How to Use a PEX Expander Tool

There are a few tips involved in using a PEX expander tool. In order to use the expander tool, you will basically slide the expansion ring over the end of the pipe until the expansion ring is exposed by approximately 1/16” on the pipe end. You can potentially run into some issues with the expansion ring sliding back while trying to expand it if you push the ring past the pipe’s end. For this reason, it will only need to be past the pipe from 1/16” to 1/8”. The expander tool then needs to be inserted and the tool expanded all the way. Alternately, rotate and expand the head until you bottom out the expansion head. Pull the expansion tool out and insert the fitting in. Hold the fitting in place until the expansion ring closes. 

A Few Good Pointers

Keep the expansion rings warm. This helps them to close properly and to seal the pipe onto the fitting. They can be warmed using a heating gun for a few seconds if they were in a cold setting. If the pipe is under pressure, do not heat the rings with the heat gun.

Checking for Irregularities

After the expansion tool has been pulled out, make sure there are no grooves on the pipe end that you just expanded. If there is a groove or irregular spot, you did not turn the expansion head on the tool correctly or far enough. Simply insert the expansion tool and pump it up again. This will need to be done in a quick manner since there is little time from when you pull the expansion tool out to when you insert the fitting.

Lubricating the Tool

The PEX expander tool can be greased periodically as long as you do not use a lot of grease. The grease can be purchased at your local dealer. It will have to be safe for water lines that are potable. The expander tool only needs to be greased before the expansion heads are put on.

Storing the Expander Tool

When you store the expander tool away with the head still on, make sure the expansion head is loosened. This will avoid any type of resistance when the tool is closed and put away.