Are you into DIY but still haven’t completely gotten the hang of PEX pipe installation? First of all, to finish PEX pipe installation, you need a PEX crimp tool. That’s what we are going to talk about in this particular article.
If you don’t already own a PEX crimp tool the best thing to do is rent one, because while it is a necessity, you only need it for this one task. It doesn’t make economic sense to spend money on a tool you will only use once.
The PEX crimping tool enables the creation of a water-tight seal as you complete your piping project – when you fit the crimping ring securely on your pipe. Let’s break down the entire process for you.
While installing a PEX pipe is not difficult, special tools and expertise are required to do the job correctly. The PEX crimp tool is one of the necessary tools. It makes DIY plumbing so much easier.
You use this tool to secure the pipe’s crimp ring so as to ensure a watertight seal. This is during the final piping project.
We use the crimp tool to crimp the crimp rings. The following is a simple, beginner-friendly crimping procedure presented in step by step format:
Step 1: Use a sharp-bladed PEX pipe cutter to slice through the pipe, cutting the pipe down to the appropriate size. After cutting the pipe to your desired length, carefully remove the burrs.
Step 2: Put the fittings inside the tube – you insert the fitting into the tube until the point where the fitting won’t go in anymore.
Next, you take the crimp ring and slide it into the right position. You position the crimp ring about 1/8 to ¼ inches from the end of the tube and over the fitting’s ribs.
Note: you are putting crimp rings in both ends of the pipe.
Step 3: This is where you use the PEX crimping tool.
Open up the tool by pulling its handles apart. This will create an opening.
Position the crimping tool around the crimp ring: fit the tool’s opening onto the crimp ring you had put in the PEX pipe. Do this for each side of the pipe, for each of the two crimp rings you had put on the ends of the pipe.
Remember the handle is open – now press the handles, pushing them together so as to shut the tool. This creates pressure that forces the crimp rings to their appropriate position. As a result, you have a watertight seal and can be proud of your DIY plumbing skills.
Step 5: Carefully confirm proper crimp (well secured) using the go/no-go gauge.
Verify that each connection is secure.
The go/no-go gauges are different, depending on manufacturer. Their operations also differ. However, the job they do is the same.
You use the gauge to determine if a connection is loose. If the connection is loose, that can lead to leaks in future. If it is too tight, that can result in a damaged pipe or fittings, which then puts the pipe at risk of leaking.
You can also use the go/no-go gauge to determine if the PEX crimp tool you are using needs recalibrating.
Limitations of PEX crimp Tool
The PEX crimp tool is a cheap and fast way of piping, if you can do it correctly. However, it has its limitations.
For instance, it is not easy to install in cramped spaces – this is because many crimp tools are large. You must therefore leverage the connection of the crimp before you install.
Due to the PEX pipe’s nature, the connection will be strongest when you initially make it, and over time the pipe will start to resist the crimp ring’s strength.
Furthermore, you insert crimp tools into the pipe and that restricts the flow of water. Over time this means you might have to upsize the system piping.
In addition, it is not easy to check the fitting visually, because the recommendations manufacturers provide for crimp connections vary. You have to continuously gauge the piping using a special go/no-go gauge. Different manufacturers also provide different go/no-go gauges.
That’s the whole process of using a PEX crimp too. Remember, you can rent it instead of buying it, considering you only need it for one thing.
If you get a PEX crimp tool, you must also look for a go/no-go gauge. The job is not complete until you verify the connection is secure, and you need the go/no-go gauge for that. There are many installers who do not own a go/no-go gauge.
If you still call in a plumber to do the job, watch closely what he does and commit it to memory – then next time you can do it yourself!