PEX Connectors: A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Fittings

When it comes to PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) plumbing systems, there are several types of connectors available to make secure and reliable connections between PEX pipes and other plumbing components. Here are some common types of PEX connectors:

1. Crimp Ring:

Crimp rings, also known as crimp fittings or copper crimp rings, are widely used connectors for PEX plumbing systems. They consist of a brass or poly-alloy fitting that is secured to the PEX pipe using a crimp ring. The crimp ring is placed over the pipe and fitting, and then crimped tightly using a crimping tool to create a watertight connection. Crimp rings are available in various shapes and configurations to suit different plumbing needs.

2. Push-to-Connect (PTC) Fitting:

Push-to-Connect (PTC) fittings, also called push-fit or quick-connect fittings, offer a convenient and tool-free installation method. These connectors have a collet mechanism that securely holds the PEX pipe in place. To make a connection, you simply push the pipe into the fitting until it locks in place. Push-to-Connect fittings are easy to use and provide reliable connections, making them popular for DIY installations or situations where frequent disconnections are required.

3. Compression Fitting:

Compression fittings are another type of connector used with PEX pipes. They consist of a compression nut and a compression ring (also known as a ferrule) that are tightened onto the PEX pipe using a compression tool or wrench. The compression ring forms a watertight seal when compressed between the fitting and the pipe, ensuring a secure connection. Compression fittings are versatile and commonly used when disassembly and reassembly are needed.

4. Expansion Fitting:

Expansion fittings are specifically designed for PEX-A (Engel method) tubing, which has shape memory and can expand when heated. These connectors have a larger diameter than the PEX pipe, allowing the pipe to slide over the fitting. An expansion tool is used to expand the pipe, enabling it to fit tightly onto the fitting. As the pipe cools, it contracts and creates a secure connection. Expansion fittings are ideal for PEX-A systems.

5. Press Fitting:

Press fittings, also known as press-to-connect or press-fit fittings, utilize a press tool to create a secure connection. These connectors feature an O-ring or sealing element inside, and when the fitting is pressed onto the PEX pipe using a press tool, the O-ring creates a watertight seal. Press fittings are efficient and offer quick installation, making them popular in larger plumbing projects.

These are some common types of PEX connectors used in plumbing systems. It’s important to select connectors that are compatible with the type of PEX tubing you are using and adhere to local plumbing codes and regulations. Consulting with a professional plumber or supplier can help you choose the appropriate PEX connectors for your specific needs.