One of the most common pipe materials used in plumbing systems is copper. It can be connected with soldering or sweating the tube with fittings. Today, there is another popular plumbing pipe being used by homeowners, DIY home improvement enthusiasts and contractors. This is known a PEX or used in cross-linked polyethylene.
PEX was widely used during the 1980s for flooring applications but after so many years, it is now preferred for plumbing repairs. Apart from easy installation, it is also flexible and cheaper than copper tubing. However, connecting the two is already common nowadays when it comes to plumbing concerns.
This DIY project is simple and easy to do. With the proper tools and materials, added by ample handyman skills, this can turn out to be successful plumbing job.
Here is a step-by-step guide to connect copper pipe to PEX using a push-fit connection.
Step 1: Prepare the PEX
The PEX needs to have what is known as a support sleeve. The purpose of this is to prevent the PEX from breaking the seal.
Step 2: Remove the O-rings
It is important to note that copper needs to be fitted with O-rings to accommodate the PEX pipe fitting. To prepare the copper, the first step is to remove the O-ring of the copper pipe you will need to work on. Simply remove them by squeezing and pulling them apart. Using screwdrivers or pliers is not re commended because doing so can bend the copper and damage it.
Step 3: Prepare the Copper
It is important to clean the end of the copper tubing with emery cloth and apply soldering paste flux and apply heat. Next, you can now sweat the copper.
Step 4: Insert the PEX
After the copper is clean and ready, you can now re-attach the O-rings with the PEX pipe fitting and connect the other end to the copper tubing. Ensure that the end of the PEX has a straight cut, if not, it is best to cut a part of it again to straighten the cut. Also, the tube should be free from grease and dirt. Scratches are also to be avoided because this can lead to leaks in the future. When you connect the two, push the copper tube directly to rest on the O-ring as well as the PEX. Ensure that you push both firmly for a tight seal.
Connecting PEX and Copper Pipes Using SharkBite
There is a faster and easier way to connect PEX and copper. This is possible by using connections known as Shakbite. Aside from the time saved, it is safer and cleaner to do since it does not need sweating nor using tools.
SharkBites can be used in copper, PEX and CPVC.
Step 1: Cut the copper tube evenly, making sure the ends are square. Use a cutting tool to ensure a straight cut. Do the same with the PEX piping.
Step 2: Remove the burrs at the end of the copper to remove sharp ends that can hamper water flow and using a depth gauge tool, mark the copper and the PEX on the correct depth.
Step 3: Simple insert the copper tubing on one end of the O-ring and the PEX on the other.