What is PEX Pipe Plumbing? [+ Tips on DIY Installation]
PEX Pipe Plumbing is a proven system made up of flexible polymer tubing that can be effectively used instead of copper pipes. It was originally invented in Germany but became extremely popular worldwide, especially in the United States. It is reliable, durable, cost-effective, flexible, and easy to install. PEX pipes are used in cold and hot water reticulation in industrial, domestic, and commercial installations. They are a great alternative to radiant heating systems and copper pipes.
This article aims to talk more about the importance and benefits of PEX pipes and tips on their installation.
The Importance of PEX Pipe and Its Benefits
Plumbers have been using PEX plumbing for more than 3 decades, and here is why:
- Fast installation and flexibility. Flexibility is one of the main reasons why plumbers choose PEX plumbing. Flexibility reduces material cost, minimizes potential leaks, and allows for maneuvering around corners without the necessity to use additional fittings. This all also makes installation faster and easier than the installation of rigid pipes, for example.
- Durability and freeze resistance. PEX pipe is resistant to scale buildup, which is a common problem in copper pipes. It is also chlorine and corrosion-resistant and can withstand extremely high and low temperatures. And what is even better about PEX plumbing, unlike copper pipe, it does not transfer heat, helping conserve more energy.
- Dependability and safety. PEX pipes are extremely safe. Moreover, their installation is completed without gluing or soldering, which makes the process much safer. Due to their durability, PEX pipes are less likely to burst in winter. In summer, they can stand breakage in high temperatures.
- Easy to use. Unlike other pipe types, the PEX system is easy to use. They do not require many connections and fixings. Since they are totally bendable, you can bend them together without using any special tool. You also do not need any glue to put them together, which makes the process extremely fast. Many plumbers choose the PEX system because they can install it without using metal cutters and the torch without damaging walls.
Tips on Installing PEX Pipes
Installation of PEX pipe may seem to be tricky. However, it is actually pretty straightforward. If you decided to do it yourself, here is a list of several useful tips that will help you do it easily and fast.
- Plan it first. The first thing you need to do is find out what type of project it is, how many fittings and how much PEX pipe you need, and anything else you may require. If your project is quite small and you are doing only a few fittings, you can use special push-fit fittings to make the process even easier. You also need to decide whether you are going to use manifolds. It is the type of installation where everything is run from the manifold to the fixture without the use of fittings in between.
- Collect all the materials you need. It will help draw a diagram showing how the PEX pipe will run and where the fittings will be placed. Make a list of fittings, and do not forget to include shut-off valves at the toilets and sinks. It is also a good idea to have extra crimp rings and clamps if you make any mistakes. Take the list with all the materials and the diagram and head out to the store. Stores may not have all of the materials you need, so you may have to make slight adjustments and changes.
- Run the PEX tubing. When running horizontally, the PEX tube needs to be supported every 32 inches. If running vertically, support is needed every 4 to 6 feet. Since the PEX pipe is plastic, it requires either plastic or metal straps. Do not pull it tight, and make sure you leave some slack for contraction and expansion.
- Clamp. It is essential to use the right tools and clamps. If you are using the cinch clamp tool, you will only be able to use cinch clamps. You should position the crimp ring or clamp between 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch away from the end of the PEX pipe, and you should also use the tool to tighten it. When you are done, make sure to inspect everything and check whether all the joints have crimp rings or clamps on the fittings’ side.
- Testing. Turn the water on to see if there are any leaks. If you notice a leak, you may have to remove the fittings and use new clamps or crimp rings. To do this, you can use special crimp removal tools to make the process of a PEX ring removal easier. After re-installing the fittings, test again to see if there are any leaks, and repeat it one more time a few hours later.
Echo Air Conditioning in Oakland Park, Florida – The Company You Can Trust
If you do not want to install PEX pipes yourself and let professionals handle this, Echo Air Conditioning, located in Oakland Park, Florida, is ready to help. Our knowledgeable and experienced team of professionals provides a variety of plumbing services, including PEX plumbing. Our business is based on integrity, honesty, and accountability. Do not hesitate to visit our website and book your appointment.