What is a PEX Valve?

In this blog post, you’ll read:PEX is comprised of polyethylene that has been cross-linked. Cross-linking creates bridges between individual polyethylene molecules through one of several processes. This resultant material is more resistant to temperature extremes, chemical attacks, and creep deformation, making PEX an excellent material for hot water systems and other applications.
Table of Contents

What is PEX?

PEX is comprised of polyethylene that has been cross-linked. Cross-linking creates bridges between individual polyethylene molecules through one of several processes. This resultant material is more resistant to temperature extremes, chemical attacks, and creep deformation, making PEX an excellent material for hot water systems and other applications.

What is a PEX Valve?

PEX valves are valves designed to interact with cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing and piping. PEX valves connect directly to PEX tubing and piping. It does not require transition adapters, the primary distinction between them and standard valves. Aside from this distinction, the two are similar and suitable for many of the same uses.

Cross-linked polyethylene is the polyethylene used for PEX valve tubing and pipe. It is composed of tightly packed polymers. Yet, this characteristic is excellent for plumbing and hydronic applications. Cross-linking improves or adds properties that make the material more suitable for piping components. There are three possible executions: A, B, and C. Each utilizes unique techniques and technologies, resulting in distinct material properties.

pex ball valve with drain
PEX ball valve with drain

The plumbing world is filled with options tailored to specific needs and applications. One term that often pops up in modern plumbing is PEX, which stands for cross-linked polyethylene. PEX plumbing has grown in popularity due to its flexibility and ease of installation. Among the various components of a PEX plumbing system, the PEX valve holds significant importance. But what exactly is a PEX valve?

Sizes and Features: Tailored for PEX

PEX valves come in various sizes to match the PEX piping they will be connected to. The common sizes range from 1/2-inch to 1-inch, although other sizes are available for different applications.

The significant features of PEX valves include their ease of installation, durability, and corrosion resistance. They are also known for their ability to withstand high temperatures and pressures, making them suitable for both residential and commercial plumbing systems.

PEX Tubing Type: Which Type Should I Use?

The selection of PEX type would depend primarily on the tubing size. For example, a half-inch PEX pipe would be ideal for branch lines extending from the main water supply lines. If the primary lines are 3/4-inch PEX tubes, then 1/2-inch PEX tubes would be suitable for connection lines. These connection methods can be used to serve various areas. These are used in the kitchen sink, the shower, and the bathroom sink. Yet, it doesn’t affect the water flow or water pressure.

It is a suitable tube in comparison to the other PEX varieties. Yet, the most appropriate form of PEX pipes depends on the project you are working on. So, if you’re working on a plumbing systems endeavor, consider acquiring the proper PEX tubing.

PEX valves are available in different types, such as ball valves, stop valves, and gate valves, each serving a unique purpose in controlling or stopping the flow of water within the PEX piping system.

Comparison: PEX Valves Vs. Others

When compared to other types of valves, PEX valves stand out for their compatibility with PEX plumbing systems, ease of installation, and the long-term durability that PEX material provides.

Why Choose PEX Valves?

Choosing PEX valves for a PEX plumbing system ensures a streamlined installation process, robust performance, and a reliable water flow control solution. Their versatility in terms of sizes and types makes them a preferred choice for modern plumbing systems.

Why Do We Use PEX Valves?

Valves are operated in a variety of applications in virtually every industry. Since they are used in mission-critical applications with calamitous failure repercussions. Yet, selecting the appropriate type for the given use case is vital. The factors outlined below should be considered when evaluating your valve options.

Cost: Cost is a significant factor in almost all purchases. You must choose a product that fulfills the needs of your application without exceeding your budget. Since PEX valves do not need an adapter to connect to PEX tubing. They are less expensive and eradicate leak points.

Environment: The environment within an application has a vital impact on the performance of a product. Critical environmental conditions for valves include chemicals and temperatures. Brass with dezincification resistance (DZR) should be used to produce PEX valve assemblies.

Installation timeline: The installation time of a component influences labor costs. Since PEX valves are compatible with PEX tubing/piping without the need for transfer adapters. Yet, they are much simpler and quicker to install than other valves.

Suppose you’ve decided to use PEX valve assembly for your application. Choosing between PEX A, PEX B, or PEX C tubing/piping would be best.

How Does the PEX Ball Valve Work?

From Diy Plumbing with Tom

The pex ball valve regulates water flow by connecting to pex pipelines with threaded ends. However, it operates with the help of the handle and the rotary ball contained within. The valve is shut if the handle is perpendicular to the valve’s body. In contrast, when the handle is in line with the valve, the valve is open, and water can run.

This is a quarter-turn technique. Therefore, the handle can be rotated up to 90 degrees before the handle barrier prevents further rotation. To open the valve, slide the handle counterclockwise, as the handle is connected to the ball via steam, which rotates the ball. So, the ball hole will be aligned with the flow path, allowing water to travel. Additionally, to seal it, turn the handle counterclockwise. Therefore, the ball will return and fill the receptacle. It is that straightforward.

PEX A Vs. PEX B Vs. PEX C Valve: Main Tubing/Piping Material

PEX tubing and piping components are available in three primary varieties. These are PEX A, PEX B, and PEX C. Although this naming convention may imply that the products are graded from best to worst. It pertains to the materials used to manufacture them.

What is the PEX A?

pex a
Pex A

These materials are cross-linked using the Engel process. It involves adding peroxides to HDPE before its formation. The incorporation of the compounds increases bonding. This may result in an extreme degree of cross-linking. The processed material is the most flexible and resistant to kinking of all PEX materials.

It is considered the most durable and resilient PEX conduit option available. In addition, it is highly adaptable and optimizes recovery from any kinks that pose a high risk of leakage. In the event of a kink or other damage to traditional tubing, the only option is to replace the damaged conduit.

However, with PEX A, the damaged area of the conduit can be repaired to its original shape by heating it. This is the ideal option if you have limited space to work with. This PEX tube is more expensive than other varieties because it offers the greatest benefits.

This investment is worthwhile if your project requires many quick pipe turns and spirals. It allows you to work with close-radial bends. Here are some of the applications for PEX type-A:

• Clamp or crimp connectors

• Press-fit fixtures

• Expansion adapter

• Push-&-connect

Note: ASTM F1807, F1960, F2080, and F2159 are connections compatible with PEX-A.

What is PEX B?

These materials are cross-linked via the silane method. It is also known as steam or moisture cross-linking. This procedure is executed on the HDPE material following its formation. Cross-linking of the polymers is promoted by bypassing the formed component through steam in the presence of a silane-based catalyst. The processed material is neither expandable nor kink-resistant.

PEX B is suitable for such applications and is one of the most widely employed PEX tubes. However, there is a minor disadvantage to PEX B’s increased stiffness, as it would break rather than bend as PEX type A would. This characteristic of PEX B also makes it more difficult to implement than the other types.

In contrast, type B PEX is renowned for its resistance to chlorine. Overall, this variety outperforms others due to its high burst pressure. Here are a few points you should know about PEX B.

• Press-fit fixtures

• Cold expansion connector

• Push-&-connect

 Tee Pex Fitting
Tee Pex Fitting

What is PEX C?

These materials are less common than PEX A and PEX B. The HDPE material is subjected to an electron beam or gamma radiation during cross-linking. In addition to their individual properties, PEX A, PEX B, and PEX C have certain characteristics. For instance:

• They are flexible enough for use in plumbing components.

• They offer corrosion resistance.

• They are suitable for use with potable water.

What is the Difference Between PEX Types A and B?

pex types a and b
Pex types a and b

Although types A and B are only two of several forms of PEX tubing, they are among the most frequently employed. When comparing PEX A and PEX B, the cost-effectiveness of type B PEX stands out as the most notable distinction. Although sleeves, materials, and fittings may vary, cost-effectiveness is the most significant benefit.

PEX A vs. PEX B: Cost

Although the materials, couplings, and sleeves for PEX A and PEX B can vary, PEX B is the less expensive material overall. Yet, it is vital to consider labor and installation costs when evaluating costs.

PEX A PEX B

  • Material: It depends on different metals
  • 90º fittings: Contact us
  • Sleeves: One-stop solution

PEX Valve Connection Types

PEX valves are available with various connection designs. Each valve has its instructions for connecting it to the conduit or piping. The majority of pex valve manufacturers offer PEX valves with the following connection types:

F-1807

According to the ASTM F1807 standard, PEX F1807 valve connections are manufactured. Correctly installing these valves requires a crimp ring and PEX pipe/tube. This is the installation procedure:

1. Slide the crimp ring over the end of the tubing or pipe.

2. The union nut is affixed over the tailpiece Before connecting a tailpiece to a tube or pipe.

3. The valve is pushed until it stops at the extremity of the tubing/piping.

4. The crimp ring is positioned between 1/8 and 1/4 inch from the extremity of the tubing/piping and over the valve’s ribs.

5. A crimping instrument is utilized to crimp the crimp ring.

6. Checking the closure with a gauge.

F-1960

According to the ASTM F1960 standard, PEX F1960 valve connections are manufactured. Correctly implementing these valves requires a ring and PEX tube/pipe. This is the installation procedure:

1. The ring is slid over the PEX pipe or tube.

2. The union nut is affixed over the tailpiece

 Before connecting a tailpiece to a tube or pipe.

3. the PEX tubing/piping and ring are enlarged using an expander instrument.

4. Insert the expanded assembly onto the PEX valve.

EVERLOC+

REAHU Everloc+® valve connections are fabricated using the patented REHAU EVERLOC+® system. Valves with EVERLOC+® compression-sleeve connections need EVERLOC+® PEXa compression sleeves. It also needs REHAU PEXa tubes/pipes for proper installation. Only EVERLOC+® compression-sleeve installation instruments should be used for installation tasks.

Advantages of PEX Fittings and Valves

Compared to traditional copper fittings, Pex fittings and valves are more cost-effective, flexible, and durable. Due to the elasticity of PEX, a standard installation will need fewer connections than if copper conduit and fittings were used. Consequently, fewer connection requirements result in fewer fixtures and reduced labor costs. Also, a system with fewer connectors has less potential for leaks.

Considerations When Selecting a PEX Valve

Before deciding on a water shut-off valve for your PEX piping system, it is vital to comprehend the applicable regulations, codes, ratings, and listings.

Codes and Regulations

Building codes, manufacturing standards, and specifications determine the regulations for piping components and systems. These regulations govern the manufacture, installation, and inspection of these systems. Promote the safety of building occupants.

For all residential potable plumbing applications, PEX valves must comply with the International Plumbing Code (IPC), the International Residential Code (IRC), the National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC), and the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC). Depending on whether your application involves commercial potable plumbing, residential or commercial hydronic conditioning, and heating, you must adhere to different codes.

Standings and Listings

Valves used in potable water systems must be listed and certified by some or all of the following standards and specifications:

• ASTM F877

• ASTM F1960

• NSF/ANSI 14

• NSF/ANSI 359

• NSF/ANSI 61

• NSF/ANSI 372

• ASME A112.18.1

Physical Characteristics

In addition to codes, standards, and specifications, a PEX piping system’s valve has particular physical characteristics.

Positive tubular closures: This design feature ensures the valve is inserted far enough into the pipe without exceeding a certain length.

Without positive tube stops, improper connections have the potential to cause leakage. By using valves with positive tube stops, you can be assured of more reliable installations with fewer escapes and callbacks.

Stem attributes: You may believe that a valve stem has no bearing on the overall quality of a system. Yet, valves with blow-out-resistant stems are preferable to those without. Consider this factor when selecting a valve for a PEX piping system. The adage “You get what you pay for” certainly applies to this characteristic. Keeping money in your pocket and maintaining a solid reputation go hand in hand.

Stem extension: A stem extension is another feature you want to include on your valves. Some manufacturers offer stem extension kits. This kit makes it simple and fast to accommodate insulation around the piping system. This kit helps to maintain the quality of the insulation. Typically, these units can accommodate insulation thicknesses up to 2 inches. This allows you to comply with local energy codes.

Pex Al Pex Compression Fitting
Pex Al Pex Compression Fitting

How to Remove a PEX Valve?

PEX is a flexible, hollow hose of cross-linked polyethylene to install residential water supply lines. After placing a crimp ring over the pipe and securing it, a watertight closure is created between the pipe and the fitting. A PEX de-crimping instrument is required to remove the fitting, a simple process.

1. Place the PEX tube in the pipe cutter with the blade resting near the end of the fitting. To cut through the pipe, squeeze the handles of the pipe cutter together.

2. Pull the de-crimping tool’s handles apart to release the tool’s jaws. Depending on the size of the PEX conduit you are working with, adjust the dial on the de-crimping tool to 1/2, 3/4, or 1 inch. Examine the tool’s jaws: one jaw is pointed for cutting the crimp ring, while the other is flat to support the inside of the fitting during cutting.

3. Insert the flat mandible into the fitting’s end. Squeeze the handles of the de-crimping tool together to bring the pointed jaw onto the crimp ring and cut it. Turn the crimp ring 180 degrees and then open the tool’s handles. Repeatedly squeeze the tool’s arms together. Now that the crimp ring has been cut in two locations, it can be removed by hand.

4. Pull the PEX tubing from the end of the fitting by hand.

Applications of PEX Valves

  • PEX valves are used in residential and commercial water supply systems. It regulates water flow to fixtures and appliances such as faucets, toilets, and showers.
  • PEX valves are also used in hydronic heating systems. Yet, it circulates hot water by radiators or baseboard heaters to warm interior spaces.
  • PEX valves are employed in cooling systems, such as chilled water circulation. Moreover, it modulates flow and temperature in buildings and industrial processes.
  • PEX mixing valves blend hot and cold water to attain the needed temperature at a fixture. This may ensure a safe and comfortable water supply.

Plumberstar PEX Ball Valves Features

plumberstar pex ball valves
Plumberstar pex ball valves

A ball valve with a Pex connection is essential for any engineer or do-it-yourselfer. These valves are simple to install and maintain and can connect PEX tubing to steel, copper, or CPVC conduit systems. This makes them suitable for a variety of plumbing applications in residential structures.

Ball valves are constructed with a spherical disk called a ‘ball’ that rotates within the valve body to regulate the flow of liquid or gas. When rotated 90 degrees, the ball allows fluid to pass through a port in its center; when rotated back 180 degrees, it completely inhibits the flow. Combining this design with PEX connections makes it possible to connect various pipe types without fretting about compatibility issues. PEX ball valves are designed for horizontal or vertical orientation, with or without flow control.

PEX Ball Valve Types and Uses

PEX-type ball valves are 2-way, full-port valves with a 1/4-turn handle and PEX crimp connections of equal dimensions on both ends. They are appropriate for both PEX plumbing and heating applications. They are installed in line with the conduit using crimp or clamp connections.

PEX x Copper valves have one side adapted for installing copper conduit and are typically used with copper manifolds. Yet, these valves enable the transition between PEX and copper.

Push-fit valves, also known as “push-to-connect” valves. It enables the installation of a PEX shut-off valve without the use of PEX tools or rings. Yet, it also provides a convenient means of connecting PEX and copper pipelines.

Installation Simplicity: The Crimp Method

One of the standout features of PEX valves is the simplicity of installation. The crimp method is commonly used, which involves placing a copper crimp ring over the PEX pipe, inserting the pipe onto the valve stem, and then using a PEX crimp tool to compress the ring and create a secure connection.

Conclusion

PEX valves, with their myriad benefits, offer a reliable and efficient solution for controlling water flow in PEX plumbing systems. Their integration within the plumbing industry attests to the growing trust in PEX products for modern-day plumbing applications.

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