What are the different types of crimp rings or clamps offered by Zurn that are compatible with Zurn's XL brass and CR polymer insert fittings?
Zurn PEX sells 3 types of crimp rings or clamps for use with our XL brass insert fittings and our CR polymer insert fittings.
- Zurn PEX copper crimp rings (QCR2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, 6X, 7X, 8X) are made to the specifications in ASTM F1807. These copper crimp rings are suitable for use with Zurn PEX XL brass insert fittings and Zurn PEX CR polymer insert fittings. Copper rings require a separate tool for each size of ring. Some tools are made with interchangeable inserts.
- Zurn PEX Stainless Steel Clamps (QSOET2X, 3X, 4X, 5X) are made to the specifications in ASTM F2098 stainless steel clamps for PEX tubing. These stainless steel clamps are suitable for use with Zurn PEX XL brass insert fittings and Zurn PEX CR polymer insert fittings. The Stainless Steel Clamp (QSOET_X) requires the QSECRT tool.
- Zurn PEX Qickclamp stainless steel clamps (QCLP2X, 3X, 4X, 5X) are a patented, proprietary clamp. This Qickclamp is suitable for use with Zurn PEX XL brass insert fittings and Zurn PEX CR polymer insert fittings. Qickclamp (QCLP_X) requires either the QCRTQCM or the QCRTQCRM tool.
The tools for the 2 different types of stainless steel clamps that Zurn PEX sells are not interchangeable and will not work on both clamp systems. Use of the wrong tool will give improper clamping and result in possible leaks, flooding and property damage. The Zurn PEX warranty does not cover problems caused by use of the wrong tool.
Can Zurn's CR insert and crimp fittings be used in residential plumbing circulating hot water plumbing loops?
Zurn PEX CR insert and crimp fittings may be used in residential plumbing circulating hot water plumbing loops when the water temperature is 140° F or less and the free chlorine level in the water is less than 4 ppm.
Zurn PEX CR insert and crimp fittings are not recommended for use in hydronic heating applications.
Can rodents chew through or damage PEX plumbing systems?
On very rare occasions, we get a report that rodents have damaged a piping system. While it is possible that some gnawing rodents may be able to chew through a PEX tube, there is usually very little incentive for them to do so.
Moles, for example will frequently prefer to tunnel along a freshly buried tube if it is going the direction they want to go because the soil is easier to dig. If the tube gets in their way, they will gnaw at it as they would a root. Usually it is easier for them to dig around it than go through it and that is what they do.
Rats or other gnawing rodents that live above ground may chew on tube if it is in their way but there is nothing in the tube that is attractive or nutritionally satisfying to them. Again, it is usually easier for a rodent to go around a tube than chew through it.
What do the colors of Zurn PEX tube mean?
Zurn PEX tube is available is red, white and blue colors. Red is commonly used on the hot water side of a plumbing system and Blue is commonly used on the cold water side of a plumbing system. White is frequently used on both the hot and cold side when color differentiation is not needed or desired.
The plumbing codes require that all hot and cold water distribution tube in a home be capable of hot water service even if the tube is only conveying cold water.
All colors of Zurn PEX potable water tubing meet all the same pressure-temperature performance requirements of the ASTM standards.
Can Zurn PEX Tube go through holes in wood framing?
We have long recommended that holes in wood studs, floors or engineered wood structural products be a minimum of 1/8” larger in diameter than the outside diameter of the tube. This recommendation is published in our Installation Guides. This allows ample clearance for expansion and contraction of the tube.
We do not require that the tubing be centered in the drilled hole. It may touch one side or the other. Contact with the wood material will not abrade the surface of the Zurn PEX tube.
If sealants are being used to minimize drafts or for other purposes such as fire stopping, it is important to size the hole and position the tube in the hole as recommended by the sealant manufacturer.
What are the standards for Non Fire-rated and Fire-rated wall penetrations with Zurn PEX tube?
