How to save money when installing PEX tubing

1. Use PEX bend supports instead of elbows.

Bend support allows to make a 90-degree turn with PEX tubing without the need for a fitting. While these, unlike elbow fittings, cannot provide a sharp turn, they are suitable for most frame homes and will provide a certain degree of protection for the pipe from rigid/abrasive stud edges.

2. Avoid "sticks".

Sticks are 10 or 20ft straight lengths of PEX pipe. These can produce a lot of waste during the installation and require a lot more couplings than tubing in continuous rolls (100ft, 300ft, etc.), resulting in higher costs and higher chances of leakage. Due to stiffness of larger PEX sizes (such as 1"), they may be convenient for straight pipe runs, but are more difficult to store and transport. Sticks are often used by plumbers who are accustomed to installing rigid pipes. Unless your project involves short straight pipe runs, PEX sticks can and should be avoided.

3. Use ready-made manifolds instead of DIY.

Factory-made manifolds offer numerous advantages over DIY ones and in most cases, actually cost less. Radiant heat manifolds are packed with features (flow monitoring and regulation, drainage, temperature monitoring, etc.) which are either not available elsewhere or more costly when purchased separately. Pre-manufactured plumbing manifolds (whether copper or poly) cost substantially less than DIY versions.

4. Use proper type fittings.

When working on a heating project (no potable water), such as radiant floor heating or hydronic heating - baseboards, radiators, fan coils, etc., it is not necessary to use lead-free compliant PEX fittings, so lower-cost regular brass PEX fittings are acceptable. Poly PEX fittings can be used both in plumbing and heating projects and are low-lead compliant and approved for potable water use.

5. Consider PEX clamp method.

PEX clamp (cinch) method involves a clamp tool which works universally with all (5) major sizes of PEX (3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4" and 1") and stainless steel PEX cinch clamps. The tool has the lowest cost comparing to all other types on the market, requires little or no calibration and is great for marking connections it tight spaces.