Top Five Tips For Working With PEX

Some people learn best by reading, others by watching. This article offers both. Learn the top five tips and tricks for installing PEX plumbing systems to make your projects go faster and easier. 

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Watch a quick video with each tip to see how it’s done

 

Repair kinks 

If you’re working with PEX-a pipe and you get a kink, simply use a heat gun on the area and rotate the heat around the kink until the pipe turns clear. As the pipe cools, it will return to its original opaque color, and you can continue with your installation. (Note that kink repairs are only possible with PEX-a pipe; you cannot kink repair PEX-b or PEX-c pipe.) 

To see how quick and easy it is to repair a kink, watch this video. 

Use bend supports 

PEX-a pipe is extremely flexible (3X the pipe’s diameter), so save yourself time and money by bending the pipe with each change in direction rather than using an elbow. Bend supports are also available to help keep the pipe in place. 

Watch this video to see how bend supports and other tools are used in a PEX system. 

Install pipe clamps or tube talons 

When running PEX main lines, it’s important to support the pipe properly with pipe clamps or tube talons. Place supports every 32″ in horizontal runs and every 5 ft. in vertical runs. 

Learn more about running both main and branch lines by watching this video. 

Make proper expansion connections 

When making an expansion connection with PEX-a pipe, ensure you’re making a straight, square cut. This ensures the expansion ring will seat properly on the end of the pipe. Then, when you insert the expansion tool, make sure the tool is auto-rotating. If you’re using a manual tool that does not auto-rotate, but sure to rotate the tool with each expansion. Failure to rotate the tool will leave deep grooves in the pipe and can cause leaks. 

To see how simple it is to make an expansion connection, check out thivideo. 

Maximize efficiencies with multiport tees 

What’s a multiport tee? It’s a molded tee with multiple outlets to minimize connections in a plumbing system and increase installation efficienciesFor example, if you’re installing six regular tees, you will have 18 connections. But a sixoutlet multiport tee will only have eight connections (six connections for the ports, a main flow-through inlet and a main flow-through outlet). 

Watch this video to see a multiport tee installation in a residential plumbing application. 

To learn more about PEX piping systems, check out plasticpipe.org or ppfahome.org. To watch more “How to” installation videos, visit youtube.com/uponorna. 

About the Author 

Kim Bliss is the content development manager at Uponor. She can be reached at [email protected].