Have you heard about stainless steel crimp PEX fittings? Boshart is pleased to be the first to bring crimp type connection stainless steel PEX fittings to the plumbing industry, certified to NSF-61 standard for potable water and ASTM-F1807. Currently, brass and poly PEX fittings are the primary materials available in the marketplace. With both PEX plumbing and Stainless Steel alloys continuing to grow in popularity, stainless steel PEX fittings and valves are a superior option.In this blog post, we will discuss the applications, features and benefits of stainless steel PEX fittings. We will also compare them to brass and poly PEX fittings.
Stainless steel PEX fittings are available in elbows, male and female adapters, couplings, tees, plugs, ball valves and polybutylene to PEX transition couplings. They are investment cast in 304 grade stainless steel with the exception of the 90° elbows, which are formed from stainless tube to produce a bend elbow. Available in sizes 1/2”, 3/4” and 1”, ASTM –F1807 fittings are designed to use copper crimp rings or stainless steel pinch clamps, for fastening cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing and SDR9 polyethylene of raised temperature (PE-RT) tubing.
Premium stainless steel crimp PEX fittings are an excellent choice for residential, commercial and specialized plumbing applications from large condos in the cities, to plumbing water systems supplied by ground well water in rural areas. Their use is not limited to water system plumbing, they are commonly used on special applications ranging from hydronic heating to the maple syrup industry.
Features and Benefits
304 grade stainless steel provides good corrosion resistance and is excellent for highly acidic and undesirable water conditions. Stainless steel is not subject to dezincification which is an issue with high zinc, yellow brass PEX fittings. While poly is not susceptible to corrosion, it is nowhere near as strong as stainless steel.
Low Friction Loss
The unique sweep bend 90° elbow design greatly reduces turbulence and friction loss in the system. Most plumbing systems have numerous 90° elbows, traditional brass elbows have an abrupt "Square Corner" which result in much higher friction loss and reduced flow. The sweep bend elbows reduce friction loss, providing increased flow rates in the PEX system.
Poly PEX fittings, made to ASTM-2159 have a thicker wall to increase strength and durability. This increased wall thickness reduces the inside diameter, which in turn, results in a smaller flow passage. The high strength of stainless steel allows for a larger flow passage which provides 23 to 36% greater flow area through the fitting. ASTM-F1807 stainless steel fittings having less restriction, providing better flow through PEX pipe installation. In other words, less system pressure is required with stainless steel fittings to achieve the desired flow rate.
Stainless steel is incredibly strong and able to withstand higher mechanical stresses. It is up to twice as strong as brass, and much stronger than poly materials and suitable for higher pressures and temperature variances. The photos below show the damage to the different materials when subjected to a force load in a tensile testing machine.
Typical warranty on PEX fittings range up to 25 years. Boshart stainless steel crimp PEX fittings have a 30 year warranty. When used and installed correctly, stainless steel PEX fittings have a very long life.
304 stainless steel is compatible with a long list of chemicals, making them a viable option for transferring a wide range of chemicals in special applications. They are suitable for use in hydronic heating systems using anti-freeze, whether the system is using Glycerin, Ethylene Glycol or Propylene Glycol. Glycol pH level should range between 8.0 and 10.0 to minimize corrosion and glycol degradation and should be analyzed yearly for the pH and freeze protection levels.
In summary, stainless steel crimp PEX fittings offer durability, longevity and corrosion resistance. They also have a superior flow rate and can be used in every application. Plus, when compared to brass and poly, stainless steel PEX fittings are twice as strong and have a longer lifespan. Consider Stainless for the next install for excellent peace of mind.
More information about Stainless Steel Crimp PEX fittings can be found here: