How to Install Pex Fittings

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Push-type fittings work with PEX pipe but are not suitable for inaccessible or undergroung locations.
Push-type fittings work with PEX pipe but are not suitable for inaccessible or undergroung locations. (Image: preparation for installation for water supply image by YURY MARYUNIN from Fotolia.com)

PEX fittings are mechanical fittings that do not require heat or glue to install. Types of PEX fittings are: old expansion with PEX rings, cold expansion with metal compression rings, metal or plastic insert, stainless steel clamp or sleeve and push-type fittings. Choose the type of PEX fittings based on the recommendations from the manufacturer of the brand of PEX pipe you are using and your local building codes regarding PEX pipe fittings.

Things You'll Need

  • PEX pipe
  • PEX expander tool (for cold expansion)
  • PEX axial pressing tool (for cold expansion and metal sleeve)
  • Appropriate PEX fitting
  • Appropriate crimping or clamping tool

Cold Expansion Type Fittings

Slide a PEX ring or metal compression ring over the PEX pipe.

Place the end of the expander tool into the end of the PEX pipe.

Press the handles together to expand the end of the PEX pipe so it will fit over the chosen fitting.

Slide the expanded end of the PEX pipe over the fitting port.

Slide the PEX ring or metal compression ring over the PEX pipe until it is as close to the fitting as possible.

Insert the fitting into the axial pressing tool. Insert the PEX pipe into the other groove with the PEX or metal compression ring between the two grooves. Squeeze the handle of the axial pressing tool until the PEX or metal compression ring is in position over the PEX pipe where it is on the fitting to hold the PEX tubing securely on the fitting.

Insert Type Fittings

Slide a copper sleeve or crimp ring over the PEX pipe.

Slide the end of the PEX pipe over the fitting port.

Slide the copper sleeve or crimp ring over the PEX pipe until it is as close to the fitting as possible.

Insert the fitting into the axial pressing tool. Insert the PEX pipe into the other groove with the PEX or metal compression ring between the two grooves. Squeeze the handle of the axial pressing tool until the PEX or metal compression ring is in position over the PEX pipe where it is on the fitting to hold the PEX tubing securely on the fitting.

Use a crimping tool to crimp the band to hold the PEX tubing securely on the fitting. Sleeve-type fittings do not need crimped.

Push-Type Fittings

Check the ends of the PEX pipe for burrs or rough areas.

Remove burrs or rough areas by re-cutting.

Push the PEX pipe all the way into the fitting port.

Tips & Warnings

  • When measuring PEX pipe for your project, add a few inches to the measurement in case the fitting needs replaced in the future.
  • Push-type fittings are not allowed for use in inaccessible areas or underground in many locations. Check with you local buildings codes before choosing this type of fitting for your specific project.

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