How to Use PEX Crimping Tool
PEX pipes and the crimp tools have made the plumbing jobs more comfortable than ever in recent years. There’s hardly an efficient match of the combo when it comes to creating perfect watertight seals. If you’ve got into DIY plumbing lately, and wondering how to use PEX crimping tool, we’ve got you covered. Hopefully, you’ll get all your answers through our in-depth guide.
Getting Prepared for How to Use PEX Crimping Tool
Before beginning your crimping project, have a look at the guide below that shows how you should prepare your equipment for a perfect, error-free, and hassle-free experience every time.
Once you’ve got yourself the best pex crimp tool, calibrating or re-calibrating the device before using it should be the first among your priorities ahead of anything else.
It might sound a bit difficult that it actually is, but let me assure you that it won’t trouble you much. The purpose here is to ensure that the jaws are set to the proper measurements. For instance, when you’re working with 0.5 clamps, you must check that the device is calibrated to the specific number set indicated on the crimping tool.
Mostly the crimpers utilize pointed screws set at particular areas that you must turn towards. So when calibrating your tool, if you see a “½” mark near one of those screws, you’ll only have to turn it to the direction specified to set everything up. Remember to do it with the right screwdriver for making the turns. (Some rare models may require wrenches instead).
Handling the crimping tool may not seem to be that big a deal at first, but it can well be the cause of severe pain in your wrists. You can encounter such issues mostly because of a small tool that doesn’t have the necessary space around the handles.
One of the best ways to fend off this issue is to wear a pair of work gloves. With the gloves on, the pressure won’t go directly onto your wrist. Instead, it will help spread the load throughout the rest of your hand. This way, you can prevent the handle from digging into the palms of your hand.
You can also opt for a slower working pace to appease the pain while putting the pressure on the handles with your body weight rather than just your hands can ease things up as well.
Choosing the Rings and the Cutter
In general, two types of rings work with crimping tools. Where stainless steel and copper are the most popular, you’ll find aluminum rings as well. Most of the crimpers can work with any of the types. The best way to know if yours can work with a particular one is to check the user manual or product description.
You should also get a sharp enough cutter for cutting the PEX pipes as per your necessity. A cutter with sharp edges and comfortable, long handles will provide you with the peace of mind during your work.
How to Use a PEX Crimper
Almost all the crimping tools maintain a common rule. They might have a difference in their features, but you can use each one of them in the simple rule as followed.
Take a sharp enough PEX cutter and cut the pipe down to the proper size squarely. Don’t forget to get rid of the remaining burrs (if any) carefully.
Now slip the fitting into the opening of the pipe. Followed by, slide in the tube through the crimp ring and position the ring as per necessity. In most cases, 0.125-inch to 0.25-inch is the typical range for the right position (from the tube-end over the fitting’s rib).
Open up the handle of your crimper before placing it onto the ring, and when you’ve got a perfect position, close it down entirely with force.
You should be all done. Check how securely you’ve made the connection with a Go/No-Go gauge.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Q: Is it necessary to work with the tools, pipes, or fittings from the same brand?
Answer: No. All the tools and components regarding PEX piping are standardized by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). Meaning, you can work with various parts produced by different manufacturers, which are universally compatible with each other.
Q: Which rings and fittings are compatible with crimp tools?
Answer: Crimp fittings usually come marked as F2159, F1807, and F877. Both crimp style (F1807) and cinch style (F2098) crimp rings work with these fittings. However, the fittings that are marked F1960 can not work with crimp tools and instead will require an expander PEX tool.
Q: How to be sure whether I’ve crimped it right or not?
Answer: You’ll have to check your work with a G0/No-Go gauge, which should be provided with the crimper. After you’ve done the crimping job, slip the gauge over the ring that you’ve crimped and check if you’ve pinched it adequately. If it slips over the ring comfortably, it means that you’ve created a reliable seal.
Q: Which is the best brand for PEX crimping tools?
Answer: Iwiss and Sharkbite are among the most reliable brands in the market that have produced top-quality PEX crimpers over the years. You can check out some of the best PEX crimp tools from here.
Q: Is it possible to bury the crimp rings?
Answer: Yes, it is. They can be used for both hot and cold water lines. However, you can install them behind the walls but not underneath the concrete. You can also bury them underground (mostly for water supply lines), but you should keep in mind that it can burst during freezing water flows.
On a Final Note
Last but not least, always go for the best pex crimp tool for the sake of both the ease of work and the value of your money. Whether you are a professional plumber or not, a quality tool is all you need for a flawless project as well as peace of mind.