How To Connect PVC to PEX

Last Updated On March 1, 2024

Updated on November 15, 2023

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how to connect pvc to pex

Can you connect PVC to PEX? 

You sure can. 

But, it does take some different tools, materials, and know-how. 

With Plumbing Nav by your side, you’ve got this.

We will provide you with all the necessary instructions to complete this plumbing job using these newer materials with our step-by-step instructions on how to connect PVC to PEX (or connect PEX to PVC).

What's In This Guide?

      To Connect PVC to PEX Adaptor: First Gather Materials

      Even a novice DIYer can create secure, watertight connections in no time. 

      Here’s what you need to gather to get started.

      PVC Pipe and Fittings

      First, you’ll need PVC pipe, along with corresponding fittings for your project. 

      Make sure they are compatible in terms of diameter and pressure rating. For example 1/2” PEX to PVC adapter, or 3/4 PVC to 3/4 PEX.

      Not checking for correct sizes is one of the common plumbing mistakes to avoid.

      PEX Tubing and Fittings

      You’ll want to determine what PEX pipe and fittings will you buy and know the difference between Pex A vs. Pex B. 

      You also need the correct fittings, which can be crimp or push-fit type depending on what suits your needs best.

      Crimping Tools

      Connecting PEX involves using either a crimping tool or a clamping tool to secure connections between pipes. 

      These tools compress the fitting onto the tube, ensuring a watertight connection.

      PVC Primer & Glue

      Lastly, you’ll want a PVC primer. It helps clean any dirt off the surface while softening the plastic so the glue forms an effective sealant.

      Also, grab adhesive glue. Adhesive glue forms a solid bond among the pieces, helping to create a strong and leak-proof connection.

      To Connect to PEX: Preparing the Pipe

      1. Cutting the PEX Pipe

      To get everything to fit, you might have to cut the PEX pipe. Here’s how to do that using a proper PEX cutting tool.

      1. Cleaning the Pipe

      Start by using 180 or 220 grit sandpaper to level out any jagged edges or uneven patches on both sides of the PVC pipe that will be joined. 

      Then use a clean cloth to wipe down these areas.

      1. Applying Primer

      The next stage is applying primer. The primer will soften up the plastic surface so it can bond more effectively with the glue. 

      An applicator brush attached to the cap of your primer bottle should be used.

      1. Gluing Process

      Just like when we applied primer, ensure each point between pipes and fittings gets a good coating. 

      It’s important not to rush through this as proper application guarantees a secure fit.

      Connect PVC to PEX

      To connect PVC to PEX tubing, we start by attaching a male fitting onto the PVC pipe. 

      This serves as an adapter for connecting PEX piping and is crucial for creating a watertight connection.

      If you’re using a threaded fitting, apply Teflon tape around the threads before screwing it into place. 

      Here’s a quick review of the different ways to connect PVC to Pex: 

      PVC to PEX Connection: Next Steps

      Now it’s time to move over to the PEX pipe. 

      You’ll be introducing a female plastic fitting designed specifically for cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes.

      You’ll need the right tools, such as a PEX crimping tool (for PEX -B) or a PEX expander tool (for PEX-A), depending on your chosen fittings.

      Crimping Tool Method

      If using crimp fittings, you’ll need a PEX crimping tool. 

      The crimp ring should be placed over the fitting and then squeezed tightly until the connection is secure.

      Expander Tool Method

      If an expander fitting is being used, you will need a PEX expander tool

      This tool expands your inserted tube so that it makes a tight fit around your connector.

      Fitting Types Consideration

      When fitting, you’ll want to consider the different situations needed. Here are some examples:

      • PVC glue might work well for quick installation, but when used alone it’s not effective for high-pressure conditions.
      • A push-fit type might seem convenient due to its easy assembly method, but again, it doesn’t work well with strong water pressure.
      • You should consider these issues when deciding upon suitable connector options. Also when connecting copper pipe, CPVC pipe, push fitting, etc., keep in mind their pros and cons.

      Test Connections

      You always want to test your connections to make sure they are secure. Here are a few ways to do that:

      Straightforward Visual Inspection

      A simple visual inspection can reveal connection issues. 

      Carefully inspect each joint for misalignment between the PEX tube and PVC pipes as well as gaps in crimp fittings or push-fit fittings.

      Pressure Test Method

      A pressure test can be conducted by attaching an air compressor or water source to one end of your newly connected pipes and then applying pressure. 

      Watch for any signs of leakage around the fittings.

      Dye Testing Technique

      A dye test may prove beneficial. By adding colored dye to your piping system, it makes it easy to see if any water seeps out.

      Remember: If these tests reveal any problems, you’ll need to disconnect and redo the connections following the above techniques.

      Now it’s time to clean up.

      Make sure to remove excess glue residue from tools and containers.

      Recap: How To Connect PVC to PEX

      Connecting PVC to PEX can be more difficult. Especially if you haven’t worked with these materials before. 

      But with Plumbing Nav by your side, even this more difficult DIY can be successful.

      Make sure you have all the necessary parts and tools, and take your time. Slow and steady wins the race.

      Doesn’t it feel good to know you can learn new tricks related to your PEX residential system, and keep your plumbing connections leak-free? 

      Even with these newer materials like PEX, which have a long lifespan.

      Your newfound knowledge doesn’t stop here. At Plumbing Nav, we have more DIY guides waiting for you! 

      We’re committed to helping homeowners like yourself tackle plumbing questions with confidence. So why wait? 

      Dive into our wealth of resources and make plumbing problems a thing of the past!

      FAQs About How to Connect Pvc to Pex

      1. Is it possible to use SharkBite PVC to PEX?

      The short answer is no. 

      SharkBite fittings, known for their easy push-fit solution in pipe connections, cater specifically to copper, CPVC, and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing but unfortunately do not work with PVC pipes due to their differing size standards.

      2. Can you connect flex pipe to PVC?

      A resounding yes. 

      Flex pipe can indeed be connected directly to your existing PVC pipes using appropriate connectors or adapters that create a watertight connection between these two different types of materials.

      3. Can plastic fittings be used with PEX?

      Certainly. Plastic female fittings made from similar material as PEX piping, i.e., cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), are completely compatible with your PEX system when installed correctly using tools like a crimping tool or clamping tool, which ensure secure joints in this type of setup. 

      Always remember: When working on home plumbing projects involving diverse materials such as CPVC pipe, PEX pipe, copper pipe, etc., all connections must comply with local building codes and regulations.

      4. How do you connect poly pipe to PEX?

      You can join poly pipe and PEX using brass or plastic barbed adapters along with stainless steel clamps for secure connections.

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      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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