Frequently Asked Questions About PEX Tubing and Piping

You do not need to be a plumbing master to know about the Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX) tubing and piping. It is time that you learn PEX tubing and understanding the difference between PEX cinch and clamp. Here are things that you should know about PEX:

What is PEX?

PEX is a form of polyethylene with distinct cross-links. Other people call it XPE or XLPE. It is a famous alternative of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) and copper tubing. PEX is made of high-density polyethylene, which is suitable for a variety of plumbing applications like domestic water piping to building pipework systems and offshore oil applications. Plumbers opt for this plumbing solution because it is fast and easy to use especially with push-fittings, valves, manifolds and other supplies.

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What is the color coding of PEX?

You have to know that there are different colors of PEX. It has red, white, blue and gray pipes. If you are confused about the color coding, you have to know that there is no performance difference between the colors. All are intended for use in water systems. The colors are considered to easily identify cold and hot distribution lines.

What are the methods of cross-linking?

The methods include PEX-A, PEX-B, and PEX-C. PEX A method utilises organic peroxides. When heated, it produces free radicals that splice the PEX chains. PEX B method involves attaching silane molecule. While PEX C is a method that gives high-energy electrons to the extruded PE pipe.

Is it heat and cold resistant?

PEX can withstand heat applications like radiant or hydronic heating. Ferrous components are present, which can lead to rusting. With this, it is crucial that PEX has this oxygen barrier to prevent the ferrous components from rusting. PEX is also resistance to freeze-damage. The truth is, PEX will expand if frozen and it will revert back to its original shape when it is thawed. However, it is not freeze-proof. You have to use standard insulation to help prevent freezing.

Is it fine to use PEX outside?

PEX is not approved for outdoor use where there is direct sunlight. It shouldn’t be continuously exposed to UV.

What are the benefits of PEX pipe?

PEX pipe forms part of the water supply piping system. There is a reason why many plumbers opt for this one over plastic pipe systems and rigid metal. It is resistant to chlorine and scale. It is also flexible. The best thing about this PEX is it doesn’t corrode. It is also faster to install compared to other types of pipes. If you consider this, you will need few connections and fittings.

Does it need special tools?

When you think about it, you can easily use stab-in compression fittings to link connections. However, this is expensive. For domestic use, you should invest in special tools to link connections. There are different tools practical for DIYers like cinch clamps or crimp rings. It is by understanding the difference between PEX cinch and clamp that you can successfully make a connection.

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