A Comprehensive Guide to PEX Pipe Fittings and Their Connection Methods

PEX Pipe Fittings

PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene) pipe fittings have revolutionized plumbing systems with their flexibility, ease of installation, and efficiency. In this article, we explore the classification of PEX pipe fittings and the various methods used to connect them, making PEX an essential choice in modern plumbing.

Classification of PEX Pipe Fitting

PEX pipe fittings can be classified into several categories, each designed for specific plumbing applications:

Crimp Fittings: These fittings are compatible with PEX-A, PEX-B, and PEX-C tubing. These fitting incorporate a ring made of copper, stainless steel, or plastic, which you crimp over the PEX pipe using a crimping tool.

Press Fittings: Press fittings are suitable for PEX-A and PEX-B tubing. They utilize a press tool to create a secure connection by compressing the fitting onto the PEX pipe. The fitting typically consists of brass.

Compression fitting, compatible with all PEX types, allow you to work with a variety of PEX pipe materials. They consist of two parts—a compression nut and a compression ring. As the nut is tightened, it compresses the ring, creating a tight seal.

Push-Fit or SharkBite Fittings: These fittings are compatible with various PEX types. They allow for tool-free installation. A collet inside the fitting grips the PEX pipe when it’s inserted, creating a secure connection.

Connection Methods for PEX Pipe Fittings

The connection methods for PEX pipe fitting are diverse, providing flexibility for different projects:

Crimping: To connect crimp fittings, slide a copper or stainless steel ring over the PEX pipe, and then use a crimping tool to tightly squeeze the ring around the pipe.This method provides a secure and watertight connection.

Pressing: Press fittings involve the use of a specialized press tool to compress the fitting onto the PEX pipe. The tool applies even pressure to ensure a reliable and leak-free connection.

Compression: For compression fitting, slide the compression nut and ring onto the PEX pipe. Tighten the nut with a wrench to compress the ring, creating a secure seal.

Push-Fit: Push-fit or SharkBite fittings allow for quick and tool-free installation. Simply insert the PEX pipe into the fitting, and the collet inside will grip the pipe securely. These fittings are especially convenient for DIY projects.

Advantages of PEX Pipe Fitting

PEX pipe fittings offer numerous advantages:

Ease of Installation: Many PEX fittings allow for quick and straightforward installation, reducing labor time.

Versatility: PEX fittings can be used in a wide range of plumbing applications, from potable water systems to radiant heating.

Reliability: The various connection methods, when executed correctly, result in reliable and watertight joints, minimizing the risk of leaks.


PEX pipe fittings come in various types and offer a multitude of connection methods, making them an excellent choice for plumbing projects of all scales. By understanding the classification of PEX fittings and the methods used to connect them, you can confidently select and install fittings that suit your specific plumbing needs. Whether you’re working on a DIY home improvement project or a large-scale installation, PEX pipe fittings simplify the process and contribute to a plumbing system that is efficient, versatile, and reliable.

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