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What About Expansion?
PEX supply expands and contracts more than copper, so don't stretch it tight. Let it droop a little between fasteners. On long runs, it's a good idea to install a loop as shown to allow for contraction. Another advantage of the loop is that if you mess up and need a little extra tubing, you can steal it from the loop. Also, since PEX moves as it expands and contracts, make sure to drill oversize holes through studs or joists so it can slide easily, and don't use metal straps to attach it. Use plastic straps instead.
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Will PEX Break or Split if it Freezes?
Probably not. Manufacturers are reluctant to say so, but reports from the field suggest PEX supply can withstand freezing. You should still protect the tubing from freezing, but since it can expand and contract, it's less likely to break than rigid piping.
PHOTO: COPYRIGHT EASY HEAT INC.
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What if I Goof? Can I Take it Apart?
Sure — there's a special tool for cutting off crimp rings, and you can use side cutters to remove cinch clamps. But a rotary tool (Dremel is one brand) fitted with a cutoff blade works great for cutting either type of connector (see photo). After you remove the crimp ring or cinch clamp and pull the PEX supply from the fitting, cut off the end of the tubing to get a fresh section for the new connection. If you damage the fitting with the rotary tool, replace the fitting rather than risk a leak.