Not all fittings for hose and plastic tubing are created equally. There are many different fitting materials and styles, each with multiple, practical uses and with uses they’re not recommended for.
Myth 1: Fittings are always easy to attach. As a general rule, yes, they’re usually easy to attach. But improper fitting installations can lead to leaks, so you want to be sure they’re attached to your tubing, reinforced hose or other equipment correctly.
Myth 2: All fittings can be reused. Plastic fittings – perhaps, but it’s subject to their prior usage (are the fittings dirty and in need of cleaning, or were they damaged during a previous use?). Metal fittings – it depends. If it’s a durable, metal push-to-connect or barbed fitting, it’s likely reusable, although a barbed fitting would need to be taken apart from the assembly.
Myth 3: Fittings are just an add-on and not all that important. Not true! The fitting style and material can be just as critical as the tubing style and material. For instance, you typically wouldn’t use PVC hose for an application involving temperatures above 175°F, just as you typically wouldn’t use a nylon barbed fitting for such temperatures – neither product is designed to handle that temperature, although many other tubing and fitting materials and styles are.
Myth 4: Fittings are the cheapest way to connect tubing and hose. Not always – consider molded connections. Although their upfront cost tends to be higher than separate tubing, fittings and clamps or cable ties, their dependability to prevent leaks can be a cost saver in the long run. Just imagine the repercussions of a multi-million dollar batch of pharmaceutical product leaking from a fitting-to-tubing connection…the wasted money, the time delays, the added labor, the environmental risks. Some tubing materials (thermoplastic elastomer, for example) can be welded, eliminating the need for fittings altogether.
Courtesy of NewAge Industries.