How To Avoid Puncturing PEX Tubing and What To Do If You Detect A Leak?

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How To Avoid Puncturing PEX Tubing and What To Do If You Detect A Leak?

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To avoid puncturing PEX tubing, use a skilled, careful concrete crew that’s familiar with pouring slabs over PEX circuits. If you detect a leak, you can fix it with a repair coupling or replace the circuit altogether.

How Do You Prevent Puncturing PEX Piping?

Crews that have poured their fair share of slabs over radiant heat flooring runs are generally cognizant of the PEX pipes over which they work, and instinctively avoid puncturing them. On the other hand, green crews that have never messed up and damaged a PEX pipe may be less careful and more prone to cause damage. So, engaging an experienced crew is best.

Since it’s much easier to replace a punctured pipe before it’s covered with concrete, it’s important to determine if a pipe section has been damaged before the concrete pour. To this end, you should pressurize the PEX piping with air to about 50 PSI and see how far down the pressure gauge drops over time.

If you notice a drop of more than 5 PSI, there’s a leak somewhere in the circuit. If this happens, fix the damage section with either a repair coupling or a replacement circuit, and run the pressure test again.

If the initial pressure test is successful (no more than a 5 PSI drop), go ahead and lower the pressure to 25 PSI, while monitoring the pressure gauge for fluctuations. Now, your crews can finish the final preparations for getting ready for the slab pour.

Pex Piping Placement in a Heat-Sheet Panel
Pex Piping Placement in a Heat-Sheet Panel

How Do You Fix a Punctured PEX Tube AFTER a Concrete Pour?

After the concrete pour, you can fix a punctured section of PEX tube using the 4 steps below.

  1. Remove anywhere between 4 and 8 inches of concrete around the puncture.
  2. Cut out about ½-inch or the damaged tubing and reconnect the ends with a repair coupling.
  3. Protect the coupling with self-fusing tape, aka fire tape or self-vulcanizing tape.
  4. Place fresh concrete back into the opening. That’s it — you’re done!

Though repairing a punctured PEX tube may seem like an arduous task, it’s actually not — as long as you stick to the steps above!