Have you ever tried to wrestle a coiled Pex piping into a straight line? If yes, then definitely you know how difficult it is. Especially when PEX tubing comes in coils, making it difficult to work with, leading to reduced flow rates during installation.
It is due to its shape holding nature. Polyethylene Crosslinked (PEX) tubing has revolutionized plumbing and hydronic heating systems with its flexibility, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Both professionals and DIY enthusiasts use this coil piping for plumbing likely.
If you are a professional plumber or even hiring a professional for your home renovation then must know how to straighten coiled pex?
In this comprehensive guide, we will dive how to straighten coiled Pex, and explore different methods and tips to master the art of how to straighten coiled PEX.
So why are you waiting? Scroll down to ease your plumbing woes. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to ensure your PEX system functions optimally.
- Explanation of Coiled PEX Tubing
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Coiled PEX
- Why Straightening Coiled PEX is Necessary
- How to Straighten Coiled Pex: 4 Methods
- Preparation Before Straightening Coiled PEX
- Comparison of Methods
Explanation of Coiled PEX Tubing
Coiled PEX tubing is a convenient form of PEX that is often wound into compact rolls. This coiling allows manufacturers and sellers for easy storage and transportation. Because its available in long length of 100 to 1000 feet.
However, this coiling can result in the tubing retaining its coil shape, that is difficult to retain in straight shape. So to overcome the challenge with the coil shape during installation there must be a way to straighten it.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Coiled PEX
Coiled PEX has several advantages that are in favor of its manufacturers and sellers:
- Compactness: due to coil shape it requires small spaces for storage and is easy to handle during transportation.
- Cost-Effective: straight line PEX requires more care and can break or damage easily. On the other hand coil PEX can easily adjust in small spaces and make strong bonding due to bundles.
- Reduced Fittings: it requires fewer connections in coiling, that reduce potential leak points.
However, it also has disadvantages for professionals during plumbing:
- Coil Memory: it retains the coil shape so it’s difficult to put in a straight line.
- Reduced Flow Rate: the coil shape creates hindrances in water flow.
- Professional Appearance: makes installation difficult and can create an unprofessional look if not straightened properly.
Why Straightening Coiled PEX is Necessary
Coiled PEX, with its inherent coil memory, can lead to several issues that you can overcome by straightening it. This is why it is important to learn how to straighten coiled Pex. The tubing’s coiled shape restricts water flow, that not affects system’s efficiency but it is also time-consuming, and makes installation challenging especially in tight spaces.
Restricted flow can lead to inefficient heating or cooling therefore maintaining optimal water flow is crucial in PEX systems.
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How to Straighten Coiled Pex: 4 Methods
Many professionals find it difficult to learn how to straighten coiled PEX. That creates the question: is it possible to straighten the coiled PEX? The answer is yes! It is possible. But how do you straighten coiled Pex? It requires proper methods and expertise.
Now that we’ve covered the basics and prepared our workspace its time to delve into the various methods for how to straighten coiled PEX. Each method has its own set of pros and cons, so you can choose the one that best suits your project requirement and resources.
1. Manually Straighten the Pipe
If you are a strong man (physically strong) then you should try this free of cost manual on how to straighten coiled Pex. This can also be like a workout. To do this, follow these directions.
Fix Pipe: First attach one end of your coiled PEX with a stationary object. The object should be strong enough and heavy that it can’t move with the pipe.
- Apply Force: Now apply your force by bending the pipe in the opposite direction by holding other end.
- Secure the other end: Then with strong hand grip stretch the pipe and attach it to the other end with a second heavy object.
- Holding: Leave it for 2 to 3 hours. That will help it to retain its new straight shape.
2. The “Solar Heating” Method
The solar heating method is an environmentally friendly approach to learn how to straighten coiled Pex. This is because the pipe is not able to face UV rays. This method uses power of the sun to straighten coiled PEX. Here’s how it works and allows the sun to heat the coiled PEX:
- Lay Out the Coiled PEX: First step is to uncoil the tubing and expose it out in direct sunlight.
- Wait for Heating: must take place in direct sunlight that gradually soften the PEX. As the coil continues heating, it makes it lose its coil memory.
