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Old 01-24-2023, 02:10 PM   #1
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Pex A expansion tool

I'm redoing the water system and have decided to use Pex A. The battery powered expansion tools seem rather expensive. I've seen manual ones for ~$100. Any Intel would be appreciated.

The reason for Pex A over Pex B is the crimper needs more room than I will have available for some areas.
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Old 01-24-2023, 02:34 PM   #2
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I have used pex since it came out and only use a manual expansion tool.
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Old 01-24-2023, 03:57 PM   #3
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I've got a Milwaukee expansion tool and like it very much. It was pricey, but for any size of project I think it's worth it. I saw that DeWalt offers one too, so more choice to match up with whatever power tools you might currently have.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:49 PM   #4
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if you dont buy the electric pex expansion tool you lose a major benefit of the pex system: You can make connections in very small spaces with poor physical access.

With the manual tool you have to use two hands. The electric is worth it.

I have the milwaukee m12 fuel version.
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Old 01-26-2023, 05:41 AM   #5
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I'm guessing the guys put Pex A in my boat. Ten years later, and I've never had a leak or failure. The stuff is magic, and worth doing the best way possible.
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Old 01-26-2023, 06:52 AM   #6
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Both our 2012 NP 39 and our 2020 NP 45 have pex plumbing. I have also done 2 houses with the Uponor (pex expansion) system. I wanted a Milwaukee M 12 but could not justify the price. However I am always watching Craigslist for a deal.

The manual usually works fine. Some confined spaces on the boat require making joints then feeding the tubing in*. In one case I had to use a Sharkbite where that was not possible. Going into our fourth season the Sharkbite is fine.

Rob

*Someone else also said this on a past thread.
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Old 01-26-2023, 08:11 AM   #7
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I am finding it hard to justify $400-$500 tool cost for a rather small job. I'm surprised that they don't make a less expensive corded version. I'm going to see if any tool rental places have them to rent. It looks like $100-$200 for a manual rotating tool may be the way to go even if it makes it a more painful process.
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Old 01-26-2023, 08:18 AM   #8
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Why not rent the good tool for the duration of the project?
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Old 01-26-2023, 08:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Why not rent the good tool for the duration of the project?
I have called a few rental places in my area and they don't have them for rental. I'm going to try the rest today
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Old 01-26-2023, 08:36 AM   #10
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Ditto the comments on the Milwaukee expansion tool. Yes, expensive but very handy for tight spots and one-hand operation. You might be able to find a used one on ebay, or buy new and sell it later
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Old 01-26-2023, 09:29 AM   #11
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Not a lot of experience with PEX (yet) but slowly gearing up to replace some of the PVC in my house with PEX. I found this tool to place clamps and it doesn't require as much room as the manual clamping tools. Just familiarizing myself with it and haven't done any real work yet but it seems like a good tool.


I also found an adapter (there are a lot of these) that allows me to use my Makita batteries
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Old 01-26-2023, 12:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktdtx View Post
Not a lot of experience with PEX (yet) but slowly gearing up to replace some of the PVC in my house with PEX. I found this tool to place clamps and it doesn't require as much room as the manual clamping tools. Just familiarizing myself with it and haven't done any real work yet but it seems like a good tool.


I also found an adapter (there are a lot of these) that allows me to use my Makita batteries

Did you mean to include a link to the tool?
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Old 01-26-2023, 12:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Did you mean to include a link to the tool?

Yes, I sure did.



https://www.amazon.com/Ryobi-18-Volt...54410242&psc=1
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Old 01-26-2023, 04:28 PM   #14
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Thats a different style of pex fitting than most are talking about here. Crimp/Clamp style fittings are what you use in that Ryobi. Basically oetiker clamps. You need the right fitting for that clamp method.

The PEX-a expansion tool that most people are talking about here is for uponor propex fittings. They are not the same though I believe both will work with pex-a.
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Old 01-26-2023, 04:40 PM   #15
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I've been considering replacing all of the FW plumbing with Pex and also have some tight spots. That Ryobi is really interesting...although not the same as PEX A it's a cheaper tool than the expansion style and still works in tight spaces.
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Old 01-26-2023, 04:53 PM   #16
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One reason I prefer the ProPEX expansion fittings is that they are non-metallic. I think that's an advantage on a boat compared others. Granted, the band clamps that I have used are stainless, but still, completely non-metallic is attractive.


And for those trying to understand the different types of PEX, here's what I understand:


Uponor/ProPEX is the expansion type of "band" that seals the tubing to the fitting. It is ONLY usable with PEX-a, and the fittings are different from those used with compression bands. You MUST use ProPEX/Uponor fittings.


Everything else is some form of compression band clamp, with a couple of different systems. I have used the Watts system which looks to be what the Ryobi is designed for. There are also copper rings that get compressed and you use a go/no-go gauge to confirm it's fully compressed. There are probably others too. These can be used with either PEX-A or PEX-B tubing, and they work with "standard" PEX fittings.
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Old 01-26-2023, 05:45 PM   #17
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...and other two advantages for PEX A I gleaned from the eleven-teen YouTube videos I've watch on this topic are:
  • The band continues to tighten forever.
  • There is no reduction/restriction in the ID of the system as the ID of the fittings are the sames as the PEX pipe.
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Old 01-26-2023, 06:08 PM   #18
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Another great one is that with pex A you can rotate the fittings after the connections have been made.
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Old 01-27-2023, 07:23 AM   #19
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I'm definitely going to use Pex A. Currently researching and ordering all additional materials for the job (Saniflex holding tank hoses, additional water tank, new water heater, new head, fixtures). Of course there will be additional items added to the list....Pex Expander Tool !
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Old 01-27-2023, 07:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilPB View Post
I am finding it hard to justify $400-$500 tool cost for a rather small job. I'm surprised that they don't make a less expensive corded version. I'm going to see if any tool rental places have them to rent. It looks like $100-$200 for a manual rotating tool may be the way to go even if it makes it a more painful process.


You can just buy it and sell it when youíre done. Itís really easy to sell lightly used tools and you wonít lose a lot of money. Itís usually what I do when I need a tool that I wonít use after a job and in the end, often cheaper than renting. Plus you can keep it as long as you wantÖ
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