PEX pipes are cross-linked polyethylene piping used for transport mainly water. Three types of PEX pipe are categorized as A, B, and C.
Each variant is designed to fit different applications. Several industries utilize PEX pipes. They are resistant to ultraviolet rays and are cheap and therefore very affordable no matter the scale of operation.
PEX pipes are very durable and can be used for up to fifty years. However, depending on its exposure to corrosive elements, the PEX pipe may form some cracks that will lead to leaking.
Instead of replacing the entire piping system because of a crack, it is advisable to do repairs. It is less costly and will ensure that you fully utilize your PEX pipe. Repairs can easily be done at home provided you have the right tools.
Best PEX Pipe Repair Practices
Several practices should be implemented when conducting PEX pipe repairs.
- The first and most important step is to identify the problem. There can be several issues that are diminishing the efficiency of your PEX pipe. Each problem would require a different approach
- Safety should be prioritized. Ensure that you have protective covers for the work area as protective items for yourself.
- Ensure you have all the required items before you begin the repairs.
- Ensure that the water supply is turned off so that the water is not contaminated during repairs or becomes a hindrance while you are working.
- Ensure you do a test run after you are done with the repairs to ascertain if the problem has been properly fixed.
Tools and Equipment You Can Use to Repair PEX Pipe
It is important to purchase repair tools that are right for the type of PEX pipe you have. Most of the tools can be used to repair any type of pipe.
Accessories however need to be specific to the pipe being repaired. The pipe fittings are also specific to the type of pipe you have. Different types of PEX pipe repair kits contain the basic repair items.
Besides, the items may vary depending on the brand of repair kit you purchase. Tools contained in the kit include;
- PEX cutter
- PEX pipe
- Crimp rings
- PEX crimper
- Straight crimp fittings
- Push-fit connector for PEX
- PEX support sleeve
Other tools include
- Expanding tool
- Compression fitting
- Go gauge
- Tape measure
Step-by-step How to Repair PEX Pipe
There are three main causes of leaks that require repair. This is a step-by-step guide on how to conduct these repairs.
How to Repair PEX Pipes Kinks
There are times when your PEX pipe may develop curves otherwise known as kinks which lead to blockage or an unwanted reduction in the flow of substances. Kinks are the easiest damage to repair
The first method would be to use a pair of smooth pliers to pull out the kink and use a band to ensure that it stays in shape.
The other method would be heating the pipe using a hot air gun. It is important to note that when using a hot air gun do not exceed 330 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher and the pipe will melt. It is important to follow the following steps when using a hot gun.
- Ensure that you control the temperature. You can use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature of air during the process.
- Slowly straighten the piping as you heat it.
- While heating ensure you evenly heat all the sides to avoid forming more kinks. Heat for about three minutes on each side
- After the kink is completely straightened let the pipe cool
How to Repair Damaged PEX Pipe
With time, corrosive substances, or a harsh external environment, PEX pipes may form holes or cracks that lead to leaking. When fixing a damaged section you should do the following.
- The first step is using a PEX cutter to remove the pipe’s damaged part. It is important to ensure that you cut it off at a ninety-degree angle so that it can join seamlessly with the new fitting.
- Next step is to take measurements of the removed pipe. If you do not have a tape measure you can use the removed section to compare
- Take out the desired length from the new PEX pipe and observe the cutting angle using your PEX cutter.
- At the end of the old pipe place a crimp ring first and then follow it with a straight crimp fitting.
- Adjust the crimp ring accordingly to ensure that it lines with the ribbed part of the pipe
- Using a PEX crimper fix the tube on top of the crimp
- The Go slots need to fit accurately around the ring. You can ensure that it is perfect by using a Go gauge.
- On the new pipe place a crimp ring in its end similar to the other ring.
- Join the two pipes by connecting the two crimp rings. It is important to ensure that you adjust the ring accordingly so that it is properly placed on the ripped part. Ensure that it fits correctly.
- Repeat the placement of the rings in the opposite ends of the pipe to join the remaining section.
Performing routine maintenance on your piping is an important step towards limiting the damages that occur with time.
Routine maintenance also allows you to identify a problem before it gets out of control. Once a problem has been identified it is important to conduct repairs whenever necessary. Repairs are cheap and efficient as they ensure that you get the best economic value off of your PEX pipe fitting.