What is a Quick Connect Fitting?

Lori Kilchermann

A quick connect fitting used in plumbing applications requires no tools, glue or soldering to make a leak-proof connection. Manufactured from copper, stainless steel or Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), the quick connect fitting can be removed, rebuilt and reused, making it more cost-effective than traditional plumbing connections. The typical quick connect fitting relies on a reusable O-ring and a compression fitting to seal around the plumbing pipe. Installation is commonly as easy as cutting the pipe to length, cleaning the pipe end and then sliding the quick connect fitting onto the pipe.

O rings may be used to seal connections.
O rings may be used to seal connections.

With many people looking for new ways to be green, the quick connect fitting is gaining in popularity among plumbing choices for new build construction and remodeling alike. The absence of glues, solder and chemicals to install the plumbing components of a building are time-saving as well as cost-friendly to many budgets. With most traditional plumbing components—from elbows, tees and turns to ball valves—offered in a quick connect fitting, it is possible to construct an entire plumbing system without using a single drop of glue or a piece of solder. Many manufacturers of quick connect fittings offer warranties comparable to or exceeding those found on traditional plumbing components.

Quick connect fittings are often made from copper.
Quick connect fittings are often made from copper.

The quick connect fitting is not limited to basic plumbing systems. Many manufacturers are producing quick connect systems intended for high-pressure compressed air systems as well as gas and propane supply lines. The same reliable and reusable connectors are used with these systems, making changes in the routing or the addition of future lines as easy as plugging the new connections in. It is common, however, for all of the differing systems to use dedicated color coding in the pipe and connectors. This makes it easy to identify the proper line when the time comes to add on to the system.

Most manufacturers of the quick connect fitting also manufacture specialty tools that are used to disconnect the fittings. Failure to use the proper tool when disconnecting a fitting may result in a damaged fitting as well as rendering the connector unable to be reused. While leaks are not a common occurrence with a quick connect fitting, most manufacturers of the systems also offer repair and rebuild kits to make repair of a leaking or damaged connector an easy task. Special purpose-built marking tools and chamfering tools are also offered by the manufacturers of the systems to aid in quick and trouble-free assembly.

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