PEX piping is very popular now, and for many reasons. But with any new kind of method, comes a whole bunch of new tools and rules that we ought to get familiar with.
When using PEX pipes, one has to seal them tight, and that is where PEX clamps or crimps come in.
These two are very similar methods of creating a watertight joint, but at the same time, they have their fair share of differences.
This is where this little article on PEX Crimp Vs PEX Clamp comes in, where we break it down for you, what they are, what their differences are, how they compare, and what you should pick!
What Is PEX Crimp?
A crimp is a tool that is used to literally crimp the PEX ring. These are typically made from copper, and they squeeze the ring onto the barbed fitting.
These are very strong and heavy, as they are made from metal. PEX crimp tools usually have to be of a certain size and are not usually very versatile.
Advantages Of PEX Crimp
The Crimp creates an extremely strong and durable watertight situation, which is also very long-lasting. Meaning, you don’t have to change it in the near future, as there is no fear of it getting loose.
Disadvantages Of PEX Crimp
Since PEX crimp tools are made from copper, depending on the kind of water that passes through, the crimp can corrode. And this corrosion can in turn damage the pipe, and even contaminate the water if it comes into contact with it.
• Requires Force
PEX crimp tools are very strong once attached on properly. But to do this requires a lot of strength and force, to ensure that the crimp has been attached strongly. And this can be quite hard for some people, especially if they wish to do it without professional help.
One of the downsides here is that one PEX crimp tool cannot be used with different-sized rings.
And if you do have to work with many different ring sizes, you will either need a new tool or at least one that lets you change the jaw of the tool, which too can be slightly expensive.
• Not Easy To Remove
What Is PEX Clamp?
A PEX clamp is a stainless-steel band that comes with pegs and locking holes. Using this, one can squeeze the knob and lock it to the convenient hole.
This method is typically easy and can be used on various pipes, which makes it pretty versatile. The method is also very popular for tight and small spaces where it is hard to reach.
Advantages Of PEX Clamp
Since these clamps are made from stainless steel, they do not corrode, even if the water passing through has contaminants. And since this is used around water pipes, this is very important.
Given that this one tool can be used for a load of different cinching purposes and ring sizes, the method is quite reasonable. One will not need a new tool or jaw for every different pipe, which can be light on the wallet.
• Easy To Remove
If clamps are done incorrectly, they can be easily removed. This is good in case there has been a mistake, in which case, it can be reversed quickly.
Disadvantages Of PEX Clamp
Clamps are typically thinner in size, which means if it comes under a lot of force at any time, it will bend.
• Not Long Lasting
With the clamp system, over time, the clamp can start to loosen up, which means the process will have to be repeated again.
PEX Copper Crimp Ring vs Cinch Clamp: Which is Better?
The PEX clamp tool is very versatile. This one tool can be used in various projects, making it useful for professionals, while saving money all the same.
They are also versatile in the sense, that they can be used in tight and wide spaces without facing much trouble.
The PEX crimp tool on the other hand has limits to its uses, as it can only be used for certain sized PEX fittings. They do, however, come with changeable jaws, which allow the user to change its jaw before using the tool on a differently sized PEX crimp.
Since we are dealing with water pipes here, one thing is for sure, that is the connection has to be very right and accurate.
The PEX crimping tool is very reliable in this case, where the connections made are very accurate and tight, and are not likely to leak.
Cinching or clamping tools, on the other hand, are not as strong comparatively, as it does not tighten the entire pipe body thoroughly.
• Ease Of Use
Whether you are a professional plumber, or a homeowner simply looking for a quick fix, one thing we can all agree on, is that we want to use a tool that is quick, efficient, and easy to use.
Crimping tools are very easy to maneuver and can be used effectively without the use of much expertise. Clamping or cinching takes some knowledge and know-how. But they are easy to remove if there has been a mistake.
The clamping process uses stainless steel, which is known to be very durable, and water-resistant. This allows the fixture to be strong and durable, regardless of the kind of water passing through, or the kind of environment it faces.
The crimping process uses copper rings, and these can sometimes face corrosion if the surrounding environment is not suitable enough. In turn, it can also cause damage to the pipe itself.
At the end of the day, a lot of this comes down to personal preferences. But that being said, there are some clear pros for the clamping method, its versatility, and durability, and it does not affect the pipes or the water with its stainless-steel clamps.
Granted, they are not as strong as the crimping method and require changes every 5-10 years, they are still easy to change.
Crimping on the other hand is stronger, but it requires a different jaw for different pipes and has the risk of corrosion.
So, leaving personal preferences out, clamping surely is the better choice of the two, regardless of whether you are a professional or not.