Hey there! If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for an alternative to ProPEX expander cone grease. I totally get it – that stuff can be pricey. Luckily, there are some great options out there that won’t break the bank.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about ProPEX grease alternatives. We’ll look at:
- What ProPEX grease is
- Why you might want an alternative
- The pros and cons of different grease options
- And many more!
My goal is to give you all the info you need to make an informed decision. No sales pitch, just honest advice. Sound good?
Then let’s dive in!
What Is ProPEX Expander Cone Grease?
First things first – what exactly is ProPEX grease? Essentially, it’s a specially formulated lubricant designed for use with PEX tubing and expansion tools.
The key ingredients are:
- High-quality synthetic base oils
- Thickeners to give the grease its consistency
- Anti-wear additives to reduce friction and wear
- Corrosion inhibitors to prevent rusting
ProPEX is made by the company Raven and optimized specifically for their brand of expansion tools and PEX fittings.
It helps the expander cone glide smoothly through the tubing during installation.
- Damage to the tubing interior
- Excessive friction and heat
- Sticking/seizing of the expander
So in short – it’s a precision-engineered lubricant made to work flawlessly with ProPEX system components.
Why Consider Alternatives To ProPEX Grease?
Now you might be wondering – if ProPEX grease is specially formulated for ProPEX tools, why would I want to use anything else?
There are a few reasons you might want to explore alternatives:
- Cost – ProPEX grease is one of the most expensive PEX lubricants out there. A 14 oz tub costs around $25. For large jobs, that adds up fast.
- Availability – The ProPEX brand isn’t universally stocked. Some supply houses may not carry it or might be out of stock.
- Compatibility – Other high-quality greases work just as well with ProPEX components. So you don’t have to be brand-loyal to get great results.
- Performance – Some plumbers claim certain alternative greases actually outperform ProPEX grease, keeping tools sharper for longer.
- Environmental Factors – ProPEX grease performs best in certain temperature/humidity ranges. Alternatives may hold up better in extreme conditions.
The bottom line is you have options. And you may be able to get equal or even better performance while saving money.
ProPEX Grease Alternatives: Overview of Options
There are quite a few greases out there that can stand in for ProPEX. Let’s take a quick look at the main options:
Lubriplex White Lithium Grease
- Made by Lubrimatic
- All-purpose white lithium formula
- Good corrosion resistance
- Low odor and mess
- Available in 14 oz tubes
Oatey Pipe Dope & PTFE Paste
- Made by Oatey
- Thick non-hardening plumber’s putty
- Contains PTFE for slickness
- Clings to surfaces without drips
- Sold in 10.3 oz tubs
Blue Magic PTFE Grease
- Made by Muscle Products Corp.
- Heavy duty multi-purpose formula
- fortified with Teflon for super slick action
- Won’t wash off easily
- Comes in 14 oz tubes or larger containers
Slickon Rapid Slip Spray Lubricant
- Made by Slickon
- Aerosol spray rather than grease
- Silicone-based formula
- Dry, non-stick lubricating film
- 18 oz spray can
Those are some of the most popular options. There’s also a ton of generic multi-purpose greases and PTFE pastes that work well.
Now let’s dig into the pros, cons and key differences between these ProPEX alternatives…
ProPEX Grease Alternative 1: Lubrimatic Lubripex White Lithium Grease
Lubripex is one of the more popular ProPEX substitutes due to its price, availability, and performance. Here are the main pros and cons:
- Significantly cheaper than ProPEX grease
- Readily available at most hardware stores
- Doesn’t gum up or wash away easily
- Good water resistance
- Low odor formula
- Smooth consistency for easy application
- Provides excellent lubrication for PEX tools
- Not formulated specifically for PEX installation
- May need more frequent reapplication compared to ProPEX
- Performance diminishes over time
- Not ideal for extreme hot or cold weather installs
Overall, Lubripex is a great budget-friendly alternative. It provides smooth lubrication for easy PEX expansions. Just be prepared to reapply a bit more often, and performance may drop off over prolonged use.
