Monthly Archives: November 2017

  • PEX Piping vs Flexible PVC

    pex piping vs flexible pvc

    In this day and age, there are many interesting and creative piping methods. One of the most popular materials for home plumbing right now is PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), an intuitive system of tubing and fittings that is flexible enough to move around obstacles in floors and walls while also being tough enough to withstand corrosion and hot water. PEX piping connects to plastic or metal fittings at hubs in the system with crimps instead of glue or welding. When it comes to PEX piping vs flexible PVC, which is the better option?

    Flexible PVC is exactly what it sounds like. It is a type of flexible tubing with the same sizing as regular PVC and that can be attached to PVC fittings with flexible PVC cement. Flexible PVC is usually much thicker than PEX tubing, as it has schedule 40 dimensions and wall thickness. Keep reading to find out whether PEX tubing or flexible PVC is better for your application!

    Material Composition

    These two materials may seem similar due to their flexible nature, but their composition, application, and installation, are totally different. We will start by looking at the materials. PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene. It is made from high-density polyethylene that has cross-linked bonds in the polymer structure. This sounds complicated, but it just means that this material is flexible and can handle high pressures (up to  180F for plumbing applications).

    Flexible PVC is made from the same basic materials as regular PVC: polyvinyl chloride. However, plasticisers are added to to the compound, making it flexible. Flexible PVC can withstand temperatures from -10F to 125F, so it is unfit for hot water. Despite this, it is still extremely useful in several applications, which we will cover in the next section.

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  • Replacing a PVC Ball Valve Handle


    traditional pvc ball valve socket endsPVC ball valves are a simple, yet effective way to control flow in a countless variety of applications, including pools and irrigation. They resist corrosion to an extreme degree and can handle a reasonable range of temperatures and pressures. PVC, however, is not rated for hot water use and can become brittle with age, so sometimes leaks occur. PVC ball valves most often fail around the handle. Luckily, replacing a PVC ball valve handle is easy!

    These types of ball valves have stems with O-rings that can fail when pressure or temperature limits are exceeded. On some of the older, more common styles (shown on the right), the handle itself can crack quite easily. Whether or not this causes leaks, it is awfully inconvenient and can make valve operation difficult if not impossible. Keep reading this article for tips on how to replace a ball valve handle.

    Replacing a Push-On Handle

    The two major types of handles found in PVC ball valves, regardless of body or end type, the those with a screw and those without. In this section we will focus on those without a screw. These handles snap on the top of the valve's stem. Despite not being screwed on, they remain in place very well.

    Before removing the handle, make sure your system is shut off. To remove it, you just need to firmly tug at the handle until it pops off of the valve. You can often find replacement handles for sale on their own if you know the model number of your PVC ball valve. If you cannot find just the handle, you may want to just buy a whole valve. This will give you a back-up valve body if you ever need it.

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