This is a question we receive frequently at pexhouse.com and the short answer is the Wirsbo IS PEX! PEX is slang for “Crosslinked Polyethylene”, a popular type of plastic material used for plumbing and heating pipes all over the world. Wirsbo is simply one of many brand names of PEX in the market place. Where it concerned whether something is “Wirsbo or PEX”, the question typically is referring to the classification system of crosslinked polyethylene.
There are 3 classifications of PEX Pipe, known as PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c. This topic can be explored in greater detail in our post on the topic. Each classification refers to the method of inducing crosslinking in the polyethylene chain, and results in different strength and flexibility characteristics. These differences also allow for different connection types in the pipe.
Any brand of PEX-a Pipe (i.e. ComfortPro, Rehau or Wirsbo) can use a “cold expansion fitting” which is generally considered the most reliable fitting type, these are ASTM F1960 and F2080. In addition all of the other connection options like F1807 crimp fittings, crimp rings, stainless sleeves or clamps can be used. PEX-b (i.e. Bow, Watts, CanPex) can only be used with crimp style fittings ASTM F1807 along with copper crimp rings, stainless press sleeves and stainless clamps. With the exception of ComfortPro’s PEX-c which can be used with both cold expansion fittings (F1960, F2080) and crimp fittings (F1807) other PEX-c’s (i.e. Roth, Viega) are compatible with crimp style fittings only.
For more information on the best system for your project, feel free to contact our design and engineering team.