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PEX 101 – A Quick Guide to Cross-Linked Polyethylene Pipe

PEX 101 – A Quick Guide to Cross-Linked Polyethylene Pipe

The new standard in home plumbing is not copper, but rather PEX. This type of plastic is becoming popular in both new construction and remodeling projects, and for good reason: It costs less than half the price of copper, installs faster, and can be easily adapted for any job.

It is also corrosion-resistant, which means it is not susceptible to rust, iron, or corrosive chemicals. This makes it an excellent choice for homes with water softeners, hot tubs, or pools.

While PEX 101 has a wide range of applications, it is most commonly used for home water supply lines. It is a synthetic pipe made from cross-linked polyethylene, which is a chemically bonded compound that increases its flexibility.

When it comes to installation, it is important to follow strict safety procedures. For instance, PEX should not be installed next to the flue of a gas water heater. If it becomes contaminated with flue gases, it could damage the tubing.

You should also avoid installing it near a hot water heater or in any area where it can be subjected to high heat, like an attic. This may lead to a leak that damages the home.

How to Connect PEX

The fastest and easiest way to connect a PEX line is using a special push-fit connection. These fittings “grab” the end of the PEX tube and are held in place by a crimp tool. Alternatively, you can use a ring that slips over the end of the tube, and then a fitting is inserted into the ring and crimped in place.

Another common method of connecting PEX is to use a copper crimping ring, which can be purchased from many suppliers. A crimping tool is then used to quickly and easily fasten the ring over the end of the tube, then the fitting.

One tip to keep in mind when using PEX is that it is best to buy 10-ft. sticks of it instead of coils because coils can be difficult to work with, and they can develop kinks more easily.

This can result in expensive repairs down the road if you don’t fix the problem as soon as it occurs. It is also a good idea to install couplers for your pipes, so that you can connect them easily and securely.

There are a few different types of PEX pipe available, each designed for a particular application. These include PEX-A, PEX-B, and PEX-C.

PEX-A is the most flexible of the three types and is suitable for almost any home water supply application. It is slightly more expensive than PEX-B or PEX-C, but it’s a better value when you need to bend or twist the line.

It is also incredibly resistant to freezing, making it a great choice for cold-water systems. A 10-foot piece of PEX-A is typically between $3.50 and $7.50, depending on the brand and diameter.

Although PEX is the new standard for home plumbing, it has some issues to address. For example, it is not ideal for supplying gas water heaters since the flues can be extremely hot and could cause the PEX to melt. In addition, it is not recommended for use in basements or under kitchen sinks due to the risk of fire.

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