PEX manifolds and PEX plastic pipes offer cost-related advantages over rigid pipe plumbing systems. PEX plumbing manifolds, and PEX tubing form part of a new system for residential water distribution. However, they are well-received in the home-building community.
Manifolds are control centers that supply hot and cold water to a flexible PEX supply line running from the manifold directly to individual fixtures. Each fixture has a home run to the manifold and not to a trunk, as is traditional trunk-and branch piping.
How a PEX Plumbing Manifold works
A PEX manifold has separate chambers that can be used to supply hot and cold water lines. The cold-water manifold feeds from the main water supply, while the hot-water manifold comes from the water heater. The incoming service line maintains water pressure in manifolds.
Each fixture is connected to a water line that originates at a port within the manifold. A manifold plumbing system can have one central manifold at the entry point to the water service line. Or, it can have multiple smaller manifolds that service remote fixture groups.
To allow for the shutting down of individual fixtures, plumbing manifolds should be mounted in an accessible, convenient location such as a basement wall. Plastic manifolds must be at least 36 inches (vertical) or 18 inches (horizontal), from a water heater. You can mount port-type manifolds between stud framing.
PEX Plumbing has many benefits
Both PEX tubing, as well as PEX plumbing manifolds, offer many benefits:
- All common supply lines are accepted by plumbing manifolds, even down to 3/8 inches.
- PEX can be bent and bent easily, which reduces the pressure drop in the pipes.
- Flexible PEX pipe is more efficient than copper in insulation and is resistant to rust.
- Manifold systems reduce energy losses because hot water arrives at the tap faster, especially if a loop or band is added to it.
- Flexible, non-metallic pipes make for a quiet, efficient, and safe plumbing system . It doesn’t have to suffer from corrosion, scaling, and microbiological buildup.
- PEX tubing can expand up to 15% without cracking and resists freeze damage.
- PEX plumbing manifolds can help you save labor expenses.
- You can turn off the supply at any central location.
- There are many systems that can be distributed commercially in the United States.
How to Install a PEX Manifold
Almost anywhere can have a PEX manifold installed. Begin by counting how many fixtures and locations will be used for hot and cold water, including outdoor fixtures and ice makers.
A plate is included in manifolds for attaching it to a wall or another surface. These tips will help you achieve the best results.
- Ensure that the manifold is equipped with enough ports and label each one during installation.
- To reduce heat loss, place the manifold near the water heater.
- The manifold should not be installed closer to the water heater outlet than 18 inches.
- Make sure you have enough space to install shutoff valves.
- Many PEX piping manufacturers use their own joining and mechanical fitting methods. Make sure to only use approved materials.
- For lower flow purposes, use a 3/8-inch pipe and 1/2-inch for higher flow.
- For future expansion, add additional ports to the manifold. Any ports that are not being used should be removed.
- Then, run the PEX pipe all the way to your desired location. Label the run at the manifold.