8 Steps on How to Install PEX Pipe

a long blue PEX pipe tied up with plastic strips

Consisting of cross-linked polyethylene tubing, PEX pipe is a revolutionary material for plumbing, radiant and hydronic systems. It can be successfully used in both residential and commercial applications. Used in combination with manifolds, push-fit fittings, valves and other plumbing supplies, it offers a fast and efficient way to complete complex plumbing projects. If you’re wondering how to install PEX pipe, look no further.

Even though there are professionals that can install PEX pipe in your home, it’s a relatively simple process that anyone with any amount of manual skill can perform with a little information. Taking all that into account, this guide will provide step by step instructions on how to install PEX pipe.

What You’ll Need

a red PEX pipe cutter tool

Step 1. Cutting the PEX Tubing

Often, inexperienced people who want to know how to install PEX pipe do not realize the tubing needs to be cut to fit. The first thing you will have to do in order to do this is taking measurements. Try to be as precise as possible. If the sections of pipe are too long you will have to bend it in order to adjust it.

Even though the bending itself is not difficult at all due to the flexibility of PEX pipe, it’s always more practical and aesthetically pleasing to have a perfect fit. Next, grab a PEX cutter tool and cut the pipe. Make the cut at a 90-degree angle. Be particularly careful and precise in order to make the cut as smooth and straight as possible.

Step 2. Sliding in the PEX Crimp Ring

If you are just now learning how to install PEX pipe, you might be wondering what a crimp ring is. Quite simply, a crimp ring is half of the system that is used to correctly secure the PEX pipe. It goes over and around the pipe, later being attached to the crimp fitting in order to create a secure connection. When sliding in the PEX pipe crimp ring, be sure to leave it at approximately two inches past the end of the pipe.

Step 3. Inserting the PEX Fitting into the PEX Tubing

Now that you know how to slide in a crimp ring, you are ready for the next step in this guide on how to install PEX pipe. The system that is used to correctly secure the PEX pipe is complete with both the aforementioned ring and a PEX fitting. Inserted in the pipe, this fitting can be perfectly attached to the ring, creating a secure connection.

Even though there are various types, PEX pipe fittings are usually made of copper. Inserting it is quite a straightforward process. However, do make sure the shoulder of the fitting touches the tubing.

Step 4. Positioning the Crimp Ring Correctly

Once both parts have been set up, it is time to make the connection. In order to do that, you will need to move the crimp ring, placing it at about one-quarter of an inch from the end of the tubing. The reason for this is that the PEX pipe crimp ring needs to be precisely above the barbs of the PEX fitting. If you are just learning how to install PEX pipe, placing the crimp ring correctly before trying to make the connection will save you a lot of time.

a red PEX pipe crimping tool close-up

Step 5. Acquiring and Preparing the PEX Crimp Tool

Very straightforwardly, a crimp tool (also known by some as a crimping tool) is a specialized device that is used to join two pieces of metal. It achieves this goal by compressing either one or both of them, causes them to hold each other in place.

Although they all fulfill the same basic role, there are crimping tools of many different qualities available for purchase. A big part of learning how to install PEX pipe is becoming familiar with this useful tool. Once you have are ready to use it, simply open the crimp tool’s jaws.

Step 6. Positioning the PEX Crimp Tool

Anyone who knows how to install PEX pipe is aware that this is a crucial step in the process. It is incredibly important to place the crimping tool over the crimp ring in a perfectly even fashion by aligning it at a precise 90-degree angle. Before doing anything else, make sure the jaws of the crimp tool are perfectly centered over the ring. At the same time, make sure the tool stays in place.

a PEX pipe crimp ring close-up

Step 7. Securing the Crimp Ring Using the Crimp Tool

The moment has finally come when you can attach the crimp ring to the PEX fitting, securing the connection permanently. Having made sure it is properly placed, close the jaws of the crimping tool completely. Undoubtedly, you will have to apply some pressure as there will be a certain amount of resistance from the crimp ring.

However, it should not be a problem for an adult with normal strength. It’s important to note that there is no going back once the crimp ring has been deformed by the crimping tool, so try to be as precise as possible.

Step 8. Checking the Entire Connection

After following all the steps in this guide on how to install PEX pipe, it’s time to check the entire connection to make sure it’s working properly. The easiest and most secure way to do this is by using a go-no-go gauge tool. Simply place the tool over the connection and see if its markings align properly with the center of the connection.

Drawing to a Close

After going through this eight steps, you will have learned how to install PEX pipe like a pro. It’s important to take into account that, although the process itself is not too difficult, you will need to use some specialized tools in order to get a proper result. Have you ever tried to install a PEX pipe? Share your experiences with us in the comment section!

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