Here is an interesting thing I just learned: Starting home repairs often leads to more repairs: often unnecessary and just nice to have.
He wants to install a deep sink in his garage and asked me how to connect pex to a faucet. I don’t know how to do this type of job – so I searched for a guide on how to connect pex to a faucet and couldn’t find anything… So I’m going to write this how-to article and explain exactly what you need to connect pex to a faucet.
Here’s the basic process on how to connect pex to a faucet: Select the pex pipe you want to use and cut it to length. Then slide the pex ring over the pipe, and place your fitting into the end of the pipe – securing the ring with the pex tool. The finished pex pipe then attaches to your faucet.
Now, what exactly is Pex? If you haven’t heard of pex piping that’s ok – neither did I. I’ll give you a short overview before we dive into the pex piping and the system itself – and then I’ll break down the tools you need and the process for installing pex piping on your own.
Are you excited to learn all about pex?
I know I am, so let’s dive in!
Now you might be surprised to learn that PEX can trace its roots back over 100 years ago when the German inventor Dr. Engel developed a method to cross-link polyethelyne, which is what pex pipe is constructed of. Pex as we know it started hitting the markets in the 1970s in Europe and didn’t start being used in America until the 1990s. Traditional copper piping was used in American homes and still is in wide use today, but as you’ll see pex is easy to use and can save you thousands of dollars in labor.
Since we are talking about plumbing, pipes, and water, check out this review of a pressure washer machine my buddy used to clean his new driveway.
Pex Tools and Materials
Since we are starting from square one, I want to give you an overview of the tools and the pipe you will need with the Pex system.
Here is Everything you’ll need:
Let’s break down each item piece by piece so you know exactly what you’ll need:
Shark bite fittings (optional)
Pex pipes, assorted by color
Red is for hot water
White is neutral – can be either if you like
Blue is for cold water
Now that you know what tools you’ll need to install Pex, let’s dive into exactly how to install pex in your home step by step.
Installing Pex is super easy, as I’ll show you shortly. Just one word of caution: check with your local laws and regulations to ensure that pex is actually allowed in your city. You don’t want to install all this pex pipe just to have to remove it because of some weird regulation or ordinance.
Now here is the process to use with regular pex fittings:
Slide the ring onto the pipe, you want a ⅛” to ¼’ gap from the top of the pex pipe to the ring
Slide on your pex fitting to the end of the pipe
Crimp down the ring with the pex ring tool. You want to make sure the tool is at a 90-degree angle to the pex pipe, and you’ll hear a “click” when you’ve successfully crimped the ring.
And that’s how you install a pex fitting! The hose is then installed right to your faucet hardware.
Now, you will want to check your tool to ensure it’s crimping correctly, and you can do that with the go/ no-go tool.
You simply slide the “go” section over the pipe on the ring after it’s been crimped. We are using a ½” pipe, so we use the ½” measure and we can it slips over the ring with no problem.
Now flip the tool and see if the “no-go”section fits – if it does not “go” or fit, your tool is working correctly.
Let’s say you want to use the shark fittings instead of the traditional rings and fittings – and I recommend these on smaller jobs. They are really easy to use, but a bit more expensive, so with larger jobs go with the traditional fittings.
To use a shark fitting you need need to cut your pipe to length, then,
Use the depth gauge on the pipe corresponding to the fitting you need like this:
And it simply slides over the pipe.
You then mark the pex pipe at the end of the depth gauge with your sharpie
When that’s done you slide your shark bite fitting over the pex.
Check out the inside of the shark bite fitting: inside the fitting is a small piece of pipe which, when connected with the pex pipe keeps everything rigid.
And once the shark bite fitting is attached to the pex it will spin 360 degrees – that’s normal.
Oops, I made a mistake!
Let’s say you installed a fitting on a red pipe and actually were running cold water and needed to use a blue pipe. No problem – removing a fitting is really easy.
To remove the traditional fitting you’ll do it in three steps.
take the pex cutter and remove the section closest to the fitting
Then use the removal tool by sliding it close to the fitting and over the ring. Squeeze down to clip the ring, and spin the pex tube 180 degrees and repeat the process.
And your fitting will slide right out.
To remove shark fitting:
Use the shark fitting removal tool: (looks like a small donut)
And you’ll press it and pull out. The shark bit slips right off
It’s that easy to work with pex!
If you have to the opportunity to work with pex and your city or location allows it – then go for it!
Pex has so many advantages over copper it’s crazy that pex didn’t catch on faster… but then there would be a lot of unemployed plumbers I guess!
Once I learned about pex I gave up working with copper piping – and I love working with all types of metal. But when I learned how to connect pex to a faucet I knew it was game over.
There is no soldering, no mess, and no costly repairs when compared to copper pipe. Once I find an easier way to do something – I am all for it, and all for pex.