How to Patch a Leaking PEX Connector
Repairing a PEX connector is something that you can do on your own. PEX is the abbreviation for cross-linked polyethylene. PEX was first used in the '30s. As the name suggests, it is a kind of polyethylene that has cross-links. It is mostly used for heating systems, insulation, and water piping. One benefit of using cross-linked polyethylene is that it is resistant to freezing. It is also flexible, so you can bend it if you have to. They are cheaper to acquire and to install. The estimated life span of PEX is around 200 years, so you know that this is a strong material. They can last for a pretty long time unless you use them in areas exposed to sunlight because this would make them degrade faster. If they are placed in a sunlit area for even as little as 30 days, they will start to get brittle and be destroyed. While PEX is a strong material, there are instances when you encounter problems with it and the common problem is the breaking of PEX connectors. The connectors are created without the use of solders or chemicals, so even if you put them in tightly, you might see them leak or come apart. There are special tools that you might need for repairing the connectors, but you should rent them instead of purchasing since you will only be using them for this purpose.
Step 1: Remove the Broken PEX Connectors
Find the PEX tube that has a problem with the connectors. Remove these and prepare the new ones that you will put in.
Step 2: Place in the Copper Crimp Ring
Place the ring on one end of one tube and a crimp style adapter into one end of the other. The crimp should be in the middle of the ribbed part of the adapter. Put the jaws of the PEX crimping tool right on top of the ring and bring the two handles together. Do this to the tube on the other side of the adapter.
Step 3: Check the Connections
Take the go/no-go gauge and look at both the connection. To make sure that you have a good connection, the go slot should fit perfectly around the rings and the no-go slot should not.
Step 4: Create the Compression Connections
Use the PEX 3-part fittings to do this. The brass nut should be threaded to the part that faces the tube's end.
Step 5: Finish the Push-Fit Connection
Take the PEX tubing cutter and make a clean cut on it. Put in the support sleeve on this end so that the tube does not collapse.
Step 6: Expansion Connections
You also need expansion connections to finish this repair. This is done using the expander tool and the PEX tubings. The expansion joint is needed to ensure the same diameters all throughout.