PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is a popular residential plumbing material. It is suitable for heating and water transfer. It makes sense because the material is far less expensive than copper. It’s also less difficult to work with. Can You Use Hose Clamps on Pex?
Yes, stainless steel hose clamps can be used instead of crimp rings on PEX connections. Contrary to popular opinion, clamps will not loosen and no leaking will happen. Furthermore, hose clamp installation is straightforward. You can use a cordless impact gun, but be careful not to overtighten the clamps.
However, if you want to learn more about using Hose Clamps on PEX, keep reading. We will try to cover more facts relating to the critical issue in our relevant context.
Can Hose Clamps Be Used on Pex Pipe?
Can I put hose clamps on the PEX piping system? Hose clamps can, in fact, be used on PEX tubing. Copper crimp rings have traditionally been used to join PEX pipe fittings. However, they can be expensive because a specific crimping tool is required.
PEX tubing is available in a variety of sizes. The sizes range from 3/8″ and 1″. To tighten the crimp rings, use the appropriate crimp tool size. This complicates and increases the expense of crimping.
With hose clamps, however, you may use a single tool for all clamp sizes. The tool is built in such a way that the ring size is unnecessary. Because of this, most plumbers prefer hose clamps to standard crimp rings.
How Do I Install a Hose Clamp on PEX?
To replace standard crimp rings with hose clamps on PEX pipes, you’ll need the necessary tools. Otherwise, you risk having leaks or a weak connection between the pipes. Make the mistake of using a cutting instrument before you begin. It appears to be the pinch clamp tool, but it is called a ‘cutting’ tool for a reason.
When fitted, the tool has the potential to cut the ear. Worst case scenario: it may result in the seal failure due to hitting. Here’s how to use a hose clamp step by step:
Step 1: Calibration is the first step!
Before you slip the clamp onto the pipe, use the calibrating tool. When installing hose clamps, most people skip this step. But do you understand why?
Because they are unaware that an inaccurately balanced tool is highly likely to result in damaged fittings, you will not notice the harm until it is too late!
Step 2: Loosen the Hose Clamp
The hose clamp should be large enough to fit over the PEX pipe. Turn the screw anti-clockwise direction until the clamp is bigger in diameter than the pipe and can slide smoothly over the PEX pipe.
Step 3: Find the Fitting
Place the expanded clamp on the PEX pipe. Locate the fitting to which the clamp will be attached. Place the clamp over the fitting’s connection to the pipe. Make sure that the clamp is not too close to the pipe’s end. It should be at least 4 mm away from the end.
Step 4: Screw tightly into position
Turn the screw clockwise to tighten the hose clamp, ensuring it does not shift from its original position. When the clamp can no longer slide on the fitting, the connection is secure.
You can assist yourself by using a ratchet-type pinch clamp tool. The tool supports the connection until the clamp is securely fastened.
>>Read More: Can you use galvanized pipe for propane?
Which Is Better: PEX Crimps or Hose Clamps?
Before you begin installing a hose clamp, you should understand the distinction between PEX crimps and hose clamps. Each method needs a unique set of tools. Both methods, however, produce secure connections that avoid leaks.
Stainless steel hose clamps are highly corrosive, whereas copper crimp rings are not. As a result, hose clamps are more durable than copper rings used for crimp connections. As a result, they are an excellent alternative for plumbing applications.
Hose clamps are considerably easier to remove and do not cause harm to the PEX pipe, whereas crimp rings cannot be removed once placed.
When the cost of both techniques is compared, hose pipes are significantly less expensive. This is because clamping tools are far less expensive than crimping tools. Also, locating the correct-sized crimping tool can be difficult.
Avoid Making These Clamping Mistakes When Installing PEX Pipes
Choosing the Correct PEX Connections:
The tongue-and-groove construction of a PEX clamp creates a smooth, round surface around the entire pipe. The installer crimps a prominent ear, creating a constant clamp force around the perimeter of the pipe. This design eliminates the leak path that can occur when a screw drive or similar clamp has a flat area when the clamp is tightened.
To get the finest seal, pinch the ear completely. Given the clamp’s robust materials, this demands a lot of force. ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) specifications specify the use of a specialized Ratchet clamp, which increases the amount of force applied. The specialist crimper features a one-way design. You can’t open the jaws once you start closing down on the ear.
The specialist crimper features a one-way design. Once you start closing down on the ear, you won’t be able to open the jaws again until the crimp is finished. This ensures that all of your seals are correctly applied.
The instrument also ensures an excellent seal by collecting only the necessary amount of metal in the ear. If you use too little material, the clamp will be under-crimped, resulting in a loose seal, or it will be over-crimped, cutting the ear instantly or leaving a crease that will break later. Using the proper instrument eliminates all of these potential issues.
Because the tool fastens the ear (rather than the clamp itself), you just need one crimper regardless of the size of the pipes you install. You’ll need one compression tool for each pipe size while installing copper plumbing. With PEX pipe installs, all you need is a single crimping tool.
Avoiding Clamping Errors:
You might be tempted to simply choose a cutting tool instead of that tool. It has a similar appearance to the pinch clamp tool and can offer a tighter grip. But, do not use the cutting tool. Because it is designed to cut, it will either cut the ear or create scoring that will make the seal fail later. Close-up views of seals made with the two tools show how the two types of tools produce distinct outcomes.
You must also be careful not to crimp too quickly. Cold flow influences the seal in the few seconds it takes to apply a pinch clamp, not only over time. As the clamp is applied, the hard material of the PEX piping breaks slightly. If you don’t give it time, the seal you make won’t be as tight as it may be.
At mild temperatures, the crimp should take about two seconds to complete; in colder conditions, the crimp should take three seconds. You can complete installation in near-freezing temperatures with the correct clamps, so check the specifications: If inferior clamps are put in low-temperature situations, they will either leak or fail.
Furthermore, the two- to three-second speed demands the employment of a manual instrument to attach crimp clamps. Although compressors are easier on your hands, they are too fast to allow for cold flow. The band will overload, causing the bond to break.
One Final Success Tip:
Check that the clamp is at the proper distance from the pipe’s end. You won’t get a tight seal if you set the clamp too far from – or too near to – the end of the pipe. Instead, make sure the clamp is properly set over the fitting to which you’re attaching the pipe, so the pipe is securely connected to the fitting.
FAQ (Using Hose Clamps on PEX)
Q1. Does the size of the hose clamp matter?
ANS: Hose clamps are made in a variety of sizes. Although a bigger clamp can be installed, it leaves a sharp edge that increases the risk of damage. You could bend this sharp edge down while inserting the appropriate-sized clamp. You might also use a clamp finisher or cover to protect this sharp end.
Q2. What is the ideal hose clamp pressure?
ANS: To keep the fitting in place, you must apply the proper force. You don’t need to be concerned because PEX pipes are strong and unbending. Remember that the diameter of the band and the screw size are important factors in determining the clamp’s strength.
Q3. Is it easier to crimp than to clamp?
ANS: Many experts and amateurs prefer PEX crimping tools over clamps because they are considerably easier to use. Clamping needs accuracy and ability, but it can also be quickly removed, allowing you to start again if you make a mistake.
There you have it: can I put a hose clamp on Pex or not? Hose clamps can technically be used on PEX with the correct tools, processes, and knowledge. Hose clamps, in most cases, produce similarly strong connections if they are properly positioned and tightened with sufficient force.
However, it is dependent on the circumstances. Have you learned everything there is to know about a hose clamp connection on PEX pipes? If yes, please forward this post to your plumber friends and relatives.