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I happened upon a question about PEX tubing last week here and in it there was some discussion about how push connections are superior. (If someone can point me to that question, I'd appreciate it.) I just tossed a contractor out of my house for various reasons and had a master plumber take a look at what was done so. He pointed to some issues with the drains that needs to be redone but didn't mention anything with the PEX supply lines.

After reading that last week, I took a closer look at the supply lines and see that they are all crimped.

Question: while things are open should I go through the trouble of replacing these the crimps with push connections? If so, should I replace the lines or can I use them? In other words, are the ends going to be compromised after the crimps are removed?

As to the other question "Can you re-crimp the end of a PEX tube?", it doesn't address whether I should change an existing setup and my question is not related to 're-crimping' at all.

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    Possible duplicate of Can you re-crimp the end of a PEX tube? – UnhandledExcepSean Mar 26 at 0:06
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    The recent question was likely this one from a few days ago. – JPhi1618 Mar 26 at 2:32
  • Seems like a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Do take the time to inspect all the fittings in the wall if you can see them. That's free and won't hurt anything. – JPhi1618 Mar 26 at 2:40
  • @JPhi1618 - I am agreeing. The push connectors are super reliable but nothing is more reliable than the thing already working. Also redoing a house in push connections is insanely expensive. These add up really quick. Small house will cost 2k. – DMoore Mar 26 at 2:50
  • @JPhi1618 The connections in the floor are more concerning to me. Especially the ones that will be hard to access from beneath. I don't want to put a floor in to have to turn around and tear it out. – JimmyJames Mar 27 at 13:43
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God no! I've had two leaks, out of literally tens of thousands crimp conections. Both leaks were installer error. One time my tool suddenly went out of calibration which I could feel in the action and quickly remedied. The other time I crimped it way crooked and I returned the next day with my compound offset crimper, cut out the bad connection and recrimped. Push conections tend to leak if there is a lot of lateral tension applied to them. They are crazy expensive and inferior to crimp under certain circumstances.

Edit

Here's a crimp calibration tool

enter image description here

www.zoro.com

It's used to calibrate the tool and to inspect crimped fittings after the fact. If you find an that the calibration tool doesn't fit over then you should re-crimp them.

  • Thanks. Any tips on inspection? – JimmyJames Mar 27 at 13:46
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    Edited answer with a picture. – Joe Fala Mar 27 at 14:06
  • Thanks again. Any chance I'll find this at the big-box store or do I need to go to the plumbing supply shop? – JimmyJames Mar 27 at 14:09
  • Not sure if it would be sold separately at at box store but any plumber who uses pex should have multiples. Every tool I've ever purchased has comes with one. I have straights and offsets 1/2 to 1" and some close quarters crimpers that you compress the ring using channel locks on an anvil. I think 9 in total. Ever one comes with it. – Joe Fala Mar 27 at 14:18
  • The guy that did this is never coming back into my home. Is this something that would be checked as part of a typical inspection? – JimmyJames Mar 27 at 14:21
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When you say "push connection" I assume you mean a push-to-connect adapter. They're often called "Sharkbites" colloquially, although Sharkbite is only one of several manufacturers that make them.

The push-to-connect fittings are more convenient to work with because they don't require special tools to make the connection, and it's possible to remove them and reuse them. They also usually connect to both copper and Pex, so you can use them to transition. But when it comes to actual performance and reliability, the push-to-connect fittings are not better than crimp connections in any way of which I'm aware. I've never seen a professional use a push-to-connect fitting except in one special case where getting access to do a Pex crimp connection would have required cutting out a large section of wall.

So, to answer your question, no; I'd definitely stick with the crimp connectors already installed, because they are more reliable (not to mention a lot cheaper) than the push-to-connect fittings. The only exception would be if you have any connections that you anticipate needing to remove at some point, but that is not common.

If you are asking about Pex expansion fittings versus crimp fittings, that's a different discussion, and there are folks who feel that one is better than the other. But my sense is that they both work equally well in terms of reliability. So if this was your question, my answer would still be to leave it as it currently is.

  • In the comments to JPhi1618's answer here, @Dmoore wrote "The crimp locks have a much much much higher failure rate as the push-on." You seem to be contradicting this. It probably doesn't matter to me at this point since the consensus appears to "leave them" but I'm curious as to which is correct. – JimmyJames Mar 27 at 13:51
  • That might have been his anecdotal experience, but he's the only person I have ever heard say that the push-to-connect fittings are more reliable. He may also mean that the push fittings are more reliable when you first install them. I suppose that's true because occasionally (maybe 1 percent of the time, in my experience) a crimp fitting will go on bad and need to be redone. But if that's the case it's obvious from the start and it's easy to fix. I've never heard of a crimp failing after installation, which would be my much bigger concern (getting leaks suddenly after the job is done). – taxypayer22847 Mar 28 at 0:08

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