- Regularly Check and Adjust: This process may take several hours to adjust the PEX. Check to ensure even heating. That depends upon on sunlight and ambient temperature.
- Roll and Store: Once the PEX has straightened, now just roll it and don’t delay in installation.
- Environmentally friendly.
- No additional cost for heating equipment.
- Depends upon temperature and weather.
- Time consuming process.
3. The “Boiling Water” Method
Another low cost but temporary method to learn how to straighten coiled Pex is to use boiling water. This method uses hot water to soften the coiled PEX. It’s a quick and effective technique:
- Boil Water: Use a boiler to boil water and make sure it reaches the boiling point before use.
- Pass water from pipe: Carefully connect one end of coiled PEX with boiling water source and pass water from pipe. This step needs extra care and caution. It is best to wear heat proof gloves.
- Soak the PEX: Another way to use hot water is soak it in hot boiling water for 2 to 3 hours. When the pipe feels soft then use gloves to remove the pipe from hot water.
- Wait for Softening: Keep the pipe straight and as flat as possible. You can use some tools to hold it and pour water until it is soft.
- Remove and Straighten: Using gloves or pliers, keep holding the pipe. Once it is straight, pass cold water through it.
- Cooling: This cooling will hold the straight shape for long time.
- Quick and Cost effective.
- Suitable for shorter PEX lengths.
- Requires extra care and caution due to hot water.
- Not ideal for a permanent solution.
4. The “PEX Straightening Tool” Method
Another way for how to straighten coiled PEX pipes is investing in a PEX straightening tool. It is best for a precise and efficient straightening process.
- Secure the PEX: buy a tabletop pipe straighter and clamp one end of the coiled PEX to a fixed point.
- Feed Through the Tool: next insert the coiled PEX through the PEX straightening tool.
- Apply Tension: Do most of the heavy lifting through the tool while applying gentle tension.
- Straighten the PEX: After a short time the tool will gradually straighten the PEX as you feed it through.
- Precise and long lasting results.
- Quick minimal effort required.
- Professional way
- You need to have a hefty budget to buy this tool.
Preparation Before Straightening Coiled PEX
Just like any task, there are some important things that you should make sure of before starting the straightening process of a coiled Pex. Some of the common preparations are
- Inspection of PEX Coils: Before you begin straightening coiled PEX, it’s essential to inspect the coiled PEX nature. Ensure any damage or defects that can lead to breakage of coil. Identifying and addressing issues early is beneficial to save you time and frustration later in the process.
- Uncoiling and Measuring PEX: After buying the product, proper uncoiling and measuring are crucial. Its necessary to ensure you have the right lengths of tubing for your project. This prior measurement prevents waste and ensures a professional finish.
- Role of Safety Precautions When Working with PEX: Safety should always be a top priority when treating any material like hard objects. PEX is no exception but taking the necessary precautions can save you from a severe accident. So, you must adopt safety measures like gloves, a helmet, eye glasses, etc.
Comparison of Methods
Choosing the right method for learning how to straighten coiled Pex depends on your specific project requirements. But how you decide which one works for you is by understanding this comparative analysis:
- Effectiveness: The PEX Solar heating and boiling water method provide the most effective results but its not suitable for long term use. For long-term and effective use the manual straightening and professional tool method is best option.
- Time Required: The boiling water and manual straightening method require more time and effort. On the other hand the PEX straightening tool method is the quickest.
- Cost Considerations: Solar heating and manual straightening are the most cost-effective as it doesn’t require additional equipment. But if you have budget then the PEX straightening tool is a good investment for professionals.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a DIY enthusiast, mastering the art of how to straighten coiled pex is necessary for you. It will not only improve your system’s efficiency but will also make sure you have a clean and professional installation that you can be proud of.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve discussed the world of coiled PEX tubing, and methods to straighten it. Now you have complete information and a user guide about various straightening methods, from solar heating to using specialized tools, along with essential tips, tricks, and safety considerations.
But remember that choosing the right method depends on your project’s requirements and plumber expertise.
With the knowledge and skills you’ve gained from this guide, now it’s time to tackle your PEX project confidently and successfully. If you have any questions then share with us to get a professional response.
For any repairs, installations, builds, or questions; We recommend you to hire a professional. Find A Pro Near You Here!