Fire-rated wall penetrations with Zurn PEX tube must be done in a way that doesn’t compromise the integrity of the fire-rated wall. The type of sealant or seal used depends on the rating of the wall. There are several manufacturers of fire stops/sealants and most of them have UL listed procedures for using their products to seal around plastic pipe (including PEX) penetrations of fire-rated walls. The fire stop/sealant manufacturer’s recommended installation procedures must be followed in order to maintain the integrity of the fire-rated wall.
We are aware of at least the following companies that manufacture fire stop/sealants.
- Passive Fire Protection Partners
The fire stop/sealant manufacturer must be contacted to determine the proper product for a given application.
When penetrating a Non Fire-rated wall, common practice is the same with Zurn PEX as for other piping materials. A hole is cut in the wall and the pipe is run through the hole. The hole is usually covered with a decorative escutcheon.
To protect against freeze damage, does Zurn PEX tubing need to be insulated when installed in attics, walls, or other locations?
Plumbing codes require piping that is run in attics or other spaces such as exterior walls to be protected from freezing.
Zurn PEX tube is resistant to freeze damage but the Zurn PEX warranty does not cover damage caused by freezing because installation specific variables can affect the performance of the system if it is allowed to freeze up. Zurn PEX tube should be insulated according to the requirements of the code when it is run in attics or other spaces such as exterior walls where it may be exposed to freezing temperatures. The amount of insulation required depends on the geographic location, type of construction and many other variables. The same insulation and installation practices that would typically be required for copper or CPVC in a given location will provide equivalent protection to the Zurn PEX tube.
Does Zurn PEX complly with no lead laws?
We get many questions about our potable water plumbing products and compliance with the imminent Federal regulations regarding lead in potable water plumbing products.
- Zurn PEX tube does not contain lead.
- CR plastic insert fittings do not contain lead.
- Qickport Manifolds and plastic valves do not contain lead.
- Copper sweat adapter fittings and stub out elbows do not contain lead.
XL brass insert fittings and valves are in full compliance with the Federal regulations that require that the lead content of the metal be less than 0.25%. They have been in compliance since they were introduced in early 2010. Our XL fittings and valves are identified with “ZPEX”. The XL fittings will also have a letter “G” typically at the end of the mark of NSF, our 3rd party listing agency such as “cNSFus-pw G”.
What are Water Hammer Arrestors and does Zurn PEX have them?
Water hammer arrestors are used in plumbing systems to dampen the pressure surges that occur when flowing water is quickly stopped. These quick stops can occur when some one quickly closes a faucet (particularly a single handle faucet) or a washing machine or dishwasher solenoid valve closes.
In copper systems, the pressure surge (without a water hammer arrestor) can exceed 300 psi. A PEX system operating at the same conditions will have a pressure surge of less than 200 psi. The pressure surge in copper is certainly less that the pressure that will cause the tube to rupture but it is greater than the pressure rating of some other components in the plumbing system and could cause them to malfunction. The pressure surge in a PEX system is less than 50% of the minimum Quick Burst requirement for PEX tube.
One of the problems with water hammer in a copper system is noise. As the pressure surge occurs, it can cause movement in the piping system and since copper is a metal, it produces the banging noise that is characteristic of water hammer in most installations. PEX is a flexible material and even if it moves, it does not strike surrounding materials with the same force as copper and it is not as noisy because it is flexible.
Water hammer in some large systems has been known to cause fatigue failures of the pipe and fittings. Zurn PEX has performed water hammer tests on PEX tube/fitting assemblies to evaluate this possibility. Assemblies consisting of a brass insert fitting for PEX tube with very short pieces of PEX tube connected to it were installed at the end of a long copper line with a solenoid valve. The short pieces of PEX tube give minimal damping of the pressure surge that occurs in the long copper run when the solenoid valve closes. The magnitude of the pressure surge in the sample is greater than what would be experienced in a PEX plumbing system. In this test, PEX tube fitting assemblies have lasted more than 250,000 cycles without failure. This is equivalent to more than 25 water hammer pressure surges a day for 25 years.
