehau is in my opinion a more robust connection, and rehau fittings have a larger cross section in the diamter of their fittings so they have less flow restriction than Pex or Wirsbo fittings. But Rehau isn't the best in tight locations.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

      I think I have read on this board that some places will not allow standard pex fittings because the fittings reduce flow. (fittings are smaller diameter than the pipe).

      Wirsbo/Uponor if I remember correctly use an expansion tool on the pipe and do not reduce the flow through with the fittings.

      okie

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

        Wirsbo fittings DO have fairly close diameters/cross sections when compared to Crimp-pex fittings. When you expand the wirsbo pipe/ring it shrinks around the fitting.

        Rehau Everloc fittings cross sections are somewhere between crimppex/wirsbo & copper fitting cross sections. When you put the Everloc sleeve on, then expand the pipe and insert the fitting, the pipe doesn't shrink back to it's original size as much as Wirsbo pipe does.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

          Originally posted by Scott K View Post
          The few I can think of as far as pros/con's go

          1) It's PEXa so it's got one of the highest degrees of cross linking and you can repair kinks with a heat gun.

          2) It's fast

          3) There are no missed "crimps."

          4) I think it's probably slightly better in tight locations than Crimp pex is, and more difficult to screw up a crimp in tight locations.

          5) You also don't need to worry about calibrating the tool compared to crimp pex tools. I also like the convenience of having one manual tool to do 3 sizes (1/2", 3/4", 1") in a nice convenient package.


          But DAYUM has it ever gotten expensive compared to the competition and haven't the competition caught up to it warranty wise?


          ON the other hand compared to another PEXa like Rehau, Rehau is more expensive than Wirsbo for the fittings (I think the pipe for Rehau is probably cheaper though) and where I live the Rehau everloc system is the only approved connection method approved to be encased in concrete should you have a pipe damaged before or during a concrete pour. But Rehau is in my opinion a more robust connection, and rehau fittings have a larger cross section in the diamter of their fittings so they have less flow restriction than Pex or Wirsbo fittings. But Rehau isn't the best in tight locations.
          In response:

          1)I was told PEXa, PEXb, PEXc, were not ratings at all but just identifiers. While the Engl method does offer highest crosslinking last I checked, is this the most desirable method? Do the other methods offer some superiority in other areas such as UV degradation?

          2)While you may consider expansion connections fast, crimp connections are much faster. Check behind me if anyones unfamiliar with both.

          3)Missed crimps? Don't miss one on crimped systems. Check/test everything beforehand.

          4)Don't know of anyone that has ran into a tight location problem when using crimp systems where they could not complete the job.

          5)Calibration is necessary. But not that often. It is nice to have one tool to do several sizes. Some of the cinch-clamp systems can do this also.

          I just see them being unable to compete provided other systems such as Viega's continue to prove reliable.

          With Wirsbo expansion, the tools cost more, it takes longer to install fittings, cold environments have to make adjustments when installing.

          Also, any insert fitting system can cause flow problems. Crimp or expansion. Any good plumber should allow for this in the design.

          What got me interested in the Wirsbo system is I have a couple of customers that have it in there house. The companies that installed it are out of business. There is one supplier in town that carries Wirsbo exclusively. But they do not carry PEX expansion rings & fittings and got a little confused & pissed when I asked about it. They sell crimp rings & the fittings for them. They also do not sell the tools for Wirsbo.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

            About PEXa - it has to do with the method or way that the cross linking is done - PEXa apparently having the highest degree of cross linking and apparently the most flexibility. AS far as I know all PEX has issues with UV degradation. The only one I know of that would be better would be the UV barrier Rehau Raupex (red or blue), but this stuff is only good for 6 monthes exposure as opposed to I believe it's 30 days by all the others.

            The Wirsbo system is a pretty fast system to install. Whether it's faster than crimp pex is up for debate. It would be nice if Wirsbo would come down in price with their plastic "EP" fittings to less than that of crimp pex as this is where Crimp Pex would then not be able to compete. Wirsbo does have an easy identifier in red & blue rings if you're comparing your average supply house only stocking the generic white or clear-white versions of the pex (some stock the red & blue pipe).

            In fact it is mind boggling that Wirsbo is not cheaper than Crimp Pex. Crimp Pex you have a copper or stainless steel crimp ring, and a brass fitting or copper manifold. Wirsbo has brass or plastic fittings, with plastic rings, and their plastic rings and plastic fittings apparently cost more than crimp pex (from what I've heard).


