With PEX rapidly replacing copper and galvanized steel as the material of choice for piping systems, have you ever considered using hose clamps on PEX?
You can use hose clamps on PEX, provided the installation is done correctly. Hose clamps are durable and reliable, ensuring you have efficient, leak-proof tubing connections.
This article will discuss the effectiveness of using hose clamps on PEX and if you can reuse the clamps. We will provide a comparative analysis of crimping and clamping methods before handling some common questions on clamps and PEX systems.
Can You Use a Hose Clamp on PEX?
Hose clamps are not only meant to seal but also to stabilize hose fittings on PEX. By exerting pressure equally on the PEX and the fitting, it prevents leaks and lapses, making them suitable for any piping system.
Hose clamps are made from stainless steel, making them sturdy and reliable. They are resistant to many corrosive agents, such as rust, salt, and water. Available in a wide variety of sizes, you can always find one most convenient and compatible with your PEX pipe.
How To Crimp PEX With Pliers
While you should use a PEX crimping tool, not every DIYer owns or can afford to purchase or hire one. For quick fixes, a pair of pliers will always suffice. Here are convenient ways of crimping PEX with pliers:
- Cut squarely one end of the PEX
- Slid the crimp ring over the end of the PEX
- Insert the fitting into the PEX pipe until it holds firmly
- Readjust the crimp ring to be at least 1/8 inches away from the end of the PEX and press the handles of the pliers firmly
The pliers should evenly compress the crimp ring over the PEX and fit for a secure and leak-free connection.
Can You Reuse PEX Clamps
It is NOT possible to reuse PEX clamps after you have removed them. While you cannot salvage the clamps, you can use the fittings again if you can carefully remove the clamps.
Let’s look at three easy steps on how to remove PEX clamps safely:
- Remove the fitting housing. Isolate the housing of the fitting and, using a pipe cutter, cut the PEX pipe laterally. Remember to leave some allowance for you to be able to grip the PEX and pull out the housing.
- Cut off the clamp ears. Using an end cutter or a pair of pliers, place the jaws on the ears and firmly squeeze. Ensure the tools are sharp so you cut off the ears entirely in one go.
- Remove the remaining PEX. You need to carefully remove the PEX pipe from the fitting by gripping the PEX with pliers and pulling and twisting the pipe out of the housing. If unsuccessful, cut small pieces of the PEX at a time while exercising caution not to puncture the fitting.
When you want to remove the fitting safely, always remember to use suitable tools. You are likely to dispose of the entire fitting system when you use inappropriate tools. Finally, double-check the fitting for wear and tear before using it again.
Need further help in removing it properly? Here’s a video to take a look at:
Is It Better to Crimp or Clamp PEX
Both crimping and clamping create reliable seals if done correctly. Before settling on which is the better method, let us look at the differences between the two:
Primarily, the material is the significant difference between these two methods. Crimp rings are made of copper, while clamp rings are made from stainless steel.
Copper is cheaper, which explains why crimping is more prevalent in the plumbing industry. It is also important to note that some manufacturers are currently making stainless crimp rings.
Crimp ring installation is less technical and relatively more straightforward. By following all the instructions, you’re likely to get it right on the first try, even if you are a beginner.
On the other hand, clamping requires a little bit of expertise for correct installation. However, you can remove the clamp easily when you make a mistake and reinstall it properly without damaging the clamp or the PEX pipe.
While you do not need any particular skills to use PEX crimping tools, most of these tools only work for specific PEX fittings. Luckily, they come in various sizes and designs (angle or straight).
Dual-size crimping tools will usually have interchangeable jaws for you to use on the different sizes of PEX. With clamping, you only need one clamping tool for all your installation despite the PEX pipe sizes you are working with. More so, the clamps work with both copper and stainless rings.
Crimping is a more reliable and secure connection method. The copper rings usually tighten around the PEX, ensuring it’s leak-proof. Besides, crimps have the GO/NO GO gauge, which will help you determine if your connection is made correctly.
Clamping creates a link when you clamp the ring over the PEX tube rather than the entire fitting. Consequently, they are reliable when working in tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas.
While crimps also offer secure connections, they are more susceptible to leaks in the long run. Inherently, clamping is a more durable and reliable solution for sealing the pipe and fitting together.
It is primarily because of the material. Copper is more prone to corrosion than stainless steel. Working with clamps, worry less about flow restriction and leakages due to corrosion and mineral buildups.
Crimping is more popular amongst plumbers and DIYers since it is affordable and relatively easier to use. On the other hand, clamping is a more convenient and durable method of sealing PEX connections.
When it comes to choosing a crimp or clamp for your PEX connection, it all comes down to your budget and personal preference since they are both efficient for any PEX tubing work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use hose clamps on underground PEX pipes?
Hose clamps are made from stainless steel material and can withstand harsh underground conditions. Unlike crimps, it is more resistant to corrosion, and its functionality is not adversely affected by extreme temperature fluctuations.
How does a GO/NO GO gauge work?
The GO/NO GO gauge is a fork-shaped measuring tool to check for correct connections. When done correctly, the gauge will slide over the fitting, touching the edges and stopping just before the NO-GO line on the gauge.
Alternatively, improper connections will be characterized by the gauge not sliding over the fitting or loosely sliding all the way down.
What is the standard hose clamp size?
A standard hose clamp ranges from a diameter of 3/8″ to about 8 7/16″. The clamping diameter determines the minimum and maximum sizes of PEX you can use for the hose clamp. The bands on the clamp are as low as 5/16″ wide to be used in tight or confined places.
Installing hose clamps on PEX is a relatively simple endeavor with or without specialized tools. You can create reliable connections using items you can conveniently find in your local stores.
We hope you found this article helpful, and we adequately addressed all your concerns on if you can use hose clamps on PEX.