How Can I Install PEX B Fittings?
Knowing how to install PEX fittings is essential when repairing or installing PEX pipes. Proper installation of PEX fittings enables you to create reliable and leak-free connections. PEX fittings come in a variety of styles, and each one of them suits certain applications. For instance, PEX B is the most popular type of PEX tubing and uses specific fittings.
This article will focus on understanding various types of PEX B fittings and how to install them.
Understanding PEX B Fittings
PEX B fittings are made of one of these materials, i.e., poly or brass. It is important to note that these fittings come in various configurations to help make different types of connections. Common configurations of fittings include:
- Couplings (used to join two straight PEX pipes of the same diameter)
- Elbows (used to connect two PEX pipes at 90 and 45 degrees turn)
- Tees (allow branching/splitting of a PEX pipeline into two different lines)
Another crucial aspect entails understanding what styles/types of PEX fittings work well with type B PEX tubing. The type of fitting determines the type of connection method you’ll use. PEX B tubing tends to be more rigid than PEX A and PEX C tubing, making it a preferred choice in most plumbing applications. Common types of fittings used with PEX B pipes include push-fit, press, and crimp fittings.
Read more: Are Copper Press Fittings Reliable?
How to Install PEX B Fittings
While there are many options for PEX fittings, pinch clamp and crimp-type fittings are the most preferred and economical options when working with PEX B tubing. Therefore, we shall focus on exploring how to install PEX B fittings using clamping/cinching and crimping.
A. Materials and tools needed:
1. PEX B fittings
2. PEX B tubing
3. PEX crimp rings or PEX pinch clamp rings
4. PEX crimping tool or PEX clamp tool
5. PEX pipe cutter
6. Go/No-go gauge
B. Step by Step: Installing PEX fittings
1. Measure and cut PEX B tubing
The first step entails measuring and cutting the PEX tubing to the desired length. One should use a pipe cutter to help them achieve a clean cut at a 90-degree angle. Depending on the condition of your cut, you may opt to use a deburring tool to remove any burrs or rough edges from the cut ends.
2. Insert a crimp ring or pinch clamp
The next step entails inserting a crimp ring or a pinch clamp ring onto the PEX b tubing from the end you just cut. Either of them is meant to secure the fitting to the PEX tubing. Also, remember to place the crimp ring/pinch clamp about 1/8-1/4 inch from the end.
3. Insert PEX B fitting
Insert your PEX B fitting into the PEX tubing from the same end you’ve positioned your crimp ring/ pinch clamp ring. You must also ensure the crimp or clamp ring sits over the barb of the PEX fitting.
4. Make a connection
Depending on your choice of ring, you’ll need a special tool to crimp or clamp the ring. To make a connection using a crimp ring, you’ll use a PEX crimping tool with the jaws to match the size of that particular ring. Examples of such a tool are the iCrimp IWS-1807 CN PEX Crimping Tool for 1/2 & 3/4 inch copper crimp rings or the iCrimp IWS-FADTS Bench Mount Crimping Tool for 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, and 1-inch PEX copper rings. Once you align your PEX B crimping tool's jaws, you should squeeze the handle to make a crimp connection.
Suppose you decide to use clamp rings; you’ll need a PEX clamp cinch tool or a PEX clamp tool to fasten (cinch) the clamp rings on the PEX tubing and fitting. Examples of such a tool are the iCrimp ICP-BJ02 PEX Clamp Cinch Tool for pinching 1/2, 3/4, and 1-inch PEX clamp rings. Operating a clamp tool is similar to operating a crimping tool. Once the jaws of the clamp tool are well positioned over the small tab on the clamp ring, you can squeeze the tool’s handle to create a secure and tight seal.
Read more: Is it Better to Crimp or Clamp PEX?
5. Check the connection
The last installation step is to check the connection quality you just created. Use a Go/No-go gauge to verify your crimp connection meets standards for crimped rings. You can also try pulling out the fitting to test its tightness with the tubing. A properly done clamp or crimp should create a watertight seal.
Read more: What is the Best PEX Connection Method?
As explained above, installing PEX B fittings is easy. All it takes is having proper tools and materials, such as a PEX crimping or clamp cinch tool and clamp/crimp rings. The best part is that using either of these tools during installation is straightforward. iCrimp offers high-quality and affordable PEX crimping and clamp tools that work with PEX B tubing of various sizes. It also offers other products, such as removal tools and pipe cutters.