When installing PEX crimp fittings, it's crucial to follow best practices to ensure a secure and leak-free plumbing system. Here is a list of things to avoid during the installation of PEX crimp fittings:
- Overcrimping: Applying excessive force during the crimping process can damage the PEX pipe or fitting. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines and use the appropriate crimping tool to avoid overcrimping.
- Undercrimping: Conversely, insufficient crimping can result in a loose connection, leading to leaks. Always ensure that the crimp ring is adequately compressed onto the PEX pipe, creating a tight and secure seal.
- Using the Wrong Crimp Tool: Different PEX crimp fittings may require specific crimp tools. Using the wrong tool can lead to improper crimps and potential leaks. Verify that you have the correct crimp tool for the fittings you are using.
- Using Damaged Crimp Rings: Inspect crimp rings for any signs of damage, such as dents or deformities, before installation. Damaged crimp rings may not provide a reliable seal and can result in leaks.
- Incorrect Pipe Preparation: Ensure that the PEX pipe ends are cut cleanly and squarely. Rough or uneven cuts can affect the proper seating of the crimp ring and compromise the integrity of the connection.
- Improper Pipe Support: PEX pipes should be adequately supported to prevent sagging or movement. Improper support can cause stress on the crimped fittings and lead to leaks over time.
- Failure to Check Crimps: After crimping, visually inspect each connection to ensure that the crimp ring is properly seated on the pipe and fitting. A quick check can help identify any issues before pressurizing the system.
- Mixing Fitting Brands: Stick to fittings and components from the same manufacturer to ensure compatibility. Mixing brands may lead to variations in dimensions that can affect the effectiveness of crimp connections.
- Neglecting Proper Insertion: Ensure that the PEX pipe is fully inserted into the fitting before crimping. Incomplete insertion can result in leaks or an insecure connection.
- Ignoring Temperature Guidelines: PEX has temperature limitations, and exceeding these limits during installation (e.g., using hot water to soften the pipe for easier insertion) can compromise the integrity of the material and fittings.
By avoiding these common pitfalls and adhering to proper installation procedures, you can ensure a reliable and leak-free plumbing system when working with PEX crimp fittings. Always refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for specific instructions related to the products you are using. Also, may we suggest the video "When PEX goes horribly wrong!"