The PEX pipes have several qualities that have enabled it to stand out among the market’s best. These pipes have gained popularity over the last two decades. They can withstand temperature and pressure changes in any domestic system. Besides this, these pipes don’t corrode like other metals in the market. It is also highly resistant to scale and chlorine at large. Above all, they require fewer fittings to install them, something that is different from other metals.
However, these pipes aren’t suitable where they get exposed to sunlight. They work best in in-ground and indoor plumbing systems installation. The PEX pipes are susceptible to damage when exposed to UV light. For this reason, there is a need to protect them from this agent to maintain them strong over an extended period. Do you understand how to protect PEX pipe from UV light? Before that, let’s understand better what the PEX pipe is.
What is PEX Pipe?
This is a flexible tubing designed with several qualities offering users several advantages over other traditional piping options. These tubing come in long rolls, and users can use them for long and continuous runs in the house. The best part of these pipes is that they can bend without joints and elbows alike. For this reason, you will use them working through the studs and joists and even at the corners easily. You won’t spend time welding or even fix extra pieces with glue.
Another excellent characteristic of the PEX pipes is that they don’t burst whenever water lines freeze. Moreover, they don’t sweat in high humidity conditions. Their flexibility level makes them great for several applications, and they are excellent in cold climatic regions. Adding joints to these pipes is easy at large. You will require crimping the metal rings over your barbed fittings, and you are done.
Can PEX Pipe Be Exposed to Sunlight?
No, you should not expose the pipes to sunlight. The reason behind this is that these pipes get damaged easily when UV light falls on them. Sunlight tends to disintegrate the molecular structure of the PEX pipes. This makes them weak, and they end up rupturing. However, manufacturers have resorted to manufacturing PEX tubing with UV stabilizers to protect them from sunlight for at least 60 days.
Since these tubings are susceptible to sunlight, they are best installed in covered environments to protect them from direct sunlight. However, short exposure to these tubing cannot be avoided. Manufacturers recommend a certain level of exposure that should be adhered to whenever installing them. Manufacturers advise installers not to exceed the required exposure levels.
How to Protect PEX Pipe from UV Light?
Maximum protection of the PEX pipes is essential to maintain them strong and sturdy over a long period. So, how can you go about it? Look at these ways to equip you with ideas on how to protect the PEX tubing.
Employing a UV blocking material is everything you need to protect the pipes from UV lights. You can consider coating the pipe with a layer of latex paint. It will help you to flush off direct sunlight from landing on the surface of the pipe.
However, this is a temporary way of protecting the PEX pipes from UV light. Likewise, you can use any leftover paints even if it doesn’t stick well on the surface of these pipes. This way, you will protect it from weakening its molecular structure.
You also need to protect these tubing when transporting them to a job site. There is a need to place them in cardboard boxes and take them out only during the actual installation period.
Inspectors should never use the PEX tubing that is already out of the cardboard box on the job site. They should instead insist on cutting them in various lengths and discard them as damaged pipes.
When these pieces run through the basement stub bays, there are two ways you can protect your PEX pipes. First, you can cover the underside part of the stud bay using black plastic. You can likewise cover the PEX tubing with a vinyl sleeve. Moreover, other codes recommend covering the basement windows with UV protectant film, thereby protecting them from UV light.
Besides the above tips for protecting the PEX pipes, you should adhere to other PEX pipes protective measures. They include;
Depending on where you store your PEX pipes, they will expand and contract depending on the place’s temperature. Expansion and contraction of the PEX pipes prevent them from bursting whenever water passing through them freezes. However, you need to protect them from abrasive surfaces that can make them bust when they move back and forth.
Moreover, you should keep the tubing away from hot appliances like, for instance, the water heaters. You need to place them at a distance of about 18 inches from any hot appliance to prevent them from melting.
You should also protect the PEX pipes from any form of friction. You can do this using the pipe insulation, enclose them in other larger pipes or use the abrasion clips. This protects them from excessive friction that will cause holes to develop on them over the years.
If the PEX pipes are installed running through joists and wood studs, you can protect them using the abrasion and suspension clips. Besides this, ensure you pay attention to where they pass through bends and provide the maximum protection at large.
Lastly, the PEX pipes come packed in packages. In case it lacks the package casing, you need to shield them from direct UV light. You can cover them with an opaque material or even dark or black polyethylene bags.
Wrapping It Up
Have you understood how to protect PEX pipe from UV light? The above tips can help you protect these pipes from remaining strong over an extended period. The PEX pipes are the best suit for plumbing than other materials at large. Shield them to increase their shelf life.