Fire Protection: PEX Tubing

Fire protection piping systems store and/or transport fire extinguishing media. The most common...

Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX) is a thermoset material made from medium or high density,...

Benefit of Material to Systems Application

Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) materials are primarily used for fire protection in residential properties. One of the advantages of a PEX residential fire protection system is that it integrates sprinklers with cold water plumbing for one multipurpose system, reducing installation costs and minimizing ongoing maintenance requirements. PEX systems include tubing, fittings, valves, manifolds, tools, risers, accessories and transition fittings - everything you need to get the job done. Benefits of PEX include; lower installed cost, fewer fittings, less labor and decreased potential for leaks. It is torch-less, safe, easy to handle, and easy to learn. PEX tubing is recognized as acceptable for water distribution piping in all major model plumbing codes and may be listed for use in residential fire protection systems.

System Application and Material Usage

Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) materials are rated for long term service at 180°F as well as for cold water applications. Hot and cold water distribution system piping made from these materials has a working pressure rating of 100 psi at 180°F. These systems are tested at 150 psi at 210°F for at least 48 hours to assure integrity at those condition, which may develop in the event the water heater controls malfunction. Thus, such materials are suitable for hot water distribution where water heaters are installed with relief valves set at 150 psi, 210°F.

All plumbing codes require the use of piping having the 100 psi at 180°F rating for both the hot and the cold water portions of the water distribution system. For residential fire protection systems, PEX tubing carries an additional rating of 130 psi at 120°F.

PEX tubing is manufactured by extrusion in sizes from ¼-inch -2 inch diameter to copper tube size, outside diameter controlled (CTS-OD) dimensions. The wall thickness is based on Standard Dimension Ratio 9 (SDR 9) values. It is available in coils and straight lengths.

In North America, PEX tubing cannot be joined by solvent-cement nor heat fusion methods. A full line of directional and transition fittings is available. The joint is formed with various mechanical compression methods. The most widely available connection is the insert and crimp ring system produced to the ASTM F 1807 specification. This joining system is supplied by several manufacturers.

For additional information, refer to
http://www.nfsa.org, or

Manufacturers and Suppliers Participating in OPUS

F.W. Webb Company

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Hajoca Corporation

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Jomar Valve

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The Commonwealth Group

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Uponor, Inc.

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Founded in 1899, Viega manufactures and distributes the highest quality plumbing, heating and......
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Watts Water Technologies

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Weldbend Corporation

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Zurn Industries, LLC

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Applicable Joining Methods


There are several types of fittings for joining PEX. The various types of fittings are governed...
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