How to Straighten Pex Pipe: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide

How to Straighten Pex Pipe?

To straighten PEX pipe, there are several methods that can be used.

One method is to manually straighten the pipe by forcing it in the opposite direction and securing it for several hours to allow it to adjust to its new shape.

Another method is to soak the pipe in hot water or use hot and cold water to reshape it.

Additionally, some PEX pipes can be straightened by heating them in the sun, but it’s important to check if the pipe is rated for UV exposure before using this method.

It is also possible to purchase straight PEX pipes that are 20 feet long if they are going to be run above the floor.

Lastly, a pipe straightener tool can be used for straightening coiled pipes.

Key Points:

  • Manual straightening involves forcing the PEX pipe in the opposite direction and securing it for several hours to allow it to adjust.
  • Soaking the pipe in hot water or using hot and cold water can reshape it.
  • Some PEX pipes can be straightened by heating them in the sun, but UV exposure rating should be checked.
  • Straight PEX pipes that are 20 feet long can be purchased for running above the floor.
  • A pipe straightener tool is available for straightening coiled pipes.
  • Multiple methods can be used to straighten PEX pipes, including manual, hot water, sunlight, purchasing straight pipes, or using a pipe straightener tool.

Did You Know?

1. The term “Pex” is actually an acronym that stands for “cross-linked polyethylene,” which refers to the type of plastic used to make Pex pipes.

2. Pex pipes were first manufactured in the 1960s in Europe, but they only gained popularity in the United States in the 1980s when they were first introduced as an alternative to traditional copper and PVC pipes.

3. Unlike copper pipes, which require soldering to make connections, Pex pipes are connected using special fittings called “crimp fittings.” These fittings are made of brass and have a metal ring that is crimped onto the pipe to create a secure connection.

4. Pex pipes have the ability to expand and contract, which makes them more resistant to freeze-thaw cycles. This property makes them an ideal choice for plumbing systems in regions with colder climates.

5. To straighten a Pex pipe, you can use a heat gun or a hot water bath. By applying gentle heat to the curved section of the pipe, it becomes more pliable and can be easily straightened.

Pex Pipes: A Cost-Effective Alternative To Copper

PEX piping has gained significant popularity in recent years as a cost-effective alternative to traditional copper pipes. Made from polyethylene, PEX pipes offer numerous advantages over their copper counterparts.

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One of the most appealing features of PEX piping is its affordability. It costs only a fraction of what copper pipes would. Additionally, PEX pipes are easy to install and do not require soldering, making them a convenient choice for both professional plumbers and DIY enthusiasts.

Another significant advantage of PEX pipes is their resistance to corrosion. Unlike copper pipes, which are prone to corrosion over time, PEX piping remains unaffected by corrosive elements, ensuring durability and longevity. This feature alone makes PEX pipes an attractive option for homeowners and builders alike.

Furthermore, PEX pipes are available in both coiled and straight units. While coiled PEX pipes tend to hold their shape due to their design, straight PEX pipes are readily available for specific applications.

  • Cost-effective alternative to traditional copper pipes
  • Made from polyethylene
  • Affordability and easy installation
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Durability and longevity
  • Available in coiled and straight units.

Methods To Straighten Coiled Pex Pipes

If you have opted for coiled PEX pipes and find yourself needing to straighten them for your plumbing project, several methods can help you achieve this.

  • Method 1: Apply heat using a heat gun or a hairdryer. Heating the PEX pipe makes it more pliable, allowing you to manipulate it into the desired straight shape.

  • Method 2: Manually straighten the coiled pipe by carefully forcing it in the opposite direction and securing it in place for several hours. This gradual adjustment allows the pipe to conform to its new shape.

  • Method 3: Consider using a pipe straightener, a specialized tool designed explicitly for straightening coiled pipes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure the best results.

Remember to approach the straightening process with patience and caution to avoid damaging the integrity of the PEX pipe.

“Patience and caution are key when straightening coiled PEX pipes.”

Reshaping Pex Pipes With Heat And Water

While the methods mentioned above primarily focus on straightening coiled PEX pipes, heat and water can also be used to reshape PEX pipes in certain situations. If you need to reshape a PEX pipe that may have become deformed or bent, you can use hot water or soak the pipe in warm/hot water to soften it. Once the pipe is pliable, you can carefully reshape it to the desired form. Keep in mind that not all PEX pipes are suitable for exposure to sunlight or extreme heat, so it is crucial to check the manufacturer’s specifications before using the sun’s heat method. Additionally, employing the sun’s heat method should be done with caution to avoid damaging the pipe or compromising its structural integrity.

