Fitting Buying Guide

You need to pay attention to the size and the type of the hose you want connect. Besides, it also depends on how you design your irrigation system. There are many kind of drip fittings…

Irrigation Fitting – Buying Guide

If you purchased your tubing or drip tape , then you should simply order fittings that match the size listed in the description of the tape or the tubing. For example, if you ordered 1/4″ poly tubing, then any of our 1/4″ fittings are guaranteed to fit.

What if you purchased your tubing elsewhere? It can be difficult to find compatible fittings, since there are no industry standards regarding drip irrigation tubing sizes. For example, manufacturers may list their tubing size as ½” but it is really the inside diameter (ID) and outside diameter (OD) that will help you in sourcing the correctly sized fittings.

How to Choose a Fitting Type

For ¼” micro-tubing, the choice is easy because there is only one type available and that is barbed. For other sizes of tubing, there may be up to 3 choices of fitting styles. Those three styles are known as Barbed, Compression and Perma-Loc.  Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, which will be explained below.


Barbed Fittings


Barbed fittings are economical and are easy to use. They are available for use with ¼”, ½”, ¾” and a few  for 1″ tubing sizes. Simply push the fitting into an open end of tubing. Make sure to push the tubing as far over the fitting as possible. That’s it! In most low pressure drip irrigation systems the sharp barbs hold the fitting in place. However, for anyone that has ever tried to push a barbed fitting into cold tubing, they know it can be a struggle. If you are going to use barbed fittings, we highly recommend that you put some warm water in a cup (do not use boiling water – it could damage the tubing and burn you) and dunk the end of the tubing in it for approximately 10 seconds before attempting to push in a barbed fitting. The warm water temporarily softens the tubing and makes fitting insertion much easier. Alternatively, if you are working with ¼” fittings and want a really slick way of inserting them check out our ¼” fitting insertion tool. So what are the negatives to using barbed fittings? As we’ve mentioned, they can be difficult to push into tubing. Another drawback is that they are not reusable. This means that once you insert them, they cannot be removed and placed elsewhere. Anyone that may need to reconfigure their drip system from year to year would not want to use barbed fittings.

Compression Fittings


Compression fittings are very popular with contractors or other people doing large-scale projects due to the low cost of the fittings. However, compression fittings are the most difficult fittings to fit over tubing. Installing a compression fitting can be frustrating and it may take many attempts to attach the tubing to the fitting. We have two solutions to make compression fitting insertion easier: 1) heat the end of the tubing with warm water or 2) mix some soap with warm water and cover the end of the tubing. In addition to being hard to install, compression fittings are not reusable. Once inserted into tubing, these fittings can not be removed. Another thing to note is compression fittings are sized specifically for a single outside diameter measurement of tubing, they do not fit a size range as some of the barbed fittings and our  fittings do. So, if your tubing has an outside diameter of .700″ OD (outside diameter) then you will need a .700″ compression fitting.



Post time: Mar-02-2022