PEX material has been introduced in the United States in the 1980s and some years back, became one of the most popular pipes for plumbing systems. Many plumbers and homeowners prefer PEX because it is durable, flexible and cost-effective. Moreover, it is easy to install and connect, making it a good DIY plumbing maintenance material.
For homeowners who are into do-it-yourself projects, there are two methods to connect PEX: using crimp clamps or copper crimp rings. These two items can be bought from your local hardware. Crimp clamps are like traditional band clamps while crimp rings are bands of metal, often times made of copper and can be compressed using a crimping tool.
Connecting PEX Using Stab-In Fittings
This is the easier and quicker method to connect PEX because this procedure does not require soldering. This type of connection works in two stages. As the tube is inserted into the fitting, it goes through a release collar to a stainless steel grab ring which opens out and grip the tube. The tube will then be pushed through an O-ring protector. This is then compressed between the wall of the fitting and the tube just before it reaches the tube stop.
Step 1: Choose The Correct Tubing And Fitting For The Job.
Check if the tubes and fittings are free from damage, free from foreign objects and clean.
Step 2: Cut The Section Of The Pipe Evenly, Ensuring a Straight Cut With The Use Of a Cutting Tool.
Do so for both pipes to be connected, whether it is between PEX and copper or PEX and PEX pipes. You can use a PEX cutter or tube shears for a clean cut.
Step 3: Clean The Ends Of The Pipes.
If you are connecting the PEX with copper tubing, remove the burrs of the copper tube using a de-burring gauge tool.
Step 4: Mark The Depth Of Insertion.
After cleaning the ends of the tubes, mark the insert depth on the outside of the tubing.
Step 5: Insert The Tube Through The Release Collar.
Holding the pipe, insert it all the way until it meets the stop of the grab ring. Ensure that there is just enough pressure as you insert the tube.
Step 6: Push And Secure The Tube.
It is important to give it a little push with twisting motion to ensure it fits properly as it reaches the tube stop.
Step 7: Check The Depth Of The Insertion.
To ensure the tube will be inserted far enough as it should, check the depth mark and ensure it is within 0.13 mm or 0.005 in. of the end of the release collar.
Connecting PEX To Copper Tubing With Soldering
Note: For a copper tubing to be compatible with PEX, it has to be fitted with O-rings.
Step 1: Remove The O-Rings.
To do this, remove the O-rings by gently squeezing them with your hand and pulling them apart. Pliers are not advisable to avoid damage.
Step 2: Prepare The Copper Tubing.
It is important to ensure the copper ends are clean and free from moisture and grease. Next, get the paste flux and apply it evenly at the end. When it is ready, apply heat and solder.
Step 3: Connect The PEX And Copper Tubing.
After the copper has cooled, attach the O-rings to the PEX fittings. Connect the PEx pipe to the copper end using the joint.