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Manual Straightening And Straight PEX Pipe Options

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to straightening PEX pipes or require straight pipes for your plumbing project, manual straightening and purchasing straight PEX pipes are viable options.

Manual straightening involves applying manual pressure to the coiled PEX pipe, forcing it in the opposite direction until it assumes a straighter shape. Securing the pipe in place for several hours will allow it to adjust to its new shape gradually. It’s important to exercise caution during this process to avoid any unnecessary damage to the pipe.

For projects that require straight PEX pipes, it is possible to purchase them in pre-cut lengths of 20 feet. These straight PEX pipes are ideal for applications where running the pipes above the floor is necessary. This option eliminates the need for straightening coiled pipes manually, providing convenience and efficiency while ensuring a neat and professional finish to your plumbing work.

Straightening Pex Pipes Exposed To Sunlight

While it is generally recommended to avoid exposing PEX pipes to direct sunlight, some PEX pipes are designed to withstand limited exposure to sunlight. If you have a PEX pipe that is rated for UV exposure and needs to be straightened, you can utilize the heat from the sun to achieve this. By placing the coiled PEX pipe under direct sunlight, the heat will soften the pipe, making it more pliable and allowing for manual straightening.

It is crucial to exercise caution to avoid causing damage to the pipe. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications before exposing PEX pipes to sunlight or other sources of heat.

  • Avoid exposing PEX pipes to direct sunlight.
  • Some PEX pipes are designed to withstand limited exposure to sunlight.
  • Utilize the heat from the sun to straighten a PEX pipe rated for UV exposure.
  • Soften the pipe by placing it under direct sunlight.
  • Exercise caution to avoid causing damage to the pipe.
  • Check the manufacturer’s specifications before exposing PEX pipes to sunlight or other sources of heat.

Addressing Kinks And Maintaining Water Flow In Pex Pipes

PEX pipe kinking can have detrimental effects on your plumbing system. These weak spots hinder water flow and compromise efficiency. If you come across a kinked PEX pipe, it is crucial to address it promptly.

To fix a kinked PEX pipe, you have two options. The first involves warming the kinked section with a heat gun or hot water. This makes the pipe more pliable, allowing you to gently reshape it and eliminate the kink. Alternatively, you can cut away the damaged section and replace it with a PEX fitting. This ensures a clean and secure joint, eliminating weak spots caused by the kink.

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In conclusion, straightening PEX pipes is a straightforward process with multiple methods to choose from. Whether you prefer manual straightening, heat methods, or using straight PEX pipes, it is important to select the method that best suits your specific needs. By following recommended guidelines and manufacturer’s instructions, you can ensure the longevity and efficiency of your plumbing system while benefiting from the cost-effectiveness of PEX piping.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I heat PEX to bend it?

Heating PEX tubing is a viable option for bending it without causing any permanent damage. The forgiving nature of Wirsbo-PEX allows it to recover its original shape and strength by carefully heating the tubing to approximately 275°F (135°C) with a hot-air gun and then allowing it to cool down again. This method ensures that any mistakes made during the bending process, such as kinks, can be easily rectified without compromising the integrity of the tubing.

Does heat expand PEX?

Yes, heat does cause PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) to expand. As the temperature of the water flowing through PEX pipes increases, the material expands in response. This expansion can cause the pipe to elongate by 1-2.5 inches per 100 feet of length for every 10°F increase in water temperature. Therefore, during installation, it is important not to pull the PEX too tight, as it needs the flexibility to accommodate expansion and contraction. In the event of a 60°F temperature rise, a 100-foot length of PEX may elongate by as much as 15 inches.

What tool is used to straighten PEX pipe?

The PEXGem pipe straightening tool is designed to straighten PEX pipe efficiently. This innovative tool features a unique system of adjustable rollers that gently guide the pipe, gradually straightening it with precision. Its ergonomic design allows for easy handling, and by simply placing the tool on a flat surface and applying slight pressure, the PEXGem effortlessly straightens PEX pipes ranging from half an inch to one inch in size. The secure suction cup levers ensure stability throughout the straightening process, making this tool a reliable and effective solution for achieving perfectly straight PEX pipelines.

Can PEX fitting be rotated?

No, PEX fittings should not be rotated. The barbs inside the fittings, specifically the ones found in Viega PureFlow PEX Press poly fittings, are designed with anti-rotation features to protect the PEX tubing from wear and degradation. Rotating the fitting can cause unnecessary damage and compromise the performance and lifespan of the system. It is crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and avoid any actions that may compromise the integrity of the PEX fittings.

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