A PEX is a type of flexible pipe that is considered as a crossed-linked polyethylene. It is a new replacement for traditional copper pipes. Previous galvanized steel is also replaced with PEX.
Now for most of the remodeling projects and construction, PEX is widely used. They come in the form of a role tube and occurs to be of multiple colors. You will notice them in most of the construction areas and also in DIY stores.
As PEX is very flexible, it is not easy to straighten them up. But actually, it is possible to straight PEX by running hot water at the end by hooking it up to the tap. By laying the pipe as flat as possible, you can straighten up the PEX.
How to Straight PEX – A Complete Guide
PEX pipes don’t usually bend too much, but they are flexible enough to carry out the task of turning. You need to consider some angles when straightening a PEX.
The angle at which PEX can be bent is 90 degrees which is a right angle. While bending, you should consider the radius that should correlate with the diameter of the pipe. For a PEX pipe of around ½ inch, the radius should be about 5 inches.
Most of the time, it is pretty challenging to straight the PEX pipe with a direct hand. Even if you straighten them up, you will notice that it remains bent after exiting the wall.
In order to properly straighten up the PEX pipe in the correct manner, you need to use a copper stub-out which will be 90 degrees.
It should be done at the moment of running it in the toilet or other fixture. Just ensure that the shutoff valve is visible.
As PEX pipes have a significant amount of flexibility, they can be pretty hard to straighten up. Although with a proper adapter, the PEX pipe can be brought into a straight form.
PEX pipe can be used with PVC, steel copper, and plumbing pipes too. In that case, it automatically gets straight as all of them are tough metals.
Most of the corners of a tube are bendable. For that, it requires less amount of effort when it comes to fitting, and it also does not leak.
There are specific tools and materials needed for straightening up a PEX pipe. Forgiving the proper measurement, you need an angle, and then for measuring the radius, you need an instrument too.
A copper stub-out is also needed to hold the PEX to attach with something and straighten it. The most effective way is by pouring hot water into the PEX pipe, which will eventually help the pipe to get untangled.
Tools: Three tools are essentially needed to make the PEX pipe straight. They are:
- A 90-degree angle measurement tool
- A radius measurement tool
- A copper stub-out
Steps on Straightening PEX
- First, hold the edge of the PEX tube and keep the rest of the pipe in an unrolling manner so that it does not spread out.
- Keeping a tight grasp of the edge of the PEX pipe, place the PEX between your two legs and get a good grip.
- Make the pipe pass-through from between the knees so that it does not lose the grip or the formation remains unchanged.
- Start unrolling the PEX pipe in the shape of ‘S’ so that you are curving it backward.
- The curve should be made in such a way that if the pipe wants to go its way, you need to bend it in the other direction.
- Afterward, keeping a tight hold of the PEX pipe, just push it back.
- One advantage that you will get while doing the process is that the PEX pipe will go with you and not fight against you.
- Push the pipe at an angle of 90 degrees so that you don’t have to put much pressure on it.
- With a work of just two rounds, your pipe will start to straighten up and be as you want.
Some Benefits of PEX Pipes
It comes in handy and easy to operate: If you compare PEX to other plumbing options, you will find PEX easier to operate. There are not many connections and fittings required for PEX.
As they have the advantage of getting a flexible bend, so they don’t need any soldering or attaching with fluxes.
You can easily plug different pipes without the help of any tool. For confined areas, you also don’t require glue for installing the pipes.
When it comes to cutting a PEX pipe, you can easily slice off a PEX tube without putting in much effort. So using a PEX pipe will definitely save a lot of time, money, and energy.
A Great Amount of Flexibility
You can find PEX from the hardware store folded in spools. That brings us to the point that PEX pipes are easier to manage than copper pipes or plastic. Also, it is very light weighted; you don’t need much effort to pull it.
A plumbing system can often bring damage to your wall and other objects too. Doing everything with PEX and not using a metal cutter or torch will help you a lot.
Most importantly, for PEX pipe, you can curve the pipe and bring it to any shape you want.
PEX is very durable, reliable, and resistant. There is no build-up like copper, so PEX does not affect the normal water flow, and there are no corrodes or metals seen in the water.
When it comes to freezing resistance, no leakage PEX pipe is the leading one here. Moreover, there is no heat transfer associated with PEX, whereas copper creates heat for its surroundings. That indicates that the PEX pipe conserves more energy.
Safe and Reliable
PEX pipes are very much safe to use in every way. Few things to be careful about and the pipe should not be exposed to:
- Direct heat
- UV light
- Explosive and flames
There is no soldering or gluing required for the installation of PEX pipes. So that makes PEX more safe and reliable for use.
During winter PEX have a lesser chance to burst. It has the ability to powerfully work against any leakage in higher temperatures.
Some Minor Disadvantages
Water directly running through PEX pipes can be unhealthy. The smell in PEX pipes is more dense and hard to control. Mostly the regions which consist of chemicals and contaminants in water in a higher amount.
The odor can change the taste of water absorption of chemical vapor is seen. Eventually, the water cannot be drinkable as it will contain an unpleasant smell.
Insertion of Insects
Some rodents or small pesticides roam inside the PEX pipe, which could make the water harmful for drinking. Also, there may be a structural problem and unwanted leaks.
Not compatible with outdoor use: Although PEX is more resistant than copper and PVC, it is still not valid for exterior use. During extreme hot and cold seasons, PEX seems to get brittle up, leading to uncertain breaks.
During the hot season, water can get deteriorate by getting oxidized, and during winter seasons, it may freeze up.
It takes more time to face these problems than PVC and other metals. But still, it is not resistant to UV light and gets damaged within a short period of time.
It is a common problem noticed which is associated with the installation of brass fitting, which is dezincification. When the corners of any cheap brass fittings are cut, this problem is detected.
When water gets exposed, then there seems some zinc content and corrodes in the fittings. For that, using a low zinc brass filter is the best solution.
Should PEX replace copper?
It is recommended to install PEX by replacing copper pipes. Having a copper pipe for many years and repairing it often can really cause a hassle.
So for any small area and to avoid leakage, you could choose the option of installing PEX by removing copper. Both of the pipes are interchangeable at any moment.
Can PEX pipe be used in the main water line?
Yes, definitely you can use the PEX pipe in the main water line. But make sure you choose a bigger size as most of the copper pipes are of big size. Other than that, you can also use poly, an alternative to larger OD but has the same copper ID.
Is it possible to straighten PEX pipes by heating?
It is not easy to straighten PEX pipe in this process. Cutting to a correct length and pouring hot water with a kettle, you can insert hot water in the pipe.
Soon the heat will soften the tube and allow it to get straightened. After it cools, it will still remain straight.
Straightening PEX pipes can be an easy job if steps are followed accordingly. Although it seems a small job as it has tough and sound material, specific techniques are needed to straighten up PEX pipes.
Unless you know the basics, it can be problematic for you. But if you follow the proper guideline, then it will look more accessible than you think.