Can you use press fittings on PEX?

Can You Use Press Fittings on PEX?
An In-Depth Look at Press Fittings and PEX Pipe Compatibility

Introduction to PEX Pipe
Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) has become an increasingly popular option for plumbers and do-it-yourselfers for water distribution piping systems over the past couple of decades. PEX pipe offers a flexible, durable piping solution that is easy to install compared to metal pipes.IFAN factory with 30+ years of manufacturing experience supports color/size customization support free samples. Welcome to consult for catalog and free samples. This is our Facebook Website:

Some key advantages of PEX pipe include:

  • Flexibility – PEX pipe is far more flexible than rigid metal pipes, allowing for easier installation around corners and connections. The flexible nature also places less strain on joints.
  • Durability – PEX pipe is highly durable and resistant to corrosion, scaling, pitting, and minerals found in water. This leads to a longer lifespan compared to metal pipes.
  • Ease of installation – PEX pipe is lightweight, flexible, and comes in long coils or tubes. This makes installation much faster and easier without requiring special skills or tools.
  • Freeze resistance – PEX pipe has greater freeze resistance than metal pipes. The elastic polymer material makes it more capable of expanding and contracting without bursting.
  • Cost-effectiveness – PEX pipe tends to be more affordable than installing copper, CPVC, or iron pipes. Its flexibility also leads to lower labor costs for installation.

Press Fittings Overview

Press fittings, also known as crimp or pinch fittings, are commonly used to connect PEX pipes as an alternative to PEX fittings that require clamps, crimping tools, expansion tools, or solvents to make solid, leak-proof joints.

Press fittings use an o-ring or gasket seal inside the fitting to create a tight joint when pressure is applied. By pressing the PEX piping into the fitting using hand pressure or a simple pressing tool, the pipe material deforms slightly to create a super-tight seal capable of handling high pressures. A common type of PEX press fitting is made using stainless steel or brass but polyethylene or polymer press fittings are also available.

Can Press Fittings be Used on PEX Pipe?

The short answer is yes. Press fittings are specifically designed to easily join and seal with PEX pipe.

Press fittings grip and seal to the pipe without requiring clamps, glues, or heat, allowing for quick and secure connections. The flexibility of PEX also enables it to insert easily into press fittings and compress tightly to form a durable leak-proof seal.

Press fittings are a code-approved method for PEX pipe installation in both residential and commercial applications. Their ease of use makes press fittings one of the top choices of professional plumbers, builders, and system installers when working with PEX pipes. Whether it’s a whole house repipe, single connection repair, radiant heating system, or outlet relocation – press fittings are up for the task on PEX tubing.

Advantages of Using Press Fittings on PEX

There are some excellent advantages to joining PEX pipe with press fittings, including:

Reliable Connections The mechanical seal created between the PEX pipe and press fittings forms tight, strong joints that resist leaks and failures. Press fittings grip firmly to the pipe with even pressure distribution. Independent studies have found that quality press fittings meet the same high standards for leakage protection as a properly torch-joined copper joint. The technology provides a dependable means of creating joints in PEX pipe networks suitable for behind-walls and burial applications.

Simple Installation

Connecting PEX with press fittings is about as straightforward as it gets – no special tools are required. All that’s needed to make a solid press joint is a bit of hand pressure or a simple pressing tool like a common pair of pliers. The installer simply cuts the PEX to length, inserts it fully into the fitting, and presses firmly down until it stops. The specially designed o-ring within the fitting seals tightly against the tubing wall creating a water-tight connection without needing sealants, adhesives, solvents, or heat application of any kind. It’s a truly reliable method that saves considerable time compared to clamping or crimp rings.

Great for Tight Spaces

The high flexibility and compact size of PEX with press fittings give installers an advantage in tight quarters. Copper fittings require ample room to maneuver the torch for brazing joints properly. Press fittings simply push and lock into place to form an immediate seal – no further movement or adjustment is necessary. This adaptability suits PEX with press fittings ideally to confined installation sites with limited clearance like crawl spaces, interior walls, and floor joists.

Transition Between Pipe Types

One useful quality of press fittings is the ability to join with different piping materials like PEX to copper or CPVC using a multipurpose press fitting. This facilitates an easy changeover and negates the need to mix joining methods or adaptors. The universal connectivity saves time and enables the various kinds of piping used in homes to tie in seamlessly using consistent PEX press connections from start to finish.

Resists Scale Buildup & Corrosion

Press fittings join with PEX tubing in an inorganic, nonreactive manner so these systems maintain very effective water flow over long periods. PEX resists mineral deposits and biological contaminants responsibly, while stainless steel press fittings withstand corrosion. That means years of trouble-free water delivery with less risk of pinhole leaks, outages, and costly repairs than dealt with when using materials like copper or galvanized steel. Press fitting o-rings self-seal as well each time without degrading or requiring replacements.

Potential Drawbacks to Press Fitting Systems

While generally very reliable, PEX press fittings do come with some downsides to consider relating mainly to system safety and repair capacity compared with traditional metal joints. These factors may make press systems less ideal for certain applications.

No Flame Seal

Soft soldering copper pipe creates fused joints with an open flame where metal essentially welds to metal. This represents an original one-piece system. Press fitting joints stay separable at o-ring interfaces by comparison, retaining multiple sealing points. Though quite robust, pipes joined this way depend fully on the enduring functionality of the gaskets and precision fitting between components to maintain tight seals.

Press Fittings Can Fail

Press fittings sealed incorrectly or made with manufacturing defects could allow leaks and possibly even sudden separations of line segments under pressure. Though product standards aim to prevent this, flaws are realities with any mass-produced item. Even a quality press fitting might lose integrity eventually after extended use or degradation of components, something essentially irreparable.

Difficult to Troubleshoot

Damaged press fitting joints buried inside finished walls can prove extremely difficult or even impossible to access and assess for repair needs. The quick connections created using press technology indeed save money and time during building. However, leaking press fittings cannot get torched back together as sweated copper joints can. Instead, each bad section requires cutting back damaged parts and replacing entire impacted fittings and extensions of pipe to restore a sound system. This requires significant deconstruction and fairly advanced skills.


In conclusion, press fittings offer many benefits that lend themselves well to use with PEX pipe systems. They create simple, solid joints quickly with just hand pressure. Press fittings suit most residential and commercial applications using PEX thanks to their reliable sealing capability, fitting versatility, and durable construction. However, press technology does rely on precision manufacturing and has limitations regarding leak detection and repair procedures. Faulty connections can prove problematic later on in difficult-to-access areas. Overall, PEX with press fittings delivers positive performance but still demands quality materials and proper initial installation to gain that advantage, much like any piping solution. Considering both benefits and drawbacks allows for determining when to choose press fittings or more traditional joinery during any project involving PEX.


IFAN factory started in 1993. And IFAN has a workshop of 120000 square meters with 610 staff. IFAN can design and produce all plumbing pipe and fitting including PPR, PVC, CPVC PPSU HDPE PEXA PEXB PERT pipe and fitting, brass fitting, brass ball valve, heating system, gas system, sanitary faucets, and hose, In the past 30 years, IFAN has never forgotten his mission-To protect health and safety. And IFAN factory uses the best materials to produce high-quality pipe and fittings with an automatic production line and high-tech quality control machines. 



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