While you can use a hose clamp on PEX, it is not recommended unless you are seeking a temporary fix. This is because PEX, like other plastics, is quite stiff with a smooth exterior. Therefore, a hose clamp cannot hold tight enough to keep a PEX fitting secure.
Therefore, it will only be a matter of time before the pipe starts leaking, which beats the whole purpose of clamping.
There are too many things that can go wrong with using hose clamps on PEX, and in most situations, crimping is more efficient.
For first-timers, it is common to be torn between using a PEX clamp and a PEX crimp. This article provides the information you require about using hose clamps on PEX.
It also compares PEX clamps and PEX crimps and offers insight into which one does a better job.
Hose Clamps On PEX
Firstly, a hose clamp is a device that is used to seal a hose onto a fitting in a pipe to prevent the leakage of fluids at the point of connection.
There are three main types of hose clamps: plastic, t-bolt, and worm drive hose clamps. Of the three, the type that is best for water pipes such as PEX is the worm drive clamp.
Hose clamps are quite popular for water pipes as they have been the only choice for underground plastic black pipes for quite a while. In fact, they have been in the industry for a little more than two centuries.
You can use a hose clamp on PEX, but it will not hold for long. Thus, it is only effective as a temporary solution.
For one, a PEX pipe does not have enough surface area to properly grasp the end of a hose clamp, so there will not be adequate compression through the hose clamp.
Secondly, the surface of the pipe is not properly texturized for a firm grip-it is too smooth. Therefore, expect water leakage after some time.
Here’s a video that details about installing a hose clamp on PEX and possible effects:
Installing A Hose Clamp On PEX
If you decide to use a hose clamp on your PEX pipe, you can do the installation yourself as it is straightforward. The most important bit is to have the proper tools at your disposal.
The best tool to use for hose clamp installation is a torque wrench. A screwdriver will also get the job done.
Begin the process by loosening the hose clamp. You can achieve this by turning its screws in the anti-clockwise direction.
Next, attach the clamp to the hose’s edge around the fitting. Use the torque wrench to tighten the clamp around the pipe and secure it.
It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s directives on the inches to apply on the screw or the torque wrench when tightening the clamp. You don’t want to have it too tight or loose, as that would be counterproductive.
While a PEX crimp is more effective than a PEX clamp, the latter is easier to install and remove. For that reason, it is popular among DIYers as pretty much anyone can do it successfully.
What Are the Drawbacks of Using Hose Clamp On PEX?
The main drawback of using a hose clamp on PEX is that after a while, it loosens up and causes leakage. As we have already established, PEX has a smooth outer surface, so there will not be a firm grip on the clamp.
If you are looking for a long-term fix, then you might want to steer off hose clamps. Crimps tend to hold much better than clamps.
Also, crimp rings are stronger than clamps. Hose clamps are only good for temporary situations.
What Is the Difference Between a Crimp PEX And Clamp PEX?
Both crimp and clamp are common PEX connections. They use the same type of fittings, so their methods of connection are quite similar. Thus, many new users tend to be torn between the two options.
However, the two methods of connection are more different than they are similar. For starters, they have different installation tools as they are installed very differently.
In addition, stainless steel clamps do not corrode easily. Crimps are more prone to corrosion, especially if the surrounding conditions allow for it. Even so, crimps are relatively stronger and more durable than clamps.
Clamps are easier to install and remove, provided you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. On the other hand, crimps are a little more complex, and sometimes you may require a professional plumber to install them for you.
Also, clamps are more affordable and versatile compared to crimps. One clamping tool can work with pipes of different sizes, which is more than can be said about crimps. Each size of pipe would require a crimp of the corresponding size.
How To Crimp PEX With Pliers
The first step toward crimping your PEX with pliers is to cut the end of the pipe smoothly and evenly. This creates a perfect surface to attach the crimp ring. To make the cut, line the pliers at 90 degrees.
At this point, slide the crimp ring onto the tubing. A crimp ring with long handles will create enough squeeze for a strong, long-lasting grip.
You can choose your preferred fitting. Slide the ring about an eighth of an inch on the tube, and make the connection using a crimp tool.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which hose clamp is best suited for PEX pipes?
Generally, worm-drive clamps are the most suitable for PEX pipes. It helps if the clamp is made of stainless steel for durability. Stainless steel hose clamps are also known as ear clamps.
Can you reuse PEX clamps?
Yes, you can reuse a PEX clamp. Unlike crimps, a PEX clamp of a certain size can fit pipes of different sizes. Furthermore, it is easy to remove a PEX clamp from one pipe and install it on another. The only instance when it would not be a good idea to reuse a PEX clamp is if it has rust.
Is it better to crimp or clamp PEX?
It is better to crimp PEX than to clamp it. PEX crimps make tighter connections, making the pipe more secure against leakage. It is also more durable, hence perfect for a permanent fix. However, if what you are after is flexibility, affordability, and not necessarily durability, then PEX clamps will do just fine.
What’s the possibility of a PEX clamp failing?
The possibility of a PEX clamp failing is not zero. It is bound to fail if the installation is done haphazardly or catches rust. It will also fail if left for a long time since it becomes ineffective after a short period.
You can use a hose clamp on PEX, especially if you are looking for a temporary solution. PEX clamp is not recommendable as a permanent fix because it loosens up after a while, causing water leakage. Crimp is best suited for PEX. Even so, hose clamps are affordable and easy to install.