Crimping Tools for Polyethylene PEX Tubing

The term "PEX" is an abbreviation for "cross-linked polyethylene," which means polyethylene polymers with bonded molecular chains. PEX is used to manufacture tubing for a variety of purposes, including domestic water piping, hydronic heating systems, electrical wire insulation, and more. PEX plumbing systems consist of PEX tubing, metal connection fittings, and metal crimp rings, or cinch clamps. Special cutting, crimping and gauge tools are needed for proper PEX system installations.

  1. PEX System Tube to Fitting Methodology

    • Installation of a PEX tubing system requires significant crimping of the required metal crimp rings, or cinch clamps, wherever the tubing is attached to the fittings. Special, appropriately sized crimping tools are needed to ensure a safe, professional installation. Use only fittings and rings/clamps indicated for PEX installations. Special PEX system gauge tools are used to determine whether or not a PEX crimp connection is satisfactory.

    Manually Operated PEX System Crimping Tools

    • Several well-known trade-tool manufacturers provide manually operated crimping tools to be used with PEX tubing and fitting connections. These tools are designed to be used with PEX copper and stainless steel crimp rings, clamps and insert fittings. Crimping is accomplished through manual squeezing of leverage-advantaged hand tools.

    Powered PEX System Crimping Tools

    • There are also powered PEX system crimping tools available, including battery powered, for use with copper and stainless steel crimp rings. PEX-specific interchangeable jaws range from 3/8 inches to 1 inch tubing/fitting sizes.

    Considerations

    • PEX systems may be used for hot and cold potable water plumbing, as well as below-grade and in-slab piping for water supply, heating, and more. In addition, PEX systems may offer cost benefits by way of lower installation time, fewer joints, thus fewer places for leaks to occur, and more. Note that PEX systems are not recommended for exterior use or where extended sunlight exposure is likely.

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