PEX tubing (Figure 1) and its associated connectors (Figure 2), adaptors, fittings, couplings and valves require a few special tools in order to make water tight joints between connections. Trying to make proper connections between tubing and connectors, adaptors, fittings, couplings and valves is foolish and will only lead to leaks within the piping system.
Figure 1 - PEX tubing
Figure 2 - PEX female tubing fitting
As with most tools there are professional grade and home handyman grade.
Specially designed fittings must also be used to ensure a watertight system.
- In order to transition from other piping materials such as steel, PVC, CPVC and copper specially designed adaptors are available. fittings are available to connect PEX to steel, copper, PVC, and CPVC.
- Use the specially designed PEX tubing cutting tool (Figure 3) to ensure a clean, square cut.
- Using a specially designed PEX crimping tool, crimp the ring in position.
- To ensure that the tubing has been properly crimped to the fitting, adapter, coupling or valve you can check it with a Go-No-Go gauge (Figure 5).
- The gauge has openings for the most common pipe sixes. If the crimp does not meet the standards of the Go-No-Go gauge, the joint should be taken apart and re-done.
Tip: Always connect the adapter fitting to the steel, copper, PVC, or CPVC pipe before connecting it to the PEX tubing.
Tip: Be careful when connecting different metals together or you will create a situation where you have galvanic corrosion between the metals.
Figure 3 - PEX tubing cutter
When purchasing a PEX tubing cutter make sure that it can handle the tubing sizes that you will be using on your project.
Figure 4 - PEX tubing crimping tool