In recent years, PEX tubing has become one of the most widely used indoor water supply systems. PEX, which is made of cross-linked polyethylene, is popular for two reasons: It is not corrosive like metals, and it is much more flexible than other plastic pipes, allowing it to bend around corners. That means fewer connections and fittings, faster installation, and a longer life. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you will find PEX installation to be simple and fast if you have the right tools.
Things You'll Need
- Shower valve kit
- ½-inch PEX tubing
- ½-inch PEX rings
- 3 PEX (½ inch) to threaded pipe fittings (the appropriate size for your shower valve)
- 1 PEX (½ inch) drop ear elbow (the appropriate size for your shower head arm)
- 2 PEX (½ inch) to ½-inch PEX brass ball valves
- PEX crimping tool
- PEX cutter, or hack saw
- Teflon tape
- Fasteners for mounting the shower valve, shower head and shower head arm
Run ½-inch PEX tubing hot and cold water supply lines into the wall behind the shower. Fasten the shower valve to the shower or wall. Attach ½-inch PEX ball valves to the hot and cold supply lines, about 6 inches below the shower valve. Crimp connections with ½-inch PEX rings.
Using Teflon tape, fasten ½-inch PEX fittings to the hot and cold intakes on the shower valve. Do the same to the shower head output. Connect the cold water supply valve to the shower valve’s cold water intake with ½-inch PEX tubing. Repeat with the hot water valve and intake. Crimp all connections with ½-inch PEX rings.
Using Teflon tape, fasten a ½-inch PEX drop ear elbow to the shower head arm. Fasten the shower head arm to the shower or the wall. Connect the shower valve output to the drop ear elbow with ½-inch PEX tubing. Crimp all connections with ½-inch PEX rings.
Turn on the water supply valves and check all connections for leakage. If necessary, recrimp any PEX rings.
Tips & Warnings
- A pocket-sized PEX crimper is available for those tight corners where a full-sized crimper won’t fit.
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