How to install PEX plumbing in a house from start to finish
Learning how to install PEX plumbing in a new home is all about gathering the right tools and then running the material. This material is designed to be used in place of conventional copper and PVC pipes. The flexibility of this material makes it ideal for installations that require many bends and turns.
To properly install this type of material, some special tools are required. Tools include a specially designed cutter for this material, accessories, a ring crimping tool, crimp rings, a go/no-go gauge, and a crimp ring removal tool. Once the tools have been collected, the installation can begin.
When the installation involves running the new pipe through existing floors or studs, it will be necessary to drill holes before running the pipes. When running lines through a stud, it is imperative to drill holes in the center area of the stud, this will prevent nails from penetrating the pipe during interior wall installation. As an added precaution, nail plates can be installed on the sides of the studs to provide additional pipe protection.
Once the holes have been created, the next step is to cut the proper length of pipe that is required. The cutting tool designed for this material must be used to ensure a clean, burr-free cut. The next part involves running the lines from the point where the water flow will originate in the collector that is installed in the house.
Leaving extra length at each end will allow for additional modifications. As you run the pipe, use clamps to secure it to the joists, also leave some slack in the line to account for expansion and contraction. Suspension design clamps are best used in this situation.
Once the lines have been executed, the next part is to attach them to the accessories. To complete this portion of the installation, the go/no-go tool, copper or plastic insert, crimping tool, and crimp rings are required. Use the cutting tool to make sure the pipe has a clean cut, then take a crimp ring and slide it over the end of the pipe.
Next, insert a copper fitting into the pipe up to the shoulder of the fittings. Move the ring back an eighth of an inch from the shoulder. Holding the crimping tool at a ninety degree angle, slide it over the ring and squeeze it closed. Performing this operation will secure the ring to the pipe. To test if the crimp will hold, use the go/no-go tool and slide the go end over the crimp. If the forward side fits smoothly, then the job is a success. In the event that the forward side does not fit, it will be necessary to repeat the process.
The final step involves the manifold and mixing valve installations. The mixing valve is used to regulate the hot water that passes through the system. The collector acts as a distribution center for the water lines that run throughout the house. This device is very effective when a leak occurs in a line, as the lines can be closed independently. The mixing valve limits the mixed hot water and allows one person to adjust it to the desired temperature. When everything is installed, the water can be turned on.