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Old 04-11-2020, 05:21 PM   #1
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Barbed rv fitting into 1/2" pex?

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Is there a way to insert this "RV fitting" into 1/2" PEX tubing? I've seen the "expansion tool" (YouTube) as well as demos on heating larger diameter PEX with a torch ()...but, I don't have easy access to the special tool nor a desire to put a torch in the close area I'm having to work. So, just wondering if a heat gun might work...or might it just push in without heat? Will a heater hose clamp work OK to ensure no leak? I'm installing an expansion tank & it'll "fit" in the PEX line perfectly...IF I can cut the line and insert two of these fittings. Thanks for any expertise/experience sharing!
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:13 PM   #2
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not sure what you mean by 'expansion tool', as pex water lines and fittings that I've used simply requires inserting a pex crimp collar, then insert the 'barbed' fitting, then 'crimp down' on the collar to provide the final connection, with the proper 'crimp' tool, of course.

I did this to add a shut-off behind my toilet, and have used this type of pex installation to install both a shower and a water heater at my home.

I have seen, though, a new version of the 'pex' line and fittings and they are much 'easier'...no special tool required - called "pexlock", I believe:

www.pexlock.com or www.flairit.com
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:22 PM   #3
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Is this going to connect to a water pump?

If so, you might consider making your connection to the Pex with pex union to about 6-8" of flex tubing and then connect to this fitting.

Water pumps connected directly to pex can often be quite noisy.
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:24 PM   #4
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I recently did some PEX plumbing on my camper. I thought I was going to use Sharkbite slip fittings but ended up buying the crimping tool below. It's inexpensive enough ($15.99) that I didn't object to paying for a tool I may use in the future.

Buying it saved me money by not using the Sharkbite slip fittings, which are expensive. The tool below and a bag of 1/2 clamps cost me around $20, total.

Note that it's for clamps, not crimp rings. They're what Forest River uses but that's not why I did. Clamps have the advantage that you can remove them with pliers and a screw driver, should you make a mistake. I had the occasion to benefit from that fact. Crimp rings require yet another expensive specialty tool should you wish to remove them.

As reviewed by somebody on Amazon, the arms of the tool are short compared to others. It requires some strength to operate but it also allows you to use them in close quarters. I found both observations accurate.

https://www.amazon.com/SENTAI-Ratche.../dp/B07CHYVSDR


PEX clamp



PEX crimp ring
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:42 PM   #5
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I added shutoff valves to my water lines (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet) and used small worm gear clamps on the pex lines to secure them. No leaks at all. I used my small ratchet to tighten them, not a screwdriver.
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredcamper47 View Post
I added shutoff valves to my water lines (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet) ...
Good idea.
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:15 PM   #7
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An expansion tool is good if you’re doing a lot of plumbing work, Milwaukee makes a really nice cordless one. Your heat gun will actually work better than a torch so you’re fine using it just to soften the plastic up enough to force your barb fitting on.

I use one of these “Oetiker Clamp Kits”, they work much better and last a lot longer than hose clamps you tighten with a screw driver. Some people hate them, usually because they used the wrong size or because they don’t know the trick to remove them. They sell (its not expensive) the tool and clamps at Home Depot by the shark bite stuff and the pex barb fittings that use these. Real easy to use, just put the tool on the raised part of the rings and squeeze tight. To get them off just use the same tool to cut the raised part. There’s a lot of plumbing you do with PEX that doesn’t really require an expensive shark bite fitting where these clamps and barbed fittings work just as good or better for a lot less money.
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:25 PM   #8
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Thanks, guys. This is going to a small expansion tank...will be in the cold water line under the bath sink. The 1/2" PEX is routed there, so "all" I need to do is take a few inches out of it and insert one of those fittings in each of the two ends -- then, mount and connect the tank inline. A perfect spot for it, incidentally. What I'm trying to determine (before getting into the "job") is how I can push the plastic barb fittings into the ends of the rigid PEX. It may well be a non issue once I cut and try it, but just wondered if anyone had actually done it with these "barbed RV fittings". Like a lot of us, I'm kinda stuck @ home right now without access to PEX tools...and, again, even if I had the crimper handy I'm unsure if the plastic barb will fit into the PEX. As best I can measure, the ID of the PEX and the OD of the barb is the same, so it may be that I can "heat" the PEX just a bit and slip the barb in(?). ...looking like I'll just need to get into it and learn "on the job" (I thought that I'd have learned it ALL by this point in life ). Thanks, again, for sharing the ideas.
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:28 PM   #9
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I tried to make that one picture a before and after but you can’t really see the after part in the background.

