07 Nov Pex Pipe Basics
Pex pipe Basics
One of the new technologies to hit the plumbing industry, and makes things more accessible than what they ever used to be. This new system will replace traditional copper and galvanized steel piping. This new technology makes it possible for the DIY crowd to fix their plumbing with the Pex pipe technology, but it is not a good idea because of how the individuals must stay alert to the plumbing codes to ensure that everything gets installed correctly. People cannot replace the value of an expert’s knowledge, and becoming an expert in this field overnight is impossible.
What is Pex Pipe?
Pex pipe comes as a big revolution in plumbing technology. Not much technological progress in this field has happened since the invention of the flushing toilet. Concerning cost, people have a much more significant advantage when they choose to have their electrician install Pex piping. Pex piping will cost an average of $0.28 per linear foot of piping, which means that it will cost a total of $28. In sharp contrast, if someone were to buy straight copper piping, it will cost them around $0.90 for each square foot. This means that they will have to pay a total of $90 for 100 feet of copper piping.
How Does It Work?
People have a flexible piping system that has an advantage over copper piping and galvanized steel piping in this way. Pex piping uses four different colors to distinguish between the types of plumbing:
• Red: Used for hot water
• Blue: Used for cold water
• White: Used for both hot and cold water
• Gray: Also used for both hot and cold water
A gray Pex pipe can be harder to find than the red, blue and white pipes. It performs the same function as the white piping.
This piping has the advantage of not corroding as steel and copper pipes do. When the metal pipes start to corrode, it can lead to the contamination of the water, which can be dangerous. Also, this piping expands, which makes it less susceptible to freezing than what people get with galvanized steel or copper. Another critical difference between Pex and metal piping is how the water flows through Pex in a much quieter fashion. People do not hear the “water hammer” noise that they hear with traditional piping. Besides, the colored pipes help to eliminate some of the confusion that happens with plumbing. It makes everything more straightforward because they can distinguish between the hot water and the cold water.
How Do They Use Pex Piping?
Individuals can run Pex piping from long lengths, and they do not need any fittings for it. Besides, this eliminates the risk of leaks happening with the piping. Pex piping has a lower risk of bursting in the colder temperatures, and in general, people have a much easier time working with it. Important to note, this does not mean that people cannot mess up the piping if they are not paying close attention.
What are some Expert Tips for Working with Pex Piping?
Tip #1: Repair or replace the Kinks
The one issue with Pex piping is that once it has begun to kink, fixing the kink will lead to it kinking in the same spot over and over. This mainly happens when the pipe makes a bend where the kink happens. People might find it much easier to cut the kinks out and use the shorter location of the pipe. For those individuals who have noticed a kink closer to the middle of the piping, experts recommend that people heat the pipe with a heat gun and cover over the damaged area using an abrasion clip or a hanger.
Tip #2: Cut Straight and Go Simple
Many people have most likely encountered the fancy Pex cutting tool, but in truth, there’s no genuine need for this $100 tool. Individuals can just as quickly use a $10-$15 utility knife. The most important aspect when it comes to cutting Pex piping is that the individual cuts it straight. When the pipe has been cut from angles, it will not fit correctly with the fitting, which can become a problem. This problem can raise the risk of leaks.
Tip #3: Protect the Pex
With the Pex piping, it can expand or contract more easily than galvanized steel or traditional copper piping. Several years of movement can start to wear holes in it, especially if it is rubbing against a material that acts as an abrasive. In concrete, it does not make much difference because the concrete holds it in place. The most important place to protect the Pex piping is around bends where it tends to be at its weakest.
Tip #4: Avoid Hot Materials
Pex pipe consists of plastic, and unfortunately, plastic melts. Because of this, people will want to keep their Pex piping away from anything that can become hot. The disadvantage of someone taking on this job as a DIYer is that they might not understand some of the dangers, and this can lead to them becoming vulnerable. Plumbing codes will typically have a requirement that Pex pipes remain a minimum of 18 inches away from water heaters.
Meanwhile, they will need to keep a safe distance of 6 inches away from the single wall flues with the gas heaters. In addition, people who install this pipe should keep it far away from wood burning stove pipes, furnace flues and other objects that tend to get hot. This not a DIY type of project, and it is best if the homeowner contacts an electrician who understands the different plumbing codes because it lowers the risk.
Pex Pipe Uses Simple Fittings
Another one of the advantages of people making use out of Pex piping is how it is much simpler than what they would receive with more traditional choices. With a Pex pipe, people can choose from three different kinds of fittings:
Crimp uses a brass fitting, copper ring or a crimping tool that joins the Pex tubing. This can attach easily and widely with hydraulic crimp fittings.
Stab fittings have the advantage that they do not require that the individual to use any tool to make use out of them. People can merely push the Pex piping into the fitting, and it will stick because of the small teeth on the fitting.
Many resemblances to the copper crimp rings, the clamp uses steel rings that encircle the Pex pipe, and people can force it shut tightly with the use of a special tool.
As soon as all the necessary connections were made with the Pex pipe system, the electrician or plumber can do pressurized testing of it to make sure that it works. In general, this is an excellent alternative piping choice to galvanized steel and copper piping. With Pex pipe, it works well, but people have to remember that it has a weakness to heat and exposed flame.
This is meant to be an informational Blog. Please contact Ben Franklin plumbers to ensure the safety and is up to code.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing NWA serves the Northwest Arkansas cities of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale with a team of certified plumbers. In addition to emergency plumbing repair, some of the plumbing services provided by the company include faucet repair, drain services, toilet repair, plumbing fixture installations, tub and shower installations, kitchen sink repair, faucet installation, water heater repair/replacement, and garbage disposal replacement. Call us today at (479) 717-7901 to schedule an appointment!