PEX fittings are prevalently used in plumbing systems for their durability and safety. Sometimes, you might need to remove the PEX fittings to do some plumbing work. In such cases, you must know how to remove PEX fittings with or without tools.
So, how to remove PEX fittings with or without tool? If the PEX fittings use crimp or clamp connections, you need to use a crimp ring removal tool or ratchet clamp tool to remove the fittings. But if you don’t have these fancy tools, you can use a flathead screwdriver to remove clamp connections.
Learn more about removing PEX fittings in the safest way so that you can reuse them.
Multiple types of PEX fittings are used in plumbing systems. Some of the most common fittings are crimp fittings, clamp fittings, push-fit or push-to-connect fittings, expansion fittings, and compression fittings.
PEX fittings can be made of brass or poly. Brass fittings are corrosion-resistant and more durable than poly fittings. Read the Erosion Study on Brass Insert Fittings.
The removal process of PEX fittings will be different depending on what material and type of fittings you use. We will go over the simple steps of removing PEX fittings.
1. Removing PEX Crimp Fittings with Tools
Crimp fittings have barbed edges where the PEX tubing is connected using a crimp ring. To remove this type of fittings, you will need a
- PEX Cutter
- Crimp Ring Removal Tool
- Nose Pliers
Step 1: Cut the PEX tube on both sides of the fittings. Make sure the cuts are as close to the fittings as possible.
Step 2: Hold the fittings tightly with nose pliers but be careful not to damage the fittings.
Step 3: Adjust the size of the crimp ring removal tool according to the fittings’ size.
Step 4: Insert the rectangular jaw of the crimp ring removal tool into the fittings. Then, press the tool to make a clean cut on the ring.
Step 5: Rotate the fittings 180 degrees and make another cut on the opposite side of the previous cut.
Step 6: The crimp ring should now come off easily and you can remove the PEX fittings.
Check this video to understand the process better.
2. Removing PEX Clamp Fittings with Tools
Clamp fittings are easier to remove if you have the right tool. To remove clamp fittings, you will need a
- PEX Cutter
- Flat Head Screwdriver
- Wire Cutter
Step 1: Cut the PEX pipe on one side of the fittings.
Step 2: Hold the pipe on the other side for better grip and use the flat-head screwdriver to straighten the clamps. Then, you can pull the clamp outside and remove the PEX clamp with a screwdriver.
Step 3: You can also use a wire cutter to cut the clamp. Hold the clamp tightly with the wire cutter and squeeze the cutter. It will cut the clamp so that you can remove the fittings.
3. Removing PEX Push-Fit Fittings with Tools
This is by far the easiest removal process of PEX fittings with tools. You just need a simple disconnect tool to remove push-fit fittings. These are also known as quick-connect fittings. See the following steps to learn how to remove PEX quick-connect fittings.
Step 1: Cut the PEX tube on one side of the fittings.
Step 2: Place the disconnect tool on the opposite side of the fittings.
Step 3: Squeeze the disconnect tool and it will compress the inner collar. As a result, the pipe will come out loose. You might need to twist the PEX tube slightly.
Removing PEX fittings without tools is a bit tricky. You can’t remove brass fittings without tools. But poly fittings might be removed with bare hands. Here is how you remove these fittings.
Step 1: Poly fittings are connected to PEX pipes using adhesives. You need to break the adhesive bond to remove the fittings. To do that, twist the connection anti-clockwise.
Step 2: Be prepared for applying some extra force because removing the adhesive might not be easy. If twisting in one direction doesn’t work, you can alternate the direction to remove adhesive faster.
Step 3: After the adhesive is removed, pull out the PEX fittings gently. Remember, you shouldn’t damage the fittings.
Yes, you can. But you can’t use marked or damaged fittings as they can leak. So, the only way of reusing PEX fittings is to remove them so carefully that the fittings aren’t damaged.
When you use a crimp ring removal tool, adjust the size precisely so that the fittings aren’t damaged. Similarly, be careful while using a wire cutter so that it doesn’t mark or damage the fittings. If the fittings are in good shape, you can reuse them without any worries.
Check answers to some frequently asked questions about PEX fittings.
Yes. There is no problem in using heat to melt the adhesives or widen the crimp ring. But you shouldn’t change the original shape of the fittings.
No. Crimp connections use special tools that tighten the crimp ring against the fittings. Removing the fitting with bare hands might not be possible.
No. Different tools are designed to remove different fittings. So, you need the right tool depending on what fittings you have.
We showed different methods of removing PEX fittings for various connections. You can use your hands or simple tools for easier connections. But for more complex connections, you need to use specialized tools to remove PEX fittings.
That means the removal of PEX fittings depends on what type of connection it has. It might seem a bit challenging to remove PEX fittings. And the task gets even tougher when you don’t have the right tool for the job. So follow this article to know which type of PEX needs tools to remove and which is not.