PEX piping is one of the most popular choices for domestic water lines. The tubing is easier to work with than copper and steel, it lasts longer and isn’t subject to rust and corrosion. If you’ve chosen PEX, too, you might wonder how to secure a PEX shut off valve – either the main one in the basement or behind a drywall panel or a shut off valve under the sink or behind the toilet. This guide will teach you how to tackle all of these tasks.
How To Secure PEX Shut Off Valve
Securing a PEX shut off valve is easier than you think. The steps below will show you how to do it.
1. Secure PEX Shut Off Valve To The Pipe (Installing It)
If you have tried to install a shut off valve to the PEX pipe and failed, the most likely reason is that you used an unsuitable valve. When installing PEX tubing, it is crucial to pair it with specific PEX fittings and valves. Once you’ve purchased the right parts, here’s how to install the valve.
Things You’ll Need
- PEX-compatible shut off valve
- PEX tubing cutter
- Crimp tool
- Crimp ring
- Adjustable wrench
- Crimp ring gauge
1. Prepare For Installation
If you want to install a new shut off valve on your PEX lines, you might have to remove the old valve. To do this, shut off the main water supply and drain the line by opening the highest faucet in your home, then the lowest.
Once you have drained the system, remove the old valve by cutting it off the pipe with the PEX tubing cutter. Ensure the cut is free of burrs, and clean any residue off the PEX tube with a damp rag.
If you want to install a valve on a new tube, inspect its end, get rid of any burrs, and clean it with a damp rag.
You should also make sure that you have an appropriate valve. Not all PEX pipes have the same size, and the valve must be size-specific. So, you have to install a 1/2 PEX shut off valve and crimp ring on a 1/2 PEX line, and so on.
2. Install The Valve
Once you have the right valve and ring, slide the crimp ring onto the pipe, then slide the PEX valve into the tube until it is completely seated. If you feel resistance, it means you’ve reached the proper depth.
3. Secure The PEX Shut Off Valve To The Pipe
To secure the shut off valve to the pipe, you have to slide the crimp ring into place, about 1/8-inch from the end of the tube. Keep the crimp tool square to the fitting and squeeze until the tool closes completely.
Use the crimp ring gauge to check the results. The gauge slot marked GO should slide freely over the ring, while the slot marked NO GO should not slide over any part of the ring. If the NO GO slot fits over any part of the ring or you feel resistance while sliding the GO slot over the ring, you must cut off the joint and replace it.
Once the joint passes the gauge test, you can connect the flexible tubing going from the valve to the water fixture to the other end of the valve.
2. Secure PEX Shut Off Valve To The Stud In The Wall
PEX shut off valves aren’t generally secured to a wall stud. However, there are circumstances when you may want to secure the valve to the wall. For instance, you might want to install a shut off valve on the PEX line to the showerhead and secure it to prevent it from moving too much while the water is running through the pipe.
The easiest way to do this is by installing a drop-ear PEX valve on the pipe (as explained above), then fastening it to the wall stud with screws.
Alternatively, you can use a plastic or wire tie strap to fasten the valve by wrapping the tie strap around the stud and valve, then zip-closing it. In this case, always use a wire (or metal) tie strap for the hot water line. You can use wire or plastic for the cold water valve.
3. Secure PEX Shut Off Valve Under Sink
PEX shut off valves located under the sink do not require fastening. However, you should install it as close as possible to the wall.
You can follow the steps above to install the valve and connect it to the flexible tubing connecting to the sink or appliance (dishwasher or washing machine).
4. Secure PEX Shut Off Valve Behind The Toilet
Traditionally, water lines to the toilet were made of copper. However, PEX has so many advantages that you might want to run PEX to the toilet, too.
If you’re running the PEX pipe through the wall, bring the stub out three to four inches and add a shut off valve to the PEX pipe as explained above. If you’re running the pipe through the floor, bring the stub out about five inches above the floor.
Slide the crimp ring onto the pipe, then install a straight shut off valve. Close the ring with a crimp tool and check the joint with the crimp gauge. Once installed, the shut off valve doesn’t need any fastening, but you can slip a decorative plate or cover around the PEX stub to hide it from view.
How To Turn Off A PEX Valve Without Damaging It?
PEX valves under the sink and behind the toilet aren’t generally secured to anything other than the pipe. However, turning it off without damaging it is easy. Simply hold the PEX stub and valve firm with one hand, then turn the handle to close the valve with your other hand.
If the valve hasn’t been used in a while and the handle is stuck, ask a helper to keep it firm and use a pair of pliers or an adjustable wrench to turn the handle.
How do you mount a PEX ball valve?
You can mount a PEX ball valve by sliding a crimp ring over the pipe, pushing the valve stub inside the tubing, then closing the ring with a crimp tool. Install all other PEX valves in a similar way.
Does PEX piping need to be secured?
Yes, PEX piping needs to be secured. According to the national plumbing code, you should secure the pipe per the manufacturer’s instructions. While instructions could vary, most manufacturers recommend securing the pipe every 32 inches horizontally and every ten feet vertically.
In addition to securing PEX pipes, you must also remember that all exposed PEX pipes must be covered to prevent UV and extreme temperature damage.
How should I choose a shut off valve for the PEX pipe?
As a rule of thumb, the main things to consider when choosing a PEX shut off valve are the PEX brand and pipe size. Most brands manufacture valves and fittings for their pipes, and choosing products from the same company can save you a lot of trouble – these valves and fittings are less likely to leak or break.
If you want to buy a more affordable valve, make sure it meets the code requirements and that it is compatible to use with PEX pipes.
Installing and securing a PEX shut off valve is as easy as it gets. You only have to make sure the valve is inserted correctly into the tube and that the crimp ring is closed properly. We hope this guide can help you accomplish the task with minimum hassle.