Everything You Need to Know About Types of PEX Fittings

PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) fittings are essential components used in PEX plumbing systems to connect and direct the flow of PEX pipes. There are various types of PEX fittings available, each designed for specific purposes and installation requirements. Here are some common types of PEX fittings:

1. Crimp Fittings:

Crimp fittings are the most commonly used type of PEX fittings. They consist of brass or poly-alloy fittings with a ring or sleeve (known as a crimp ring) that is placed over the PEX pipe and crimped tightly using a crimping tool. Crimp fittings provide a secure and reliable connection, and they are available in various configurations, including couplings, elbows, tees, adapters, and more.

2. Push-to-Connect Fittings:

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

3. Compression Fittings:

Compression fittings are another type of PEX fitting that uses a compression nut and ferrule to create a watertight connection. These fittings are typically made of brass and require a compression tool or wrench to tighten the nut onto the PEX pipe. Compression fittings are known for their versatility and are commonly used in applications where disassembly and reassembly may be required.

4. Expansion Fittings:

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

5. Press Fittings:

Press fittings, also known as press-to-connect or press-fit fittings, utilize a press tool to create a secure connection. These fittings feature an O-ring or sealing element inside, and when the fitting is pressed onto the PEX pipe, the O-ring creates a watertight seal. Press fittings are known for their efficiency and speed of installation, making them popular in large-scale plumbing projects.

These are some common types of PEX fittings used in plumbing systems. It’s important to select fittings 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 fittings for your specific needs.