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How to Take Your PEX Plumbing Job from

Start to Finish

Press Technology

Every stakeholder aims for a strong
finish in a PEX plumbing project.

But like any race, this requires preparation. In the same sense that runners have to diligently train, industry leaders need to educate themselves on what it takes to design and install a complete PEX plumbing system. We’re here to help you achieve the results you want when you cross the finish line.

Get a Feel for What Differentiates PEX Plumbing Materials

While PEX-a, PEX-b or PEX-c is commonly misconstrued as a quality rating system, the variations actually refer to how PEX is cross-linked. PEX-a uses peroxide, PEX-b uses silane and PEX-c uses e-beam.

In terms of chlorine and UV resistance, PEX-b offers the most protection, according to industry standards. While high chlorine resistance is important for hotwater recirculation systems, high UV resistance delivers peace of mind for construction applications with long schedules or with the likelihood for delays. PEX-b also has higher burst pressures compared to PEX-a, which translates into less potential for operational failures.

These differentiators are reflected in the four-digit material designation code printed on PEX tubing as a quality standard. For guidance on how to make an informed decision, consult this overview of PEX designation standards.

PEX Plumbing Materials
In terms of burst pressure,
Viega PureFlow® PEX (PEX-b) is up to
stronger than PEX-a
Stronger Pex
High Striker/Strength Tester

Sort Through the Installation Methods

When it comes to the performance of water distribution systems, reducing water waste and hot water delivery times are top priorities. The choice of how to install a PEX plumbing system will either support or deter these efforts.

With this in mind, there are three installation methods industry leaders recommend: branch and tee, combination and home-run systems. The most conventional of the three, branch and tee, is best suited for condensed floor plans, while the more streamlined combination method is ideal for areas with multiple fixtures grouped together.

In cases where space allows, home-run systems are the optimal choice from an operational efficiency standpoint. With individual distribution lines to each fixture in a system, this installation method can decrease water waste by as much as 40 percent compared to traditional systems and deliver hot water up to four times faster than other configurations. Not to mention, they also require fewer connections behind the wall.

Plastic Pipe Systems
Plastic Pipe Systems

Viega ManaBloc® Takes the
Lead Over Branch and Tee

In one year, a typical home with Viega ManaBloc saves enough water for 55 showers. Similarly, consider the time spent waiting for hot water every day, and that’s 21 days saved over the course of a lifetime.

Weigh the Alternatives for Making Pipe Connections

PEX plumbing connections are all about balance. There’s the need to choose techniques that not only maximize the speed of connections to maintain tight timelines but also ensure the reliable performance of systems.
Thanks to press technology, installers don’t need to place one priority over the other. System-matched tools and jaws allow pipe connections to be made in a matter of seconds, with strong, consistent connections established between each PEX pipe. So while a crimping tool leaves behind uncertainties about proper depth and introduces the need for a go/no-go to test the security of connections, press fittings vastly simplify (and speed up) this process. The case is similar for cold expansion where inconsistent pipe connections can expand over time, and weather can also cause connection integrity issues.

But what about joining PEX and another material?

Good news:

There are press adapters designed specifically for this purpose. This makes it simple to establish consistent connections between the two pipes without any hot work or consumables.



Find A Single Supplier That Supports Long-Term Success

With a clear vision of how to boost operational performance and reduce installation time, you’re on to the final leg of the race: identifying a single supplier to support your PEX plumbing needs. 

That’s exactly what you’ll find with Viega:

  • Our PEX-b tubing is made with an in-house resin formula that provides flexibility similar to PEX-a with the robust performance benefits of PEX-b. It also offers the highest rating for chlorine and UV resistance, while eliminating potential microtears that can occur with cold expansion.
  • Viega ManaBloc, part of the PureFlow system, allows for a centralized plumbing system that delivers hot water faster, minimizes pressure loss and utilizes fewer pipe fittings.
  • Press connections can be made in seconds with Smart Connect® technology that helps identify unpressed connections.
Press Tool

I could tell right away how much better the viega pureflow press fittings were - and i wasn’t even doing the installation!

- Marc Bosco, Superintendent, Ryco Inc.

At Ryco Inc., Uponor was once the manufacturer of choice for pipe fittings. But roadblocks like heavy, cumbersome tools and slow installation times prompted the conversation about a switchover.

“Commercially, we do a lot of 2" or 1¼" risers in hotels and multi-unit jobs, and the Uponor tool must weigh something like 50 pounds,” said Jeremy Richter, who runs the company’s residential division. “It’s so big and heavy, and being up on the ladder with this thing is terrible.”

Recognizing the time wasted, Richter decided to try Viega PureFlow as an alternative. The first place these products were put to work was at the Mt. Lebanon senior apartments in Mt. Lebanon, Penn.

Not only did the team experience no issues during the installation, but it saw significant time savings. “We estimate — and we’re big on historical data — that we’ve got at least a 25 percent savings with PureFlow Press on the Mt. Lebanon job," Richter said.

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