ProPEX Grease Alternative 2: Oatey Pipe Dope & PTFE Paste
Oatey’s plumber putty is a tub of thick, sticky grease fortified with PTFE powder. Here’s an overview:
- Affordable price for a 10.3 oz tub
- Pipe dope texture adheres well to expander cone
- PTFE gives great lubrication
- Won’t drip or make a mess
- Can be used as sealant too
- Dries out over time after opening
- Not as smooth or easy to apply as liquid greases
- Has an unpleasant chemical odor
- May leave sticky residue on tools and tubing
Oatey Pipe Dope is a good budget grease alternative if you don’t mind the messy application. It stays put on the expander cone and provides adequate lubrication for basic PEX jobs. Just be prepared for some cleanup.
ProPEX Grease Alternative 3: Blue Magic PTFE Grease
Blue Magic is a heavy duty multi-use lubricant fortified with Teflon/PTFE. Here’s an overview:
- Only around $8 for a 14 oz tube
- Extra slippery PTFE-enriched formula
- Strong adhesion to surfaces
- Won’t easily wash away with water
- Thick texture for easy application
- Low odor and mess
- Not formulated specifically for PEX
- May need occasional reapplication
- Not ideal for cold weather use
- Contains petroleum distillates
With its Teflon boost, Blue Magic provides slick, long-lasting lubrication perfect for PEX tools.
It’s an affordable ProPEX alternative as long as temperatures aren’t too cold.
ProPEX Grease Alternative 4: Slickon Rapid Slip Spray Lubricant
If you want an ultra-convenient spray lubricant, Slickon Rapid Slip is a great option:
- Silicone-based formula provides excellent slickness
- Sprays on as a dry, non-stick film
- Won’t wash off or rub off easily
- Minimal mess or cleanup
- No odor
- 18 oz can lasts a long time
- Around $15 per can
- Must be reapplied frequently during long jobs
- Performs poorly in cold weather conditions
- Doesn’t adhere as strongly to cones as grease
Slickon spray gives the ease of application of an aerosol. It provides slick lubrication but may require more frequent reapplication than grease.
Which Is The Best ProPEX Grease Alternative?
At the end of the day, there is no single “best” ProPEX grease substitute. All the options above will work well, with just some slight performance tradeoffs.
Here are some quick tips on choosing the right one:
- Lubripex – Best all-around value and performance
- Oatey Pipe Dope – Best super-cheap grease option
- Blue Magic – Best for maximum slickness
- Slickon Spray – Best for convenience and ease of application
My personal favorite is Lubripex – it delivers great performance for PEX at a fraction of the price of ProPEX grease.
But evaluate your specific needs. For cold weather installs, a silicone spray like Slickon may be ideal. For a Smokey chemical-free lube, Blue Magic is a top choice.
You really can’t go wrong with any of these well-proven alternatives.
Application Tips For ProPEX Grease Alternatives
Once you’ve selected your ProPEX substitute grease, proper application is key. Here are some quick tips:
- Completely clean expander cone first – remove all dirt, debris, old grease etc.
- Apply a generous layer of grease to the cone – don’t skimp!
- Use a small disposable brush or glove for smoother application
- Reapply frequently during longer jobs – every 5-10 expansions
- Keep grease off tubing interior to prevent expansion issues
- Wipe tool clean after use to prevent dirt buildup
- Store grease properly between use to prevent hardening
Take the time to thoroughly coat the cone and reapply as needed. This will ensure smooth expansions and prevent wear on PEX tools.
Pro tip: Lubricate O-rings on the expander with a small dab of grease as well. This prevents drying out and damage.
Grease Alternative FAQ
Let’s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions:
Any multi-purpose grease formulated with PTFE/Teflon will work great. Top options are white lithium greases like Lubripex or petroleum/silicone greases like Blue Magic. Avoid caulking greases.
Expander grease is a lubricant specially made to coat expansion cones for PEX and other tubing systems. It allows smooth insertion into the tubing interior. ProPEX grease is a top brand.
ProPEX Rapid Seal is an instant bonding system for cold weather PEX installations down to -20°F. It uses fast-curing seal rings to create secure joints quickly before freezing can occur. No need for grease with this system.
And there you have it! A full run-down on ProPEX grease alternatives. Let me know if you have any other questions. I hope this gives you the info you need to find the perfect grease for your next PEX project.