Installing an Insulated PEX Pipe Installing an Insulated PEX Pipe

Insulated pex pipe is more flexible than traditional piping. It’s easy to handle due to its lightweight nature. Additional insulation, which is often expensive and time consuming, isn’t required and pex doesn’t corrode or rust. Its unique design means that it is pre-insulated, keeping the hot water in the pipe hotter for longer. Below are the instructions to help you in installing a pre-insulated PEX pipe.

Tools and Materials Required for the Installation

  • Chalk used for marking
  • Pex crimping iron
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Mallet
  • Timber
  • Pex threaded fittings and insulated pex pipes
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Shovel
  • Supply valves
  • Suitable wrench

Step 1 – The Preparation

First decide where you will be laying the insulated pex pipes, e.g., in a floor space. With the chalk, carefully mark out the entire route for the pipes. Next, position the pipes and mark out where to drill the holes needed for the floor studs.

If you’re not installing in a floor space but in the ground, you’ll need to dig a suitably sized hole to accommodate the pipes. If you live in a region that has prolonged sub-zero temperatures, you will additionally need to lay timber across the pipes to further protect from frost. Also, allow a little extra depth for the pipes to expand and contract during fluctuations in temperature.

Step 2 – Laying the Pipe

Drill the holes for the floor studs so that they can be held securely in place. Next connect the pipes together. Lay the pipes on the floor carefully and check that they are all connected correctly and fully tightened. Double check each joint, especially where the pipe is bent back on itself, this is a common occurrence. For example: under-floor heating installations are a common use for insulated pex pipe.

Step 3 – Connecting the PEX Fittings

Locate the pex threaded fittings and fix one of them to the end of the pipe with a securely fastened crimping ring. The crimping should be done using the specially engineered pex crimping iron. Simply press down on the crimping ring until the tool indicates it is fully crimped. Repeat this for the rest of the pipes as required. Next take a supply valve and securely connect it to the crimped end of the pipe. Seat it fully home using a mallet. Finally, take the wrench and tighten the supply valve, being careful not to over tighten. Repeat this process until all fittings are secured.

Step 4 – Connect the Pex Pipe to the Water Supply

Take the water supply hose and crimp to the pipe. Once done, connect the water supply hose to the main water supply pipe and secure it with the wrench. Ensure it is tight enough so that pipe doesn't leak when the water flows.

Step 5 – Test the Pex Pipe Installation

Test the installation by running a little water into the system to check for any leaks in the insulated pex pipe or joints. Repair any leaks by replacing any faulty pipes or fittings. The insulated pex pipe project is now complete.

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