Overview: Types of PEX and Ways to Connect - Aquor Water Systems
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Overview: Types of PEX and Ways to Connect – Aquor Water Systems

First of all, what exactly is pex?

pex, short for cross-linked polyethylene, is a flexible plastic used for plumbing. tubing has become quite popular over the years, replacing traditional copper and galvanized steel water supply lines. Homeowners can easily pick up Pex pipe at their local hardware store (or order online) and complete DIY project upgrades or replace leaking pipes without going to a plumber. PEX is used in more than 60 percent of newly constructed residential water systems, a notable increase in use since its arrival in the United States during the 1980s.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

advantages of selecting pex pipes:
  • pex is safe and easy to install. no welding is required, which can be dangerous and messy, especially in tight spaces. flames are great, but burning your eyebrows or your house is not.
  • pex can be connected to existing copper and galvanized steel water supply lines with the use of fittings, small pieces that join the two types of plumbing together.
  • Because of its flexibility, fewer fittings are needed, unlike metal pipes that cannot be bent.
  • pex is more resistant to cracking due to freezing thanks to its ability to expand.
  • unlike copper and steel pipes, pex does not corrode, which prevents contamination and water leaks.
  • water travels noiselessly through pex, which is not always the case with metal pipes.
  • red and blue pex pipe makes it easy to distinguish between hot and cold water supply lines.
  • pex is easy to repair and replace, especially if you install a maintenance circuit, which includes an additional supply circuit. tubing that allows for cuts (using pex cutters) and quick fixes.
  • pex is also an economical option compared to copper.

read why we recommend pex tubing over copper tubing.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

some disadvantages to consider:
  • ultraviolet rays (from the sun) cause pex to break down quickly, making it unsuitable for outdoor use.
  • although pex is fairly easy to install, it takes specific connectors and tools.
  • PEX cannot currently be recycled due to its inability to melt like recyclable plastics.
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Reading: How to connect pex to pex

size:

pex tubing ranges in length from convenient 10-foot sections, which are perfect for small repairs or hose installations, to 500-foot coils used to build an entire home’s water supply system.

pex is available in diameters from 3/8 to 1 inch. It’s a good idea to install 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch pex for your main lines for proper water flow. When replacing old water supply lines with pex, the standard is to use the same size tubing, although you can go from 3/4-inch to 1/2-inch tubing with an adapter.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

colors:

pex tubes can be red, blue, white or gray. red means a hot water line, while blue is used for cold water lines. white or gray pex can be used for hot or cold water.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

pex red, blue and white. photo: family handyman

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

types of pex:

pex-a is the most flexible and is suitable for use in all home water supply plumbing needs. it is the most resistant to freezing cracking, since it is the one that can expand the most. pex-a is more expensive than b or c, and has no major advantage over pex-b other than greater flexibility. pex-a is made with peroxide.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

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pex-b is stiffer than pex-a and tends to want to return to its coiled state. pex-b can still be installed easily and expands to resist cracking due to freezing as well. pex-b is manufactured using a moisture curing method and has a higher resistance to chlorine, making it a solid choice in regions where the water contains higher levels of chlorine.

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Reading: How to connect pex to pex

pex-c is the stiffest of the three types of pex, making it the most difficult to work with. it is prone to warping and susceptible to cracking in freezing conditions. pex-c is the most economical option and should only be used for small repairs that don’t require a lot of flexing. pex-c is manufactured using an irradiation method.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

methods used to make watertight pex connections:

copper crimping is one of the most popular methods for connecting pex. You will need copper crimping rings and a pex crimping tool. The copper ring is slipped over the end of the pex tube, then a fitting is inserted into the pex. the copper ring is moved to the end of the tube over the fitting so that the pex crimping tool can crimp the copper ring and tube so they are snug in place.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

crimp connection. photo: supplyhouse.com

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

stainless steel clamps (ssc) are a method that involves the use of a ratcheting clamping tool to tighten stainless steel rings around pex connections. The steel ring is slipped over the end of the Pex pipe before the fitting is inserted, similar to the copper crimping method. then the ratchet clamping tool is used to tighten a tab on the ring, tightening the ring around the tube and fitting.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

clamp connection. photo: supplyhouse.com

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

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expansion connections are made by using a pex expansion tool to stretch and widen the diameter of the pex pipe before inserting the end of a fitting. after about 10 minutes the pex tubing will contract to create a seal around the fitting. this method only works with pex-a.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

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expansion connection. photo: supplyhouse.com

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

Press Fit Connections are the fastest method as they involve special press fit fittings that are placed on the end of the pex pipe and create a seal. You don’t need any tools to implement the push-in fittings, although a specific extraction ring is required to remove them from a pipe once they have been connected.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

click to connect. photo: supplyhouse.com

compression fittings involve sliding a threaded brass nut over the pex pipe before sliding a tapered plastic compression ring into place. A hollow brass tube is then inserted into the end of the pex tube. All of the above are inserted into the end of a threaded fitting and the threaded brass nut is threaded onto the end of the fitting. the nut squeezes the plastic compression ring against the end of the brass fitting to create a seal as it is tightened.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

compression connection. photo: supplyhouse.com

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

here is a short video showing the above pex connection methods.

and here is a simple video showing how to install and connect a v2+ hydrant to pex-a using an expansion tool.

Reading: How to connect pex to pex

have your new hydrant installed in a snap with aquor’s 1/2″ pex inlets.

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