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Quick Connect Fittings

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You could say I like to putter. I spend my weekends in the backyard stirring the compost, gathering up branches, and pulling weeds. I take my time about it since I like being outside and because I don’t want to put too much strain on my back. When I can’t spend my weekends puttering outdoors, though, I stick to chores inside and keep busy.

I don’t know about you, but last winter was a doozy for us. Our house is on the older side, and we did everything we could to keep the pipes from freezing. We opened up the cabinet doors under the sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms. We kept the house warm and cozy—good for me and my wife, too—and we even wrapped insulation and blankets around pipes in the basement. It wasn’t quite enough. When the power went out, well, the heat did, too. Not all the pipes froze, but some old pipes in the basement gave out, and we had water everywhere. Luckily, I hold onto a lot of odds and ends in my workshop, so I had everything on hand to fix things right up. Thank goodness for quick connect fittings.

So, What Are Quick Connect Fittings?

Besides an answer to all prayers, quick connect fittings allow you to connect hose or pipe quickly and efficiently. They work kind of like a Chinese finger trap. You know, you put two fingers into one of those things, and when you pull, you’re stuck. The quick connect fitting acts the same way: you plunge a hose or pipe of the correct size into the fitting, and it’s stuck. Pulling on the hose won’t release it. You have to pinch a specific area of the fitting—the collet—to get the hose out. Simple. Quick connect fittings can be made of heavy-duty plastic or of metal, something like brass, usually.

Why Should I Use a Quick Connect Fitting?

Your other option would be a compression fitting. They’ll also get the job done, but you have to monkey around with a wrench to get those suckers the way you want them. Compression fittings come in two parts that screw together. When apart, you put the hose into one piece and then use a wrench to tighten the two pieces together. Not very elegant. Other kinds of fittings might have you solder or clamp things. That’s also a pain in the neck. The quick connect fitting lets you get your work done faster, and it’s just as effective as a compression fitting or any other kind.

What Can I Use a Quick Connect Fitting For?

Use quick connect fittings to hook up water lines of any type. Again, you can use flexible hose, PVC pipe, or copper pipe. Pretty much: if it fits, you can use it. Quick connect fittings range in size, too, so you can find whatever you need for your project, usually at the local hardware store. Quick connect fittings are even used underwater, they’re that reliable. But you probably won’t need to do anything that industrial.

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