For these reasons, we believe that water hammer arrestors are not needed in typical PEX plumbing systems.
Can Zurn PEX tubing and fittings be used on a connection to a temperature-pressure relief valve for a typical water heater?
Zurn PEX tube, any color, may be used on the discharge side of a typical water heater temperature-pressure relief valves. One of the requirements of the ASTM standard for PEX systems, ASTM F877, is an Excessive Temperature-Pressure requirement to demonstrate that the system will withstand the conditions of 210º F-150 psi for 720 hours (30 days).
In general, there should be no fittings in the discharge line except for the fitting used to connect the Zurn PEX tube to the relief valve. When required by the installation, a fitting may be used at the discharge end of the tube. Always be sure the installation is in compliance with the local plumbing code.
Can you use Heat Tapes with Zurn PEX Tube?
Low wattage electrical heating tape may be used with Zurn PEX tube to prevent the water inside from freezing. The heat tape must be thermostatically controlled and its surface temperature must not exceed 180° F.
We recommend that you consult with the heat tape manufacturer to confirm that the maximum surface temperature of the heat tape will not exceed 180° F.
When is it recommened to use nailing plates when installing Zurn PEX tubing?
In our design and installation manual, we recommend the use of nailing plates when Zurn PEX tube is passing through a stud within 2” of a nailing surface.
The use of nailing plates is a matter of good plumbing practice regardless of the tubing material and it minimizes the possibility of damage to the tube from nails or drywall screws. If the local code differs from our recommendation, it is permissible to follow the requirements of the local code with respect to nailing plates.
The installer has the responsibility to provide protection against mechanical damage from screws and nails. The Zurn PEX warranty does not apply to tube that has been damaged or punctured by screws or nails.
Do Zurn PEX products contain recycled materials?
Zurn PEX tube, both potable water tube and radiant barrier tube, do not contain recycled material.
Zurn PEX CR Fittings do not contain recycled material.
Zurn PEX XL Brass Fittings are made from a specific brass alloy. The brass mills that manufacture the alloy frequently use recycled copper alloy material as an ingredient although the composition of the brass material is always adjusted to the required specification by the brass mill.
After installing Zurn PEX tubing I noticed that it sags between the pipe straps. Is that normal?
Zurn PEX tubing is flexible and sagging between pipe straps is normal, especially with the smaller diameter tubing. Coiled tubing, when straighted, will retain the memory of the coil and will have some curvature between pipe straps. The straight length tubing that's available won't have the memory of the coil but will still have some curvature between pipe straps due to the weight of the tube and the water inside the tube. We recommend that Zurn PEX tubing be installed with some slack (about 1/8" per foot of length) to allow for contraction of the tubing when it gets cold. The sag between pipe straps will help give you the slack that you need. The flexibility of the tubing will enable you to change direction and curve around obstacles without the use of fittings. For more information regarding the proper installation of Zurn PEX tubing please click on this link to view our Plumbing Installation Guide.
Are Zurn PEX products made in the USA?
The following Zurn PEX products are made in the USA. (Zurn PEX non-barrier PEX tubing, Zurn PEX Performa barrier tubing, Zurn PEX hy-PE-RTube barrier tubing, Zurn PEX CR plastic fittings and valves, Zurn PEX Qicktite fittings that do not contain brass, Zurn PEX QickPort manifolds and Zurn PEX QickClamp stainless steel clamps.)
Can you embed Zurn PEX tubing in a concrete slab?
Zurn PEX tubing may be embedded withina concrete slab for either plumbing or heating applications. This is true for either the non-barrier tube primarily used for plumbing or the barrier tube primarily used for heating.The model mechanical code for hydronic heating requires that the embedded tube be a continuous length (without fittings) in the slab.
