How Plumbers Fix Leaks In PEX Pipes

Posted on: 9 May 2022


PEX pipes are often recommended because they are easy to install, but also because they tend to be less leak-prone than pipes made from other materials. This does not mean, however, that PEX pipes will never leak. Leaks do still occur from time to time. They most commonly occur at the junctions where two pieces of PEX are brought together and fastened with a metal clamp. How do plumbers fix these leaks? Well, there are two main methods that they tend to use, depending on the location of the leaks.

Method 1: Replacing the Clamp

If the plumber can see the junction that is leaking, they will normally repair it by removing and replacing the metal clamp that holds the two sections of pipe together. Usually, the leak is just caused by a poorly crimped clamp that is not as tight as it should be. Or, the clamp may have loosened over time, leading to the leaks.

To remove the clamp, the plumber will either use wire cutters or a specialized tool made specifically for cutting PEX clamps. Then, they will slip a new clamp around the two sections of pipe and use a crimping tool to tighten it. They'll then turn the water on to test the connection. If no drops of water appear, the PEX is considered fixed.

Method 2: Cutting Out and Replacing a Section of Pipe

If the leak is in a section of PEX that runs behind a wall, the plumber won't be able to easily tell if the leak is in the PEX itself or at a junction. But in a way, it does not really matter because the solution is the same. They'll turn the water off, cut out the section of PEX where the leak is, and then replace that whole run of PEX. This can be quite a long run of PEX depending on how much is behind the wall. But luckily, that does not matter very much, as PEX is inexpensive compared to other plumbing materials.

The plumber will create new junctions at either end of the cut-out section, securing each one with a clamp as described in the previous section.

Leaks in PEX are not common, but they do happen from time to time. If you notice a leak in your PEX, call a local plumber. They'll come take a look and implement one of the repair methods above, depending on the location of the leak and its accessibility. 

To learn more, contact a plumbing repair service.