Plumbing With Pex | Everything Explained!
For water supply lines in both new and renovated buildings, cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) is quickly becoming the material of choice. You've seen rolls of blue and red PEX pipe in the plumbing section of your local home improvement store. Still, you may not have known that this colorful tubing now allows passionate DIYers to replace their leaky water lines rather than having to hire an expert. Keep reading to find out all about PEX.
PEX Tubing Setup
Prepare by identifying the project's nature, the required amount of pipe and fittings, the desired route, and any other specifics. You can save time if you just need to install a few fixtures by using push-fit fittings like Sharkbite. However, this won't be an excellent financial decision if there are many fixtures to install, like in a larger renovation project.
In this setup, the pipe travels directly from the manifold to the light, bypassing any intermediate fittings (called home runs). Because of the convenience of being able to turn everything off in one place, this style of installation is sometimes preferred, although it takes far more pipe than what would be needed to branch off with tees made of copper or CPVC simply.
It is helpful to sketch out a plan showing the pipe's intended path and any required fittings. Don't forget to include the sink and toilet shutoff valves when making your list of fixtures. The PEX end can come with either an angle stop or a straight stop, allowing you to make connections using the included clamps or rings.
They can also be purchased in more expensive push-fit designs. In case of mishaps, having an extra clamp or crimp ring on a hand is usually a smart idea. Clamps and clamps must support the PEX tubing. Since PEX can't be installed any closer than 18 inches to a water heater, a flex line for the water heater can be used for the final few inches of the connection.
Get the necessary lengths of pipe and fittings by calling or going out with your list in hand. Because the stores might not carry all of the fixtures you need, it's helpful to have at least a rough idea of what you're going for and a schematic to guide you. Modifications and tweaks may be required. Get whatever you need in advance by ordering or buying it.
PEX tubing must be supported at intervals of no less than 32 inches when laid horizontally. It needs to be kept every 4 to 6 feet to run vertically. These pillars of support are indispensable. For use with plastic pipe, the straps should be made of plastic or metal made for the purpose. PEX tubing should not be tightly cinched since it expands and contracts with temperature changes.
One can use a PEX to copper stub out or drop-ear bend support to secure PEX pipes as they emerge from the wall and make their way to the fixtures. A shutoff valve, such as an angle stop, installed beneath the sink can be used with a flex line leading to the water supply for the sink's faucet or the bathroom's flushing system. To connect to a tub or shower valve, simply insert a PEX to iron pipe adapter.
Use the appropriate clamps with the right tools. Only cinch clamps can be used with the cinch clamp tool. After fully inserting the pipe into the fitting, slide the clamp or crimp ring over the pipe's end. One-eighth of an inch to one-quarter of an inch from the pipe's end, secure the clamp or crimp ring with your tool.
A gauge is typically included to help you determine if the crimp ring has been adequately compressed onto the fitting. It's easy to make a mistake by failing to double-check that all clamps and crimp rings are securely fastened or by leaving one side of a fitting unprotected.
Turn on the water and look for leaks in all connections to pass the test. Removing the fitting and replacing the crimp rings or clamps may be necessary if leaks develop. Equipment is designed specifically for removing PEX rings, but you may use a grinder or a tiny hacksaw to get the job done. After reinstalling the fittings, perform another leak test immediately and a third test after waiting a few hours.
Exactly what Advantages Does PEX Plumbing Offer?
PEX pipes are widely used in plumbing due to their many advantages. The following are examples of these advantages:
Compared to the cost of copper pipes, the far lower price of PEX makes them an excellent choice for any plumbing project, whether it's an entire home remodel or new construction.
Coatings that prevent corrosion
Corrosion, erosion, and mineral deposits are no match for cross-linked polyethylene.
Quick and Easy Setup
You may quickly repair leaks in your sinks and faucets if they use PEX pipes. However, professional plumbing services should be sought for optimal outcomes.
Consideration of Efficiency
The PEX pipe's high thermal conductivity has made it famous. Plus, it can quickly transfer warm and cold water and uses less energy overall.
Because PEX pipes are manufactured from plastics, they are silent when used. More fluid than galvanized or copper, they allow water to pass through easily.