- Compression Fittings -go to our fittings index - go to Sharkbite fittings - go to UV resistant quick connect fittings
"Where do you use compression versus flare?"
We prefer flare with soft tubing over 3/8"od in size and compression fittings on all hard copper and soft tubing 3/8"od and smaller. Don't use compression fittings on gas connections at all as most codes do not allow it nor do we recommend it.
"Since these are brass fittings do they contain lead?"
Most of these fittings do contain a very small amount of lead. Consider that for many years copper fittings and pipe were soldered together with 50% lead and now little lead may be used by law. Same with these brass fittings. There is a small amount of lead in them. The more acidic the water, the more tends to leach out. Should you be concerned? Some would argue that any amount is bad, and they would not use it for potable water. Others argue that plastics will be the new "asbestos" of the future. We don't know, and we cannot recommend these fittings for potable water; but we can say that we ourselves drink our own water from and through these fittings.
"I have standard 1/2" copper solder fittings, can I use 1/2" compression fittings in its place?"
Probably not. In the plumbing trade when we say 1/2" soldered fittings we mean fittings that use 1/2" nominal pipe (which means 5/8" outside diameter pipe). To figure what size pipe to use with "standard" solder (not compression like those above) plumbing fittings, you must add 1/8" to your measurements to know the o.d. (outside diameter) of the pipe. 1/2" nominal fittings use 5/8" od pipe; 3/4" fittings uses 7/8" pipe and so on. It can all be confusing. The above compression fittings use the outside diameter of pipe, so a 1/2" compression fitting uses 1/2" outside diameter copper pipe. "Standard" plumbing terminology with copper solder fittings use "nominal" pipes but not so with compression fittings. That means a "standard" 1/2" soldered fitting uses the same pipe as 5/8" compression pipe. For above compression fittings simply measure the outside diameter of the pipe and that is the size of the compression fitting that you should order. 1/2" outside pipe means you need to order 1/2" compression fittings.
"How will I know which size compression fittings to use for my copper tubing?"
You will need to measure the outside diameter of your copper tubing. Whatever the outside diameter of your copper tubing is will be the size of the compression fitting you will need. For instance, if the outside diameter of your copper tubing is 1/4" then the compression fitting will need to be 1/4". Compression fittings are not sized like copper sweat fittings.
"What is the difference between 'nominal' dimensions and 'outside diameter (OD)' dimensions?"
Nominal is the term used to describe most pipe and fitting measurements in the plumbing industry. Nominal refers to the inside diameter measurement of the pipe. The actual inside pipe measurements will vary slightly due to the wall thickness of the pipe, so it is referred to as "nominal" meaning a small variance of size. The outside diameter (OD) dimensions refer to the actual outside diameter of the pipe. The outside diameter dimensions of pipe are a constant size which allow pipe fittings to be used with the same type of piping with multiple grades of wall thickness.
We hope that we have helped you with compress fittings at PlumbingStore.com