            It's easy to say you don't miss crimps but I'm talking about missed crimps, period. Yes we all test for the inspector but you shouldn't have any doubts about your system when you go to fill it up for the first time.. And also - if you are getting your apprentice to repair something - there are no guarantees with Crimp Pex. I've seen lots of poorly done crimps by apprentices that I got them to repair. Wirsbo is a better system in most cases for tight spaces as I've stated before. Not all, but most.

            With Wirsbo expansion - the tools do not cost more. You can get a Wirsbo tool that does 1/2" to 1" for about $300-ish. For Crimp Pex you'd technically need 3 seperate tools @ $125-150+ each (although I know there are combo crimpers but for arguements sake) plus you might want to invest in a set or 2 (another 1 or 2x $150+) of one hand crimpers and/or confined space crimpers (about $30+).

            There are several tricks to dealing with Wirsbo in cold environments. And if you're really paranoid hit it with a heat gun later.

            I don't think my arguments are neccessarily biased against or for Wirsbo - I am agreeing with you, but still keeping an open mind. I really think Rehau is the cats arse though. Wirsbo only promotes their expansion ring system - where as apparently Rehau doesn't mind if you use crimp rings on their pipe if need be (check the warranty literature however) or the everloc system which is about as good as it gets for strength of connection.

            As for flow problems - Yes technically all pex systems suffer flow loss due to fittings having a smaller cross section than the pipe in comparison to copper where the fittings are larger. But it's not as bad as people will lead you to believe, and if you size it as per code you should be fine. This is a fairly old argument, but at the end of the day it's not as big of a deal as one would think. I've installed a few what I would call satellite systems that have excellent pressure distribution. BAsically you have 1" or 3/4" hot and cold mains that do a tour of the house near relevant fixtures and groups of fixtures and you have flow through manifolds in areas where fixtures are that you take off 1/2" lines (or 3/4") for each seperate fixture. It's sort of like treating the main as one big manifold and subsequently you have excellent pressure distribution. Where Pex shines is if you are a good installer, you can have virtually no fittings between the source and the fixture as opposed to copper which requires multiple fittings which cause head loss. Also think of those braided supply lines you just installed on your tap?

            Anyways - Wirsbo needs to shape up with their pricing that's for sure if they want to compete. But if I were you it wouldn't hurt to have a Wirsbo tool in the van and maybe an assortment of rings & fittings as well.

            I apologize but I live in a 2 million resident city where we have a myriad of different suppliers and we don't have any issues with getting any type or model of fitting/pipe, etc, etc.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

              I personally don't trust the crimp ring systems(reminiscing about polybutylene with crimp rings that {a} eventually crack the plastic fitting{b} ring loosens and pipe blows off). The expansion system doesn't apply excessive pressure on the fitting and can't loosen over time if anything the seal gets stronger. They are also less restrictive. It's the only pex system I will use(actually lost my last job over this topic).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

                What?? you lost your job over this topic? Why? What happened.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

                  It's pretty simple. If it's not Uponor it's crap. Uponor has never in over 35 years paid one single law suit due to product liability. It is the only fastening system among the pex'es that in not restrictive in nature.
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

                    Originally posted by rookie plumber View Post
                    What?? you lost your job over this topic? Why? What happened.

                    Very long story kinda short the guy was a hack all the way around. He had me go look at a job with a broken kitchen drain. while i was looking around under the house i saw cancer spots on the old galvi so took pics sent them to the HO(out of state) and bid the whole thing for $6,000(After asking the boss if he wanted to bid it and he declind). She called around and found a bid as low as 3000 and called me back. I explained I only use uponor and the million reasons why and there would be NO FITTING IN THE WALL!! We got the job for the quality of work being done obviously not price.The day project is supposed to start there was no other work so he decided to send the other guys that work for him out to "help".I explained to bbth of them that the bid include only expasion fitting and absolutaly no fitting in walls. First thing dude does is get out his F$%^ING CRIMP KIT AHHHHH! I calm ask what he is doing and he said he cleared it with the owner. Call owner and said this CR@P wasn't in the bid and he didn't care because the other fittings were a couple cents cheaper. I said I quit(there was quite abit more to it) . I then proceed to call the HO and inform her of the going on in her house and that I have just quit so as to clear my name of the Hack job and left my personal number.

                    I believe she stopped work at the site. Flew in to town and didn't let them finish and didn't pay him. she asked if i would do it but not being licensed i had to turn her down.

                    This may be a longer response than you wanted But i fell better now and that is all that matters

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

                      Good on ya for having the balls to stand up for what you believe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Can Wirsbo Survive?

                        Around here wirsbo is more plentiful at the supply houses and excepted in most city municipalities. One city is still holding out because of their strong Union ties. Pex saves labor and they can't stand for that.

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