PEX pipe is a versatile plumbing solution for both professionals and homeowners alike. Whether you want a water system or radiant heat floors, PEX got you covered. It has gained its popularity in recent years due to its ease of use, affordability, and flexibility. We all understand that PEX is a network of cross-linked polyethylene that is arranged uniformly. Not only does this construction make the pipe tougher but also highly flexible. With the PEX flexibility, installation is much faster since it only requires a few connections. Homeowners can now fix their leaking plumbing without having to call plumbers. However, regardless of how flexible PEX is, you can’t bend it as you wish due to certain limitations.
So, How Tight Can You Really Bend Pex?
PEX pipe installation is an easy job if you know the basics. One of the essential knowledge is understanding the limits of how far you can bend the PEX. Although you can slightly bend the PEX tubing to accommodate curves, it all comes down to knowing the PEX bend radius. Ensure that the radius is not six times tighter than the size of the tube. For example, with a ½ inch tube, you get a three-inch bend radius.
If you want to know the minimum bend radius, simply multiply the tubing size by ten.
PEX Bend Radius= PEX Pipe Size *10
Before bending the PEX pipe, it is crucial to measure the appropriate length. Also, ensure that the bends are uniform to avoid causing any disturbance to water flow that may result in leakage. Remember to place support to all 90-degree turns.
How to Bend PEX Tubing
Now that you understand the basics of how tight you can bend PEX, here is the step by step process of bending PEX tubing.
Place the PEX tubing along the path you intend to follow. Keep the tubing slack enough to make a 12-ich diameter loop. It may be challenging to run the PEX in curves. Use elbow fittings to support the bends and avoid breakage or kink.
Proceed to put the PEX hanger or strap over the tubing. Ensure that the pipe can move to allow the tubing to expand and contract due to temperature variations. Using the slack left behind in the tubing, create a loop or S-curve. Place another PEX hanger or strap to hold the loop in place.
Continue running the PEX tubing all through the intended points while installing the necessary
fittings. Remember to keep the PEX away from hot surfaces to avoid damaging the tubing. You can protect the pipes through abrasion clips or pipe insulation.
What Happens If I Kink PEX?
There is always a chance of experiencing kinks. Although it is possible to bend pex as you would PVC, you can use heat to repair kinks. Simply use a heat gun for this. However, some pipes tend to re-kink in the previously kinked areas, especially if the location makes a bend. In case of a kink, cut out the affected part and use the short tubing elsewhere.