Proper Installation of Pex Plumbing

PEX pipe, also known as crosslinked polyethylene, is a piping system designed to carry water through plastic.

Installing PEX Using Copper Rings

PEX pipe is more durable than PVC and less expensive than copper.PEX pipe is more durable than PVC and less expensive than copper.
PEX is rated to carry both hot and cold water, and is certified to carry potable drinking water. The plastic in PEX resists corrosion and is generally less expensive to install than copper pipe. PEX pipe is connected using a clamp and PEX-specific retaining clips and fittings. Unlike copper, which must be soldered together, PEX is designed to use compression clamps to hold the connections in place permanently. These clamps come in both copper rings and stainless-steel cinch clamps. Understanding how to connect both types of clamps will help you install PEX properly.

Step 1

Cut off the tip of a length of PEX pipe using a PEX cutting tool. This will give you a clean, straight edge to work with.

Step 2

Insert a copper crimp ring over the end of the pipe. Place the PEX fitting into pipe and press it all the way in until the shoulder of the fitting stops against the pipe. Gently pull the fitting back out of the pipe 1/8 of an inch. That will leave the majority of the fitting still inside the pipe.

Step 3

Open the handles on the PEX crimp tool all the way, and place the crimp mouth over the copper ring. When the tool is square with the ring, clamp down on the handles all the way until it snaps the ring into place.

Step 4

Place a "go, no-go" gauge over the newly crimped copper ring. Place the "no-go" side of the gauge over the copper ring. If it fits over the ring, the connection was not properly installed. If only the "go" side of the gauge fits over the ring, the fitting was installed properly and will remain waterproof.

Installing PEX Using Stainless-Steel Cinch Clamps

Step 1

Cut the tip off a length of PEX pipe using PEX cutters.

Step 2

Insert a stainless-steel cinch clamp over the end of the pipe. Place the PEX fitting into the pipe and press it all the way in until the shoulder of the fitting stops against the pipe. Gently pull the fitting back out of the pipe 1/8 of an inch.

Step 3

Place the knobby end of the cinch clamp into the opening on the cinch-clamp tool. Squeeze the handle on the tool to ratchet the clamp into place.

Step 4

Place a "go, no-go" gauge over the newly crimped copper ring. Place the "no-go" side of the gauge over the copper ring. If it fits over the ring, the connection was not properly installed. If only the "go" side of the gauge fits over the ring, the fitting was installed properly and will remain waterproof.

Things You Will Need

  • PEX pipe
  • PEX cutters
  • Brass or plastic PEX fittings
  • Copper crimp rings
  • PEX clamping tool
  • Stainless-steel cinch clamps
  • Cinch-clamp tool

About the Author

Heath Robert has been a professional writer since 2001. Covering news, politics and local communities, he has worked for daily newspapers across Colorado, including the "Columbine Courier" and the "Colorado Statesman." Robert holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and political science.