What Tools are Needed for PEX Plumbing?

As a DIY-er, nothing pleases you like fixing something – a leaky pipe for instance. A lot of houses feature PEX plumbing systems, and it’s worth mentioning that every plumbing system has its own appropriate set of tools.

It’s therefore important as a DIY enthusiast that you have the right tools for the job. In the course of this article we are going to reveal the various tools you will need to excel at fixing PEX plumbing systems.

PEX Standards

Before you understand the types of tool you can use, you must first consider the standard.

We will talk about the PEX Clamp Standard and the PEX Crimping Standard.

PEX Clamp Standard

This is the simplest standard. Most DIYs use it.

It is also commonly used in certain parts of the US.

A clamp tool works well with crimp fittings and uses SS clamps to make a connection secure.

Of the systems, it is the easier and more economical one.

PEX Crimping Standard

There are three basic tools you need to work with PEX tubing when using the PEX Crimping Standard: the main crimping tool(s), a pipe cutter, and a de-crimping tool

1. Main crimping tool – There are several configurations available, depending on the vendor you are buying from. For instance, there is a popular model which is able to crimp either ½-inch or ¾-inch PEX tube. You can also go for a crimping tool which is compatible with interchangeable crimp heads, enabling it to work well on any of the tube sizes.

2. Pipe cutter – We use this to make a clean, square cut before we insert the tube into the fitting.

3. De-crimping tool – For removal of crimp ring from the tube and fitting. There are different designs, but with the same goal: cut the copper ring. You can reuse fittings.

It is best to buy all three of these tools in one kit so as to bring down the price. Prices vary for different brands.

PEX Attachment Tools

In this section we look at the various tools used to attach PEX tubing to different surfaces.

1. Wooden Surface

We use PEX-to-wood attachment tools to attach PEX tubing to a wooden surface.

For the job, you need manual or pneumatic clip guns to securely attach the tubing to the wooden surface. Installations of this type are common in plumbing systems – also in radiant heat systems.

2. Foam Board

When securing PEX tubing to a foam board or a tarp insulation (polyurethane, polystyrene etc), you need foam staplers for the job.

Foam staplers contain foam plastic staplers which work well with PEX of sizes ranging from 3/8 to 5/8 inches.

3. Wire Mesh

To secure PEX tubing to wire mesh, you will need a PEX-to-wire tool.

This installation happens in PEX plumbing and radiant heat applications.

Conclusion

Those are the tools you need for PEX plumbing. Before you go shopping, first find out which PEX standard you are dealing with: is it PEX clamp standard or PEX crimping standard?

Plumbing issues can sometimes happen at the most inconvenient time and it is always good to be prepared. Furthermore, even if you are not a DIY-er, it’s good to have such tools in the house – sometimes the plumber forgets his tools!

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