How to connect PEX piping
Working with PEX flexible plumbing pipe is not as difficult as working with copper pipe and the connections can be made without using brute force.
Determining your connection type
PEX connections can be made with a copper crimp ring, a stainless steel cinch crimp, compression rings or «Push-fit» fittings. «Push-fit» is the quickest connection but the connectors themselves are more expensive and sometimes harder to find.
level-1 PEX connectors including Tee’s and elbows are designed to work with both copper rings and steel cinches. Different tools are required for these connections so be sure that you have the correct PEX tool on hand. The connection steps are the same for both crimp and cinch connections.
Have your PEX tubing cut to the correct length with an allowance for the connector. Your tubing must be cut evenly without rough edges.
Placing your crimping ring on your tubing
Place your chosen ring over the end of the piece of PEX tubing that you are connecting. Insert the fitting into the tubing until it stops, flush. Slide your ring over the PEX tubing so that the ring is in the middle of the of the connection area of the fitting or slightly closer to the center. Do not place the ring to close to the end of the fitting or you will not obtain a solid connection. Be sure to hold the ring and fitting solidly so the fitting does not slip out.
Copper crimp connections
If you are working with copper crimps have your tools set for the correct size. If you have not tested the crimp strength do this on a scrap piece first.
Wrap the open end of your crimping tool around the copper crimp ring and check that your fitting has not slipped. Squeeze the handle of the PEX crimping tool fully and release. Check your connection with your «Go — No Go» gauge. You can also check by gently pulling on the tubing. It should not be loose.
copper crimping tool
«Go — No Go» gauge
Steel cinch connections
Cinch type connections are easier for use in small spaces. The cinch tool does not have to wrap around your PEX fitting. Simply open the connecting end with the handles and place on each side of the indented area of the crimp. Squeeze the handles closed and your connection is complete. The cinch tool works on a ratchet system and will automatically release when enough pressure has been applied.
Steel cinch crimping tool