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Can I Use Pex Fittings on Polybutylene Pipe

Can I Use Pex Fittings on Polybutylene Pipe?

Can I use pex fittings on a polybutylene pipe? Here is the answer. During the 1970s & 1980s, polybutylene pipe was widely utilized for household water pipes in America. Polybutylene is distinguished by its grey tint. Lawsuits over-fitting installation failures forced the end of PB manufacture, but you may still find the plastics tubing in specific residences.

The exterior diameter of PB is the same as that of PEX of the identical legal size. However, the outer diameters of the tube types varied somewhat. This implies that PEX fittings should not be used on polybutylene, but on PEX crimped rings & you can use PEX crimping tools on hooked PB joints.

Will PEX fittings work on polybutylene?

Will pex fittings work on polybutylene? Here is the answer. It is doubtful that you will be able to utilize a Cross-linked polyethylene fitting on polybutylene on its own. It occurs since Polybutylene connections are narrower than PEX connections.

The above implies that the dimensions might be incorrect when you install a Cross-linked polyethylene fitting into the polybutylene pipe. Consider the two fits to be unequal, with one lighter than another. As a result, the two connections must be joined using transitional rings or couplings. so the query regarding will pex fittings work on polybutylene is solved.

Reasons why you can use PEX fittings on polybutylene pipe:

Can you use pex fittings on polybutylene? Here is the answer. Certain modifications and additional connections are required to utilize PEX fittings on polybutylene pipe. Following are some key reasons that PEX fittings can be used on polybutylene pipe:

Both are plastic fitting: 

One among the main justifications people believe PEX & PB fitting is replaceable is the fundamental plastic substance they comprise. This differentiates these from copper tubing and explains why you may utilize them on one another.

Use of connector:

While the connections are not precisely the identical size and then become loosened if one tries to insert one PEX connection into a polybutylene tube, the connector allows the fittings to combine.

Best of both:

Because PEX fittings possess certain benefits above PB piping systems and PB plumbing fittings have certain advantages over PEX connections, one may experience the finest of both piping systems when both fittings are connected.

Are PEX and polybutylene fittings the same?

Each of the pipes has significant features that distinguish them as extraordinary and one of a type. PB is constructed mainly of a plastic resin substance previously utilized for sewage pipes because of flexibility, cost-efficiency, freeze resistance, etc.

The significant distinction between the two is in manufacture. Cross-linking occurs when the polymer chains in PEX are joined to each other. However, it does not happen in PB pipes.

The cross-linking of chains results in altered material uniqueness, which is highly advantageous to PEX. One of the most significant advantages of PEX above PB is its ability to withstand more substantial pressure.

However, while each manufacturer attempts to demonstrate the supremacy of PB, the reality remains that PEX will always have more significant pressure tolerating power than PB. Due to its superior water resistance, PEX is often a better choice than PB.

How can you connect polybutylene to PEX?

Several individuals would not like to incur the additional plumbing bills, which may be pretty significant depending on where you reside. Despite such piping tasks are usually left to the professionals, if you want to use both fittings, below are a few simple instructions to assist you:

Choose the right connector:

PEX transition fittings are intended for use with a particular pipe type, which is easily identified by the collars color:

  • Polybutylene pipe is compatible with transitional fittings having a gray collar.
  • PVC pipe is compatible with transitional fittings featuring a white-collar. Such fittings, too, are suitable for schedule 40, 80, and 120 PVC.
  • Tan collar transition fittings are suitable with PEX.

Give a clean cut to the pipe:

The second critical phase will be making a clean pipe cut. You will have to be careful and record any essential observations at this point.

It would be best if you took care not to scrape the pipes with the scales or any other cutting instruments you might use. For cutting the pipe as neatly as possible, you can use either automated or semi-automatic cutting equipment. 

Measuring the insertion depth:

Following that, the tricky aspect is gauging the implantation depth. Such stretch transitional fittings have varying insertion depths, which affects reasonable length. After measuring, indicate the location in the pipes. This stage requires a gauge, as identifying and calculating the depth might be difficult.

Insert the connector and adjust accordingly:

Depending on that installation size, your chosen connection will currently fit inside both pipes. Plug the link and make the necessary adjustments. The main advantage of utilizing these connections is that you will not need to worry about the size, provided you have accurately calculated the placement.

Run the water:

Finally, pump the stream a few rounds to find any connectivity issues. 

Above are steps to connect polybutylene pipe to pex.

Can you use PEX crimp fittings on a polybutylene pipe?

Will pex crimp rings work on polybutylene?. Here is the answer. To utilize a PEX crimp connection on a polybutylene pipe, you must use a particular type of connection. In this scenario, a metal barb that fits the lines will suit. PEX crimping fittings are the most often utilized kind of connection in PEX networks.

Several fittings are available for making PEX-to-PEX couplings and transitioning to specific other piping systems. Apart from PEX-AL-PEX, crimp connectors are suitable for all varieties of PEX tubes. Crimp fittings are recommended for many applications because they are the best commonly accessible and least expensive.

The polybutylene end would be blue to make it easier to identify. You should note that polybutylene is often larger than PEX pipes lacking the crimped connector. You might need to use special crimping tools on the interior as required.

How can you cut polybutylene pipes?

You can use several instruments to cut a PB pipe. Polybutylene tubes might be cut using a sharpened knife or with a hacksaw. Yet, the producers propose that you utilize their specifically designed pipe shear for speed performance and to assure an exactly perfect cut pipe ends every time.

Before commencing on a massive project that required the creation of a high number of connections, it would be well worth the investment in a set of such shears.

Can you glue a polybutylene pipe?

Despite the pipe kinds you’re transferring from, no special equipment, adhesive, crimping, or soldering are required. Wrap transitional pipe connections with self-adhesive silicone tapes before burial if they are for underground usage.

Even though many believe bonded poly pipes are employed in plumbing systems, no such adhesive can be utilized on PB connections.

Here’s a tutorial on how to replace PB with PEX fittings


Is all grey pipe polybutylene?

Polybutylene pipelines used in residential applications are often grey, but they can be black. Externally, PB pipes might be grey, blue, or black. The color grey is commonly used to identify polybutylene pipelines. Furthermore, you might even come across variants in hues such as silver or white representing PB pipe.

Final Thoughts

Cross-linking produces changed physical properties that are incredibly advantageous to PEX. One benefit of PEX above PB is its endurance to high pressures. Various manufacturers’ values may vary, but PEX consistently has higher pressure restrictions than PB. If you want to pump the water or expose the pipelines to cold temperatures, PEX is a preferred idea over PB. The second benefit of PEX above PB is its greater temperature tolerance. Thank you for reading!!

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