Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.
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Lloyd Lee
How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.

Last water heater replaced by plumber - he used PEX connectors to the safety valve and drain line. The valve needs replacing, a straightforward job I can do myself. Anyone know how I can disconnect the PEX from the copper fitting?

MLB Construction
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.

removing them was a major pain in the a**. i gave up on trying several years ago until one day i had an idea. i assume you're talking about removing the metal band that secures the pex to the copper fitting. the first time i tried this i ruined the fitting but by the second time and every time since it's been a piece of cake with no damage to the fitting at all.

i use grinders all the time so i'm pretty adept at using it. all i do is cut them off with a metal cutting disk attached to my grinder. now, the tricky part. you can't cut at a 90 degree angle to the band or you'll cut apart the fitting. you have to cut basically in the same direction that the band is going and move the grinder from side to side. FYI, i don't recommend this to most people as it can be quite dangerous and i won't let any of my employees do it but i've got it down to a science over the past few years and i can take a metal band off a pex fitting in about 10-15 seconds now.

also, i'd live to know if anyone has any other methods for doing this....perhaps something safer that doesn't take 5 minutes.

dj1
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.

My advice: call the plumber

MLB Construction
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.
dj1 wrote:

My advice: call the plumber

good advice

Clarence
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.

Use a Dremal tool with a cut off disk.
It will allow you to cut the band at a 45 with no damage to the fitting.

Condoman
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.

If you mean the crimp clamp I have a clamp removal tool but do not use it. I have found I can bend the small tab with wire cutter pliers and then use a screwdriver to disengage the clamp. Works great and does not damage the fitting.

MLB Construction
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.
Condoman wrote:

If you mean the crimp clamp I have a clamp removal tool but do not use it. I have found I can bend the small tab with wire cutter pliers and then use a screwdriver to disengage the clamp. Works great and does not damage the fitting.

those types of clamps are much easier to undo. the ones i'm referring to are the ones used for the Fosta Pex

Condoman
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.

I looked at a You Tube to see what they look like and I agree they must be a PIA to remove. A Dremel work work with the cutoff tool. I would be concerned that the PEX would get nicked and cause a problem however.

MSSP
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.

They do make a tool for this. But by code you are not supposed to use Pex for the T&P line. You should call a Plumber.

Mastercarpentry
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.
MSSP wrote:

They do make a tool for this. But by code you are not supposed to use Pex for the T&P line. You should call a Plumber.

This especially.

Call a plumber if you're not comfortable dealing with this yourself. Based on your description it should be a relatively cheap and easy job.

Phil

enigma-2
Re: How to remove pex connection from copper pipe on water heater drain line.
MSSP wrote:

They do make a tool for this. But by code you are not supposed to use Pex for the T&P line. You should call a Plumber.

As an inspector, I've always allowed the use of PEX for the T&P drain because it's permitted in the IRC. P2803.6.1 item 13 allows any material listed in Table P2904.5. PEX is not restricted because the temerature rating only applies to the matrerial when it's under rated pressure, that is, the limitation is set for a maximum temperature when operating at it's maximum pressure; and a drain is under no pressure at all.
As far as removing the T&P drain line, I would cut it off and use a new pipe on the new valve. (Not worth the trouble).

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