PEX, a cross-linked polyethylene, is popularly used in Europe and USA for plumbing and heating systems. It can withstand extreme temperatures from below freezing to 200 degrees Fahrenheit which makes it good for plumbing and plumbing repair. PEX is durable enough to resist temperature fluctuations, chemical attacks and creep deformation. PEX plumbing supplies are available in wholesalers of plumbing and heating products all over Europe, United States and Canada. In America, PEX plumbing utilizes flexible PEX tubing instead of copper pipe. Here are some of the PEX plumbing products that you can find in stores today so you can learn how to understand PEX plumbing supplies:
- PEX tubing. This is used for supply lines instead of copper pipe. It includes Wirsbo Aquapex and Watts PEX tubing.
- PEX tools. It includes everything to make PEX plumbing connections, cutters and more.
- PEX installation parts. These are items needed for PEX tubing in a PEX plumbing installation.
- PEX fittings and valves. This is used to make pipe connections in a PEX plumbing system.
- PEX manifolds. This serves as hub for water distribution in PEX plumbing systems; such products are Manabloc manifold system, Aquacenter manifold by Wirsbro and other brands.
All these products are being supplied by almost all of the plumbing and heating supply systems distributors. Learning how to understand PEX piping and plumbing supplies shouldn't be difficult as currently this is the 'in thing' in plumbing and heating systems. In Atlanta, Denver and Seattle plumbing directories, PEX plumbing and radiant heating are commonly used in plumbing fixtures and plumbing repair, which includes shower and bathroom heating.
PEX piping was introduced in the US in the 1980s and is gaining rapid growth in terms of demand for production. Many home plumbing and radiant heating systems now use PEX as their materials for water piping with a central manifold. The new technology has been proven to cost less than the copper system and it is easy to install with tools being provided by the distributors of PEX.
The color-coded pipes facilitate easy installation as they identifies hot (red pipe) and cold (blue pipe) water. Plumbing fixtures can be easily done as PEX plumbing can be connected through mechanical fittings. Standard approved mechanical fittings for PEX are as follows, ASTM F 1807and ASTM F 1960. These are both reference mechanical fittings. The crimp fitting specified in ASTM F 1807 is the most accepted. Other fittings systems including outside diameter compression fittings are also available. However, PEX cannot be joined by solvent cement or heat fusion methods. PEX products cannot be used on aboveground water applications. It can only be exposed to sunlight for limited periods of time during installation but it should not exceed the allowable time recommended by the manufacturer. PEX products should be covered and protected from direct sunlight.
The Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (PPFA) have listed their members who are manufacturers of PEX products all over the globe. Here are the names of the companies that manufacture PEX products.
- Bow Industrial Corporation
- Dow Chemical Company
- NIBCO Inc
- Nomaco Insulation
- Padanaplast USA
- The Lubrizol Corporation
- Total Pertochemicals USA Inc.
- Viega LLC
- Zurn Pex