You just grab the clamp, squeeze it tight. They make two different tools like mine, one just clamps straight on, the other does straight on and sideways, get the one that does both if you buy one, there will be times you can’t get to what you want to clamp straight on.
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14apex View Post
Thanks, guys. This is going to a small expansion tank...will be in the cold water line under the bath sink. The 1/2" PEX is routed there, so "all" I need to do is take a few inches out of it and insert one of those fittings in each of the two ends -- then, mount and connect the tank inline. A perfect spot for it, incidentally. What I'm trying to determine (before getting into the "job") is how I can push the plastic barb fittings into the ends of the rigid PEX. It may well be a non issue once I cut and try it, but just wondered if anyone had actually done it with these "barbed RV fittings". Like a lot of us, I'm kinda stuck @ home right now without access to PEX tools...and, again, even if I had the crimper handy I'm unsure if the plastic barb will fit into the PEX. As best I can measure, the ID of the PEX and the OD of the barb is the same, so it may be that I can "heat" the PEX just a bit and slip the barb in(?). ...looking like I'll just need to get into it and learn "on the job" (I thought that I'd have learned it ALL by this point in life ). Thanks, again, for sharing the ideas.
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Yes you can heat the PEX with your heat gun to soften it up, I’ve done it millions of times.
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ampdraw View Post
Yes you can heat the PEX with your heat gun to soften it up, I’ve done it millions of times.
Thanks, Amp! I'm feeling like I'm well "equipped" for getting this little job done. Much appreciated!
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:20 PM   #12
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Although frequently done in the short-cut world of RV construction, barbed fittings are not design to be used on pex and conversely, pex fitting are not meant for braided flexible tubing. This is the correct pex swivel fitting that should attach to your pump and into your pex tubing. It is installed using the the tool and clamps already mentioned by others. You can get them from Home depot or amazon.
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:34 PM   #13
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If my picture of that hose was keeping you awake tonight don't let it, lol . I'm at work and we don't use PEX on anything here so I didn't have a piece handy for instructional purposes. I do however use those same clamps on pretty much everything, including PEX, most the clamps on my diesel truck have been replaced with those as well.

The right fitting is always best, but barbed fittings have been used with a lot of success on PEX for as long as PEX has been in use. Before that we used barbed fittings on the old grey PB pipe before PEX was even a thing.
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ampdraw View Post
If my picture of that hose was keeping you awake tonight don't let it, lol . I'm at work and we don't use PEX on anything here so I didn't have a piece handy for instructional purposes. I do however use those same clamps on pretty much everything, including PEX, most the clamps on my diesel truck have been replaced with those as well.

The right fitting is always best, but barbed fittings have been used with a lot of success on PEX for as long as PEX has been in use. Before that we used barbed fittings on the old grey PB pipe before PEX was even a thing.
Got it -- I realized the difference & somehow knew that you knew what I was talking about! Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ampdraw View Post
I tried to make that one picture a before and after but you can’t really see the after part in the background.

You just grab the clamp, squeeze it tight. They make two different tools like mine, one just clamps straight on, the other does straight on and sideways, get the one that does both if you buy one, there will be times you can’t get to what you want to clamp straight on.
From observing your pex tool I assume the part of the tool you mention to cut off the raised part when you need to remove a clamp is the portion of the tool that appears to have cutting edges opposite the clamping part? I have a similar tool but it does not have the removal capability. Those can be quite difficult to remove otherwise.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:51 AM   #16
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You can straighten the locking tab with a pair of needle-nose pliers, then unwrap the ring with the same pliers. Admittedly, that's not easy in awkward positions.
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From observing your pex tool I assume the part of the tool you mention to cut off the raised part when you need to remove a clamp is the portion of the tool that appears to have cutting edges opposite the clamping part? I have a similar tool but it does not have the removal capability. Those can be quite difficult to remove otherwise.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:12 AM   #17
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Also known as oetiker clamp pliers and oetiker clamps
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Old 04-12-2020, 02:18 PM   #18
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From observing your pex tool I assume the part of the tool you mention to cut off the raised part when you need to remove a clamp is the portion of the tool that appears to have cutting edges opposite the clamping part? I have a similar tool but it does not have the removal capability. Those can be quite difficult to remove otherwise.
The clamp portion on the tip and on the side are the same way with that cutting edge. Sometimes “chewing” through them might be a better word to use than “cut”, but after you do a few you get the hang of it.
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Old 04-12-2020, 03:42 PM   #19
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For adding a shut off valve could you just use a shark bite valve. Cut the pex, insert into both sides of the shark bite valve and done.
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Old 04-12-2020, 03:59 PM   #20
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For adding a shut off valve could you just use a shark bite valve. Cut the pex, insert into both sides of the shark bite valve and done.
I love adding in at least 1 sharkbite at key points in all my plumbing I do (copper pipe and PEX) just because they make a quick, clean and reusable point you can easily take apart if you ever need to in the future. I typically just use the sharkbit couplings as an actual union connection like that since the sharkbite couplings are a lot cheaper than the sharkbite gate or ball valves. A normal shut off or ball valve is only a few bucks, that same valve in a sharkbite is like $29+ for just 1.

Shut off valves and unions you can take apart easily and reuse are an important part of all types of plumbing I do. That’s the difference from being just the guy who puts it in and knows he’s down the road to never have to see it again, and the guy like me who puts it in knowing I’ll also be the guy later who has to deal with fixing and maintaining everything to do with it down the road.

You can never have too many shut off valves, shut off valves to shut off your shut off valves might be going a little too far though lol.
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