Quick Fixes Or Complete Re-Piping Options With Pex Pipes

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You may have a single broken pipe or need to replace all or most of the piping in your home. Each of these tasks can be accomplished most easily and inexpensively with Pex pipe. You only need the pipe itself, a few special tools for cutting and connecting it, and some assorted connectors and hangers to do the job.

What is Pex Pipe?

Pex pipe is a type of reinforced plastic pipe that can be rolled and bent into position as it is installed. It can be connected to galvanized, copper, or CPVC pipe with the use of adapters, and can be used in both hot and cold water supply lines. It is also much more adaptable to sub-freezing temperatures than other types of pipe, and will expand rather than burst under moderate cold spells.

The main drawbacks of Pex pipe is its vulnerability to cuts when exposed to possible hazardous conditions and the possibility of melting and emitting hazardous fumes during a house fire. Of course, plastic CPVC pipe carries the same risks but without the flexibility and ease of connection of Pex pipe.

Why is Pex Pipe Easier To Install Than Other Types of Pipe?

Galvanized steel pipe requires strength to secure threaded connections while manipulating heavy pipe, copper pipe needs to be soldered, and CPVC pipe requires the use of hazardous primers and cements for installation.

Pex pipe is designed to fit over simple beaded connectors. A clamp ring is then slipped over the connector and crimped into place with a special tool that provides a water-tight connection. Pex Pipe can also be connected through the use of "bite" type connectors, both to other sections of Pex pipe as well as existing copper or CPVC pipe.

Connection is as simple as pushing the ends of the pipes into each side of the connector. The "teeth" inside lock the pipes into place and embedded rubber o-rings keep the connection water-tight. Connecting to an existing galvanized pipe requires a fitting with a threaded male connection for the galvanized pipe and a beaded crimp connection for the Pex side.

Pex is flexible enough to fit around corners and obstructions, easing installation in existing walls and ceilings. It can be "fished" through walls just like electric wire.

Pex Manifold Systems

You can replace all of the supply lines in your home through the use of of a Pex manifold system, which is essentially a router from which you can run all of the supply lines directly to household components, eliminating the need to splitting main lines to accommodate multiple components.

The manifold is installed near the main supply line of the home. Pex pipe is installed from the main line to the manifold, from the manifold to the hot water heater, then back to the manifold from the water heater. Smaller hot and cold supply lines are then run from rows of Pex connectors along the sides of the manifold directly to all of the faucets, toilets, and other components inside the home.

Of course, connecting to or replacing aging existing pipe may still prove to be a challenge, so have a plumber's number handy if you run into problems that you didn't anticipate and have a professional from a place like Mike Hensley Plumbing Inc work on the installation for you. 

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