Whether you are dealing with a new build or updating your home's plumbing, you may consider changing out and updating your existing plumbing with PEX. If you have decided to make this particular plumbing update, you will need to know how to get it done. How do you connect PEX to a sink faucet in a bathroom or a kitchen? We have done the research and have your answer.
In order to connect PEX to faucets and fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens, you will need to orchestrate your update by completing the following steps:
- Stage Tools & Materials
- Measure The PEX
- Cut The PEX
- Crimp The PEX Fittings
- Connect The Faucet
- Check For Leaks In Connections
If unfamiliar with PEX, the main reason for making this type of update is that it is an easy, less specialized (more manageable), and less expensive alternative to traditional copper piping when running and installing water lines in your home. With a little time and a little patience, this task can be accomplished with little to no headache. For detailed guidance through these steps, continue reading as we walk you through the connection of PEX plumbing to your faucet.
What Is PEX Plumbing?
Let's start this project with a quick background. What is PEX? Cross-linked polyethylene, also known as PEX is a flexible plastic material currently being produced and being used as a replacement to copper and galvanized steel water supply lines in homes.
PEX is a more economical alternative to copper and galvanized piping. It is a non-corrosive material, so it is less susceptible to wear and deterioration than copper and other metals for all intents and purposes. For these reasons, it's currently recognized as the first choice of material for those building new homes as well as for those contracted specialists performing interior home remodels.
What's more is that it can be easily found in the plumbing sections of local home improvement stores and requires significantly less expertise, less equipment, and less labor than older plumbing materials like copper and metal require. PEX has made it possible for DIYers to tackle home plumbing projects without needing to call the costly plumber or be committed to an exorbitant amount of time dabbling in a home plumbing project.
Let's delve deeper into our steps for installing PEX.
Steps To Connect PEX To Fixtures
The following six steps should effectively cover the connection steps for PEX. As always, if you need further guidance, there are professionals you can consult for quick tips and suggestions when running PEX lines.
1. Stage Tools & Materials
The value of a good staging area cannot be overstated. It's best to have all the equipment and materials laid out to expedite the overall workflow. You don't want to be caught in a position having to make extra runs to the store to complete this project. The materials and tools required are:
- PEX Pipe Cutter
- Crimping Tool
- Crimp Rings
- Tape Measure
- Adjustable Wrench (varying sizes give you greater options to work with)
2. Measure PEX Pieces
Measure and mark the length of PEX needed to reach from supply valves to the faucet. A good rule of thumb to follow is to add four inches to each end. Adding this extra length on each end allows you to bend and form your PEX around potential tight nooks in the plumbing setup.
Complete PEX Kit
3. Cut The PEX
Use your PEX pipe cutter to cut the previously marked pieces. Unless otherwise noted, all edges should always be cut straight. Angled and crooked edges don't crimp well and create loose seals at the connection points.
PEX Pipe Cutter
4. Crimp The PEX Fitting
Start by placing a crimp ring on each end of the cut pieces of PEX. When the connections are in place, use your crimping tool to mold the seal. It's really important to be sure to compress the ring all the way. The tighter the seal, the greater confidence you can carry into the next steps.
5. Connect The PEX To Faucet
Turn and tighten the faucet connectors onto the threading of the faucet stems. If your plumbing system is divided or color-coded (blue=cold, red=hot), be sure to take note and make sure to make the correct connections. Hand tighten the connections until snug and finish with one extra half turn with a wrench until firmly in place. Do NOT overtighten hardware, or you'll risk damaging materials!
Adjustable Wrench Set
6. Check For Leaks In Connections
At this point in the project, you can run the water flow through the hot and cold water valves. Check your handiwork to make sure there are no leaks. If there are no leaks underneath the sink then you can turn the faucet on and let the water run. Be sure to check the PEX fittings to verify there is no leaking while water is running through the system.
By following these steps, you will connect and run PEX through your kitchen or bathroom faucets. However, the project's complexity will depend on your home layout, so maintain realistic expectations regarding the expected duration of the project as a DIYer. Nothing good ever came from rushing a home improvement project.
Can You Use PEX For A Tub Faucet?
You cannot use PEX for a tub faucet. Using copper, brass, or galvanized pipes is necessary because the fixture needs to both support the weight of the tub's spout and handle the repeated use of both pushing and pulling on the flow diverter located in the shower's spout. When certain hardware is used in your plumbing setup, your overall setup will likely feature a combination of metallic piping and PEX for more solid, durable results.
Can You Use PEX For A Shower Valve?
You can use PEX for a shower valve as long as you are sure to use threaded PEX water line fittings when making the connections. Most product packaging will provide recommendations or specific products to eliminate the guesswork in creating an effective system setup. Once again, if you have any questions, consult the abundance of resources available online or at your local hardware store.
How Do You Connect Faucet Supply Lines?
In order to connect faucet supply lines, follow these provided steps below for the best results.
- Shut Off Water Supply
- Attach Supply Connections to Faucet
- Mount The Faucet
- Connect the Supply Lines
- Test For Leaks
1. Shut Off Water Supply
Start by turning off the water valves located underneath the sink. If you know where the main water valve is, you can shut off the water there as well; your preference.
2. Attach Supply Connecters to Faucet
If you happen to have a faucet that comes with supply connectors included and attached, your job will be twice as easy. Simply attach the supply connectors to the faucet's body.
3. Mount The Faucet
Mount the faucet and slide supply connectors through the pre-drilled holes in the sink or countertop to reach the water valve connections. The faucet should include a rubber base ring, a retainer ring, and hardware to secure the threaded tailpiece into place. Hand tighten the hardware until firmly in place. Do NOT overtighten as you may crack the countertop or damage faucet hardware.
4. Connect the Supply Lines
Connect the correct hot and cold pipelines to their respective connections on the shutoff valve underneath the sink.
5. Test For Leaks
Turn on the water supply and check to see if there are any leaks. Next, open each faucet valve and check to see if there are any leaks. If there are leaks, you can try and further tighten the connections with an adjustable wrench. If leaking persists, there is likely an issue in the setup that can be fixed by repeating the steps. The more thorough and attentive to details you are, the more likely you will avoid possible mistakes.
If further help is needed or issues arise during your faucet connection, try and connect with someone with expertise before attempting to freestyle a solution.
If you choose to follow this guide, you should be well equipped to take on the task of setting connecting PEX to your sink's faucet in the bathroom or kitchen. Remember, always be sure to take every possible precaution when attempting any home renovations and always stop and seek guidance with uncertainties. See ya next time in the home improvement aisle!
For more guides and tips on PEX check out these: