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PEX TUBING FAQs
A: SharkBite® PEX pipe is a cross-link polyethylene tubing that provides an excellent option for plumbing, radiant and hydronic systems in both residential and commercial plumbing applications. When combined with our push-fit fittings, manifolds, valves and other supplies, PEX pipe offers the fastest way to plumb any project. PEX pipe is made from cross-link HDPE (high density polyethylene). The HDPE is melted and continuously extruded into a tube to form a high-performing pipe suitable for a variety of potable and non-potable plumbing applications.
Q: What are the differences in the red, white, blue and gray PEX pipe?
A: There are no performance differences between red, white, blue and gray PEX all are intended for use in potable water systems. The colors can be used to easily distinguish between hot and cold distribution lines.
Q: Can I use PEX pipe for compressed air applications?
A: No, PEX pipe is not intended for compressed air applications.
Q: Can I use PEX pipe for radiant or hydronic heat applications?
A: Yes, PEX pipe is approved for radiant or hydronic heating applications. Since ferrous components are likely to be present in the system, it is important to use oxygen barrier PEX pipe to help prevent ferrous components from rusting.
Q: Is PEX pipe freeze resistant?
A: Yes, PEX pipe is freeze-damage resistant. PEX pipe will expand if frozen and contract to its original shape when thawed. PEX pipe is not freeze-proof. You should use the same standard insulation precautions with PEX pipe to help prevent freezing.
Q: Can PEX pipe be joined with solvent cement?
A: No. PEX pipe does not require glue or cement, and can simply be joined with push-fit fittings, metal insert fittings, or plastic insert fittings for a watertight seal.
Q: Can I use PEX pipe outside?
A: PEX pipe is not approved for outdoor applications and is not approved for continuous UV exposure. PEX pipe should not be stored in direct sunlight.
Q: Why is PEX better than Copper pipe?
A: PEX pipe is easier to install than rigid pipe, and it is available in long coils that can eliminate the need for extra fittings. PEX pipe is flexible and can be navigated around obstacles. For more than 30 years PEX pipe has proven its durability and shown that it is not susceptible to problems found in metal piping systems such as reduced ID (occlusion), corrosion, electrolysis, filming, mineral build-up and water velocity wear.
Q: Why is PEX better than CPVC pipe?
A: PEX pipe is easier to install than rigid pipe, and it is available in long coils which can eliminate the need for extra fittings. PEX pipe is flexible and can be navigated around obstacles. PEX pipe doesn t require the use of glue or cement, can be air tested and can be installed in wet or dry conditions. Additionally, PEX pipe is freeze-damage resistant whereas CPVC pipe is susceptible to cracking at temperatures below 50°.
Q: Does SharkBite offer a warranty on its PEX plumbing system?
A: SharkBite PEX pipe carries a 25-year warranty against any manufacturer s defect as long as the item has been installed per the installation instructions and complies with local code.
Q: What are the benefits of PEX pipe?
A: PEX pipe is part of a water supply piping system that has several benefits over metal pipe or rigid plastic pipe systems. It is flexible, resistant to scale and chlorine. PEX pipe doesn t corrode or develop pinholes. Plus, it is faster to install than metal or rigid plastic and has fewer connections and fittings.
Q: Can PEX be used under a concrete slab?
A: Yes, PEX pipe can be installed under a concrete slab. Since PEX pipe is supplied in coils, installation can be completed in one continuous length without the need for extra fittings. PEX pipe can also be encased within a slab, which is commonly used for radiant floor heating. In cases where PEX pipe penetrates a concrete slab, it must be protected with a nonmetallic sleeve at the penetration point.
Q: How soon after installation can you pressure test PEX tubing?
A: PEX pipe can be pressurized for testing as soon as all necessary connections have been made.
Q: Where is PEX pipe approved for use?
A: PEX pipe is approved for residential and commercial hot and cold water distribution systems, municipal water service lines, radiant panel heating systems, hydronic baseboard heating systems, snow and ice melting systems and building services pipe.
Q: Can PEX save me money?
A: Yes, PEX pipe can save money in numerous ways. PEX pipe is more cost effective than Copper. Plus, PEX pipe is flexible which makes it fast to install and requires fewer directional fittings. When SharkBite PEX pipe and fittings are used together, the labor savings are huge.
Q: What is the difference between PEX-A, PEX-B and PEX-C?
A: The cross-linking method is the difference between PEX-A, PEX-B and PEX-C. Cross-linking is defined as polyethylene material that has undergone a change in molecular structure using a chemical or a physical process whereby the polymer chains are chemically linked. All SharkBite PEX pipe is manufactured as PEX-B.
As background, the methods for cross-linking are:
- PEX-A. Peroxide This method employs organic peroxides that, when heated, generate reactive free radicals that splice PE chains together during extrusion
- PEX-B. Silane This method involves grafting a reactive silane molecule to the backbone of the polyethylene
- PEX-C. Electron beam This method involves subjecting the extruded PE pipe to a dose of high-energy electrons
Q: What is the hottest water that can be run through PEX pipe?
A: The temperature of the water is dependent on the pressure setting:
Q: Can PEX be exposed to sunlight?
A: No, PEX pipe is not approved for continuous UV exposure. PEX pipe should not be stored in direct sunlight.
Q: Does SharkBite PEX piping affect drinking water quality?
A: SharkBite PEX pipe meets NSF/ANSI Standard 61, and is approved for drinking water systems.
Q: Is SharkBite PEX chlorine resistant?
A: SharkBite PEX pipe meets the highest levels of chlorine resistance available.
Q: Can SharkBite PEX pipe be buried?
A: Yes, SharkBite PEX pipe is approved to AWWA C904 which covers PEX pipe in regards to burial. Be sure to check with local, city or state codes to see if the pipe needs to have sleeves or any type of protective burial for your area. PEX pipe can be used as a service line based on its corrosion resistance to soil and water, its long life, and its oxidative resistance.
Q: Can I install SharkBite PEX pipe near a heat source such as heating appliances or gas flue vents?
A: Keep the PEX pipe a minimum of 12 vertically and 6 horizontally from sources of high heat such as recessed light fixtures, gas flue vents, heating appliances or electric motors. Forced air heating ducts are not generally considered sources of high heat. These areas of installation should be rechecked after further construction and other mechanical systems have been installed.
Q: SharkBite PEX pipe is very difficult to uncoil, what is the best method for achieving this?
A: PEX pipe can t be heated or exposed to a direct flame. The best method to the pipe for straightening is by soaking the pipe in warm water or running warm water through the pipe. Please make sure that the pipe is not exposed to direct UV rays.
PART OF RELIANCE WORLDWIDE CORPORATION
As the world leader in push-to-connect plumbing systems, SharkBite strives to innovate efficient plumbing solutions that improve performance and save time when installing new systems or making repairs. We believe that it is our unwavering commitment to innovating new solutions for optimizing efficiency and reliability that make SharkBite a pioneer and the hallmark of push-to-connect plumbing solutions for plumbing professionals.
Our comprehensive range of plumbing fittings, water control valves and PEX pipe has made SharkBite the only total plumbing solution from meter to fixture. No solder, unions, clamps or glue is required, improving repair and installation efficiency and minimizing lost time on the job. The SharkBite system lowers the chance of making errors, reducing potential leaks and customer callbacks. It has the versatility to join copper, CPVC, PEX, PE-RT, and HDPE pipe in any combination with leak free seals, even on wet lines. One manufacturer with a complete set of solutions for improving plumbing efficiency and getting the job done.
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