What’s up with Uponor – get it? Yes, no, maybe so. In this post, we’re revisiting the leader in PEX supplies, Uponor (formerly known as Wirsbo in case you’re one of those homeowners with the older manifold/actuator set-up). There is a major update with Uponor’s product line as well. Keep reading!
AquaPEX and hePEX are the two types of PEX-A sold by Uponor. AquaPEX should be utilized in potable water distribution and Wirsbo fire sprinkler systems. Installers can even choose to use it in hydronic heating systems where there are no corrodible components (or they’re at least kept isolated from the tubing). hePEX is geared towards closed-loop heating applications. It has an external layer of EVOH polymer that creates an oxygen barrier, which prevents the element from corroding the pipes or the homeowner’s cast iron boiler.
The most impressive aspect of Uponor’s tubing is its flexibility. Should the installer accidentally kink the tubing, it will return to its original form once heated up. How cool is that? PEX-A in general has a crosslinked structure throughout that gives the product a memory (i.e., knowing its original, straight form and always trying to get back to it). Uponor understands the use for this in extreme temperatures, which is why they were the first manufacturers of this quality of tubing. Both styles of tubing have the same standards: ASTM F876, F877, F1960, F2080, and CSA B137.5.
A friendly reminder that Uponor’s ProPEX fittings are compatible with the Expander tool (and only this type is). These fittings slide into the PEX-A tubing once it has been expanded. View this video to see the Expander tool in action. Other types of fittings include SharkBite, crimp or clamp, and PEX press. We carry all of these on our site and they will usually be listed in the “You May Also Need” section on the product pages for PEX tubing.
Perhaps a couple employees called out on the day you were putting down PEX for a new radiant heat system. Uponor manufacturers an easy go-to tool that simplifies installation and reduces labor: their PEX uncoiler. It has weight arms and eyelets to secure the tubing and prevent tangling while uncoiling that 1,000’ roll. You pull the tubing – up to 1” – through the eyelet and it will spin as you go.
Say goodbye to Uponor’s Multi-Layer Composite (MLC) PEX-AL-PEX tubing! While Uponor’s niche is all-PEX-everything, the company has decided to discontinue their MLC tubing and focus on their non-barrier and oxygen barrier PEX-A tubing instead. PEX-AL-PEX is typically used in closed-loop hydronic, radiant floor heating, and snow-melting systems. Once we run out of Uponor’s MLC, we won’t be able to get any more stock. Get some now, while it’s still available! (Note: We do still carry PEX-AL-PEX tubing for those instances in which they’re needed. Bluefin tubing is compatible with Uponor’s Mini Press tool – which we do not stock – and the MLC compression fittings.)
Click here to check out Uponor’s extensive list of products on our website.
P.S. If you are in the market for new Uponor actuators to take the place of a failed Wirsbo one, you can stick within the same brand, but make sure you have the spacer when you search “Wirsbo Actuator” on our site. It is dependent on which model actuator your system uses. For example, if you need to replace a VA33 version, you’d need the spacer ring (https://www.supplyhouse.com/Uponor-Wirsbo-A3019900-Spacer-Ring-VA33-for-Thermal-Actuators) and this new actuator (https://www.supplyhouse.com/Uponor-Wirsbo-A3023522-Thermal-Actuator-Four-Wire), both sold by Uponor. You can rest assured that you’re buying within the same company!