Diy Pex Plumbing

DIY PEX plumbing involves using a type of flexible plastic piping for the water supply in our homes. DIY PEX plumbing is simpler than other plumbing methods and it is generally quite a lot cheaper. The trade names of PEX products vary from country to country, but wherever you live, there are a few basic things you should know before you tackle a DIY PEX plumbing project.

First of all, it helps to understand the difference between one plastic pipe and another. The type of plastic we use for plumbing pipes is called thermoplastic pipe and the materials used to manufacture them contains polymers to make them strong. Different types of thermoplastics have different names, but they all begin with the prefix 'poly'.

Pipes for your DIY PEX Plumbing

Probably the most common is PVC pipe. PVC (or more correctly polyvinyl chloride) is a hard, brittle thermoplastic material that is manufactured in various ways, sometimes with the addition of a type of plastic. For example, we use plasticized PVC for some flexible tubing, including hosepipes. We use unplasticized PVC (uPVC) for rigid plumbing pipes including water mains pipes, the pipes that remove waster water from buildings and pipes that channel rainwater away from our homes and other buildings. Then we get cPVC pipes made from chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, that are often used in our domestic plumbing systems, and mPVC pipes which are made from a modified PVC, that are generally much bigger pipes that are used for pipelines and to remove effluent from our plumbing systems.

The other types are polypropylene and polyethylene pipes. Polypropylene is a lot more flexible than ordinary polyethylene, but not as flexible as plasticized PVC. It is often used for waste pipes and to make pressure pipes that may be used to carry hot water within our homes and buildings. Polyethylene may be a low-density material (LDPE) or a high-density material (HDPE). Because it is very brittle, and is affected by the UV rays of the sun, manufacturers often add carbon to polyethylene to make it last longer - and so the pipes are black. But technology is improving all the time, and more and more plumbers are now using a new type of HDPE that is made with a cross-linking agent commonly known as PEX. PEX pipes are very strong, they are often white in colour, and they may be used for cold water and for hot water up to 95º C or 200º F. They can also be used in conditions where the water freezes.

PEX pipes are manufactured in standard sizes and lengths and they can be joined using special PEX connectors and fittings or with brass fittings manufactured for use with PEX pipes. The beauty of the PEX system is that pipes are lightweight and easy to cut. Very few tools are needed and there is no welding, soldering or glue involved. If you're repairing pipework, PEX fittings may be used to join old galvanized or copper pipe to new pieces of PEX pipe.

 

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