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Can You Reuse PEX Fittings?

PEX fittings are widely used in a variety of plumbing and heating applications. They offer many advantages, including greater flexibility and ease of installation. If you're unsure if you can reuse PEX fittings, don't worry! We researched this question to get reliable answers. 

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PEX fittings can be reused if the copper crimp rings have been removed. The same applies to brass fittings. You can efficiently reuse your PEX fittings if you carefully remove them with the appropriate tools. 

Keep reading to learn more about PEX fittings, their use, and installation. We would also talk about how long PEX fittings last and how to make sure your PEX fittings don't leak. 

Can You Reuse PEX Fittings?

pex plastic water supply plumbing pipe removing clip

PEX fittings are used primarily to connect PEX pipes, though they can also be used with some types of copper pipe. They are designed to create a solid and reliable leak-proof connection. They are easy to install and require minimal maintenance. This makes them the preferred choice for many plumbing projects in both residential and commercial applications.

PEX fittings come in different materials and various shapes and sizes depending on the application, such as elbows, tees, couplers, and manifolds. Additionally, they are cost-effective and can be used to create complex plumbing systems quickly. PEX fittings are designed to be reused after removing the copper crimp rings.

Copper crimp rings are designed to provide a secure and reliable connection between pipes, valves, and barb fittings. They are made from high-quality copper resistant to corrosion and damage caused by external elements. They should be removed carefully from the PEX fitting with appropriate tools like the pipe cutter.

When removing or replacing PEX fittings, it is vital not to damage the fitting. It is also essential to ensure that the fitting has a secure connection before connecting it again.

Reusing PEX fittings also depend on the type. For example, you cannot reuse engineered EP PEX Fittings. 

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Do PEX Fittings Ever Leak?

PEX fittings are not susceptible to leakage, so it's rare to have a leaking PEX fitting. However, leaking may occur due to the following:

Zinc Buildups

Zinc itself is not the leading cause of PEX fitting leakage. However, specific components in its alloys can react to water and oxygen, leading to corrosion over time. This corrosion could weaken the metal enough to cause a leak at the joints.

Excess zinc buildup will cause PEX fittings to break or crack, eventually leading to leakages. Also, the leaching of zinc can cause the fixtures to clog. In the long run, this causes the PEX fittings to leak. 

Improper Installation

The plastic material used in PEX pipes is subject to thermal expansion and contraction, so it is essential to take extra care in the initial installation process. If incorrectly installed, it can cause several problems, including leaks due to weakened seals or loose fittings.

It is also essential to use the correct type of fitting for different applications. Improperly installed PEX fittings can cause water leakage, which can lead to property damage and even contamination of drinking water in some cases.

Ensure that the right size and type of fittings are used for each installation since a mismatch could lead to leaking or bursting pipes.

One of the precautions an expert plumber will take for PEX fittings installation is to pressure test your piping system to ensure it meets the local building's statutory requirements.  However, if you must install PEX fittings yourself, read the manufacturer's installation guide. 

Are Brass or PEX Fittings Better?

fittings pex pipe textured background image

Brass fittings are typically stronger than plastic, which could leak over time. Brass is also more heat resistant than plastic, so it can be used for hot water lines without the fear of melting or cracking.

On the other hand, plastic fittings are less expensive and easier to install than brass fittings, making them an ideal choice for DIY projects. Whether you choose brass or plastic PEX fittings will depend on your needs and budget.

How Long Do PEX Fittings Last?

PEX fittings are generally expected to last the lifetime of the plumbing system. Standards for PEX tubing and its associated fittings, including brass and poly alloy, vary among cities. Still, most will have an expected life span of at least 50 years if installed correctly.

The temperature of an area also affects the longevity of PEX pipes. If the water temperature is usually low at all times, there are chances that the PEX fittings will not last for long. 

Red and Blue PEX: Is There a Difference?

pex plastic water supply plumbing pipe blue and red pipe, Can You Reuse PEX Fittings?

In terms of function, there is no difference between the red and blue PEX. The two colors are meant to distinguish the distribution lines. Red for hot water and blue for cold water. 

At What Temperature Will PEX Pipes Burst?

PEX pipes might burst in extremely low temperatures. As the inside temperature of the pipes drops, ice can form and expand, putting pressure on the plastic walls and leading to them cracking or even splitting apart completely.

However, the chances of a PEX burst are significantly lower than in copper pipes. The PEX pipe is flexible enough to expand under freezing conditions. 

A PEX burst will occur at temperatures around 20°F. This is especially true if the pipes are not insulated. Additionally, if too much water pressure has been applied to the pipes, it can also cause them to burst. If a pipe is blocked or restricted, it can create enough pressure to cause the pipe to burst.

plumber installing plastic pipes doing maintenance

How Do I Keep My PEX Waterline From Freezing

PEX waterlines are designed to be freeze-resistant, but they can still be damaged in freezing weather. Here is how you can stop your PEX waterline from freezing.

Disconnect The PEX Hose

During the cold season, disconnect the PEX hose and take it inside. Make sure you keep the hose in a warm place. However, this preventive measure only works with a temporary PEX pipe waterline system. 

Maintain Moderate Temperature

Set your thermostat to at least 55°F during the day and at night. A water monitor is handy for monitoring freezing water conditions in your plumbing system. You can also use a water monitor to detect leaks and damages in a PEX fitting. 

You can also consider turning on your indoor faucets and allowing them to drip. When you do this, there will be no water in the PEX pipes, which can lead to freezing and bursting. 

Install a Freeze-Proof Sillcock

Using a freeze-proof sillcock, also known as an anti-siphon freeze-proof sillcock, is another preventive measure against PEX waterline freeze. They are designed to help regulate the flow of water in PEX pipes. 

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Insulate PEX Pipes

Use foam to insulate PEX pipes to prevent PEX waterline freeze. The trick is to insulate the parts of PEX pipes constantly exposed to extremely low temperatures. Insulate the PEX pipes in your garage, basement, windows, walls, doors, etc.  

Can You Bury PEX In The Dirt?

sharkbite fittings red blue pex pipe

The general rule for installing PEX pipes in the dirt is to bury them 24 inches, or two feet deep, into the soil. After installation, you should backfill the open spot with smooth soil, not sandy or rocky. 

To Sum Up

pex plastic water supply plumbing pipe blue and red pipe

PEX fittings can be reused as the copper crimp rings can be removed. You can do this successfully by using tools like a pipe cutter. There are different types of PEX fittings; some, like the engineered polymer (EP) PEX fittings, cannot be reused. 

If you liked this post, check out these related topics:

Can You Cement Over Plastic Pipes? 

Can You Secure a Washer Drain Hose?