hpr3614 :: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About PEX Part 02- The Joy of PEX - What is it and how is it us
Information about PEX and how it is used
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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About PEX
Part 02- The Joy of PEX - What is it and how is it used?
- What is PEX?
- According to Wikipedia, Cross-linked polyethylene tubing is commonly abbreviated PEX, XPE or XLPE -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-linked_polyethylene
- This tubing is made of crosslinked polyethelene chains
- Type A, Type B, & Type C
- These differ based on the process used to make them and the resulting properties of the resulting tubing
- PEX is used for a variety of products
- Insulation on high voltage high tension electrical cables
- Domestic water pipes
- Irrigation and hydroponic systems
- Natural gas and oil pipes
- Chemical handling and storage systems
- Domestic plumbing
- Flexible – easy to install and fish through walls and crawl spaces
- It will stretch a little – Less likely to rupture if water contained in PEX freezes
- Does not rust or corrode
- Less expensive than copper
- Multiple colors for easy identification
- Easy to cut
- Connections are easy
- Type A – Expansion PEX
- A roughly 1/2" - 3/4"sleeve of slightly larger PEX expansion sleeve is slipped over the end of the PEX-A tubing
- A special tool is inserted into the end of the tubing which stretches it outward a predefined amount.
- The tubing is slipped over the end of the desired PEX-A connector and allowed to shrink back to normal size, creating a seal
- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xot95W8vni0
- Fast and easy to install
- Can install in tight places, since tool does not need to be at the connector
- More resistant to damage from kinks if bent over too tight a radius
- More resistant to damage from freezing
- The tool is expensive (~$300 - $600 USD)
- In the United states, PEX-A connectors have limited availability in typical hardware and home improvement stores
- Type B – Crimp PEX (Doesn't stretch)
- A metal ring or band is placed around the end of the PEX-B tubing
- The tubing is slipped over the end of the desired PEX-B connector
- A special tool us used to crimp the metal ring or a different tool may be used to tighten the metal band, creating a seal
- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-t-ZeHv9s0
- Fast & easy to install
- Crimping tools are less expensive
- Higher availability of a wider range of connectors at typical home improvement stores in the United States
- If PEX-B is kinked, that portion is no longer safe to use and it must be replaced.
- Can be more difficult to connect in tight places
- This can be remedied with the use of SharkBite press on fittings.
- Less resistant to damage from freezing.
- Connections are also easily removed
- Easily damaged by ultraviolet light from sunlight or even LED & fluorescent lights (Check manufacturer specifications. Most rated for only 30-60 days of sun exposure)
- Long term durability yet to be proven
- Non-conductive (electrical ground)
- Not rigid – Must be supported
- May induce an odd taste to water for the first few weeks.
- Some say PEX can leach toxins into water
- Norwegian Institute of Public Health study says PEX is safe https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108132905.htm
- Ewg.org article expresses doubts to safety https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/amid-pipe-wars-researchers-wary-plastic-pipes-leaching-chemicals
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