PEX has gained popularity in recent years due to its ease of installation and multiple applications. Its flexibility allows it to be bent in different angles, not forgetting its resistance to build up and scales. There are three kinds of crimp rings used on PEX tubing. Both professionals and DIYers have different ways of removing them. While plumbers use specialized tools for this job, homeowners improvise with available tools.
Whether you are remodeling, repairing, or just correcting faulty connections, knowing how to remove Pex rings is crucial. Read on to understand different types of PEX crimp rings and various ways to remove them. You will also find out the tools you may need as well.
Methods of Removing Different Types of PEX Crimp Rings
Pro-PEX Rings or Fittings
This Pex tube has a pex ring with a relatively larger diameter that holds a fitting in place. Although you may come across this kind of fittings in stores, it is rarely used by a handymen or typical homeowners. This is because the tools needed to make seals are quite expensive. Pro-PEX fittings and rings create compression seals through expansion style.
The Pro-PEX crimp rings are simple to remove without any need for special tools. A regular hacksaw, handheld, or miniature hacksaw will do fine. Avoid using fine-toothed hacksaw since the crimp ring is made of soft plastic material. Also, choose the size of your hacksaw depending on the space around the fitting.
Steps Involved in Removing The PEX Fittings
- First, you have to cut the fitting either spirally or at an angle. While you can also cut it square, it leaves you with little room to move. Cutting at an angle is more suitable because it provides grip and enough space to use tools in small areas.
- After cutting through the ring, insert a screwdriver in the cut and twist. Proceed to split the ring at the cut edge and then pull it off.
- When it comes to removing the fitting, you have an option to use a PEX cutter or hacksaw. With PEX cutter, you are assured of a neat burr-free cut. It creates 90 degrees cut on various sizes of tubes ranging from 1-inch to 3/8 inches’ diameter. By placing the tool a few centimeters away from the fitting, you avoid damaging the fitting.
- From there, proceed to cut the pex ring from the fitting using a hacksaw. Be careful during this process to avoid damaging the burrs on the fitting, which may cause leaks. A razor knife is an ideal choice for cutting off pex tubing from the fitting. Sure, it may show some scratches where metal meets metal. However, it does not cause any leaks.
- Once done, use pliers to remove the remaining end of pex tube from the fitting.
Another method of removing Pro-PEX is by using heat. In this style, a heat gun or blow dryer is your best friend. Apply heat directly on the pipe until it softens and expands. The tubing will quickly come off with a little twist.
Stainless Steel Crimps
Basically, a stainless ring has nubs and punches that compress on to the PEX pipe and fittings to create a tight seal. They are quite challenging to remove due to the stainless steel material curling up to form rings. When a connection is made between a PEX tubing and fitting, the clamp ring forms a loop.
How to Remove The PEX Fitting
When it comes to removing the PEX cinch connection, you need the following tools.
- PEX clamp cutter
- An Expansion tool
Step 1: Depressurize the system
Ensure that you shut off the water supply of the PEX connection that you want to fix. Thanks to the manifold fitting on most PE systems, you can easily rotate the right water supply valve to turn it off.
Use a rag to clean the space around the cinch clamp to clear any dirt and dust present.
Step 3: Use the PEX clamp cutter
Slide the tool under the crimped part of the ring. Once hooked, gently squeeze or rotate the device until you hear a click indicating that the ring is opened. These tools come in various sizes, so keep in mind the size of the project you are working on.
The clamp ring should drop off by now. If not, use pliers to pull it off. Take caution and wear gloves to avoid getting cuts from the sharp edges around the clamp.
Copper Crimp Ring
Calibrated pliers known as Pex crimpers mashes the copper rings on to fittings and tubing to make a connection. These seals are the easiest to remove with the right tool at hand. It only takes a few easy steps to learn, even if you have never done any kind of plumbing work prior.
- Heat gun
Step 1: Cutting the crimp ring
A decrimper works more like pliers and features one cutting edge while the other jaw has a rounded anvil. Place the anvil side in the fitting until it covers the entire ring. Squeeze the handles firmly together until it gets cut.
Turn the fitting at 90 degrees and make another cut. The copper ring should be free from the tubing.
Step 2: Remove the PEX pipe
If there is any PEX tubing remaining on edge, use pliers to pluck it off. Although the process is simple, the barbs on the fitting make removing the pipe a daunting task. You can also use the heat method to remove the tubing from the fitting barbs.
Be careful when applying heat to avoid burning the PEX pipes. The heat makes the piping elastic enough to be removed from the fins.
We have looked at three types of PEX rings, including copper rings, PRO-PEX, and stainless steel. You now understand how they are used to make connections. Although installing them may be easier than removing the sealing, it is doable. Whether you are remodeling or fixing a wrong link, you need some special tools like PEX cutter decrimper. Additionally, you can improvise by using common household devices.