Embedded Zurn PEX tube should be sleeved (approximately 4-6 inches into the slab) where it enters and leaves the slab but continuous sleeving is not required.
Local jurisdictions sometimes modify the national model codes when they adopt them for local use. You should confirm acceptance of this type of installation by the local officials prior to installation.
Will there be corrosion between Qickclamp and Zurn PEX XL brass fittings?
There have been questions about the potential for corrosion caused by contact between stainless steel clamps such as Zurn PEX Qickclamp and Surecap and brass insert fittings.
Stainless steel and brass have been used together in plumbing applications for many years without problems. Many faucets use stainless steel screws or other components in contact with brass. Stainless steel retaining rings are frequently used in brass water service fittings.
The type of corrosion that could occur is described as galvanic corrosion. It is recommended that in “harsh” environments, metals that are being used together should have a difference in anodic index of less than 0.15. Brass has an index value of 0.40-0.45 and stainless steel has an index value of 0.50. The difference is 0.05, well under the recommended maximum difference. Our application is not a harsh environment. Based on this and years of plumbing experience with these materials in contact with each other, there should be no corrosion problems between the stainless steel Qickclamp and the Zurn PEX brass insert fittings.
Will Zurn PEX tubing break when the water inside it freezes?
When Zurn PEX tube is free to uniformly expand, it is resistant to freeze damage in an accidental freeze. However, there are many installation variables that may limit this uniform expansion and in these instances, some section of the tube may be forced to have more than its fair share of the expansion and this could cause the tube to rupture. For this reason, our warranty does not cover freeze related damage.
Does condensation form on Zurn Pex tubing as it does on copper pipe?
Zurn PEX tube transfers heat at a much slower rate than copper tube. This means that it is much less likely for condensation to form on the Zurn PEX tube than it is for copper in the same conditions. This does not mean that condensation cannot form under certain conditions. The site variables of relative humidity, ambient temperature and water temperature are all factors in the formation of condensation on any piping. Installing appropriate pipe insulation over the tubing will stop the formation of condensation.
Can you pressure test Zurn PEX tubing with air pressure?
Yes, but the installer must recognize that there are significant safety hazards associated with air tests. The installer must determine what safety precautions are appropriate to protect their employees and others working around the system being tested.
The maximum test pressure with air should not exceed 100 psi.
One of the problems with air tests is detecting a leak, should there be one. Zurn PEX recommends the use of ultrasonic leak detection instruments with air tests because they do not require the use of chemical solutions and they are quicker.
If you choose to use a liquid leak detector, the following is the ONLY one to be used on Zurn PEX plumbing or heating systems.
“Dilute no more than two ounces of green Ultra Palmolive® Original Scent Concentrated dishwashing liquid in one gallon of potable water.”
This recommendation applies only to Zurn PEX systems using Zurn PEX brass insert fittings or Zurn PEX Qicksert CR plastic insert fittings.
DO NOT use this solution on other manufacturer’s plumbing system components unless approved by the component manufacturer.
Can Zurn PEX tubing be painted over?
Water based latex or acrylic paints will not affect Zurn PEX tube. Do not allow oil based paints or lacquers to contact or be applied to PEX tubing. Paints usually do not adhere well to Zurn PEX tube and should never be used as a method of providing UV protection to PEX tube.
Can an electric heat trace system be installed on a PEX water distribution sysytem or will this damage the tubing?
Low wattage electrical heating tape/trace may be used with Zurn PEX tube to prevent the water inside from freezing. The heat tape/trace must be thermostatically controlled and its surface temperature must not exceed 180° F.
We recommend that you consult with the heat tape/trace manufacturer to confirm that the maximum surface temperature of the heat tape/trace will not exceed 180° F.
Is zurn pex tubing OK for use for air compressor lines.
Air compressor lines is not an application that's covered under our warranty so we can't recommend it. We have heard of people using Pex for this application but we have no data regarding longevity or potential problems.