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What is a Quick-Disconnect Fitting and How Does It Work?

Posted by John Woodard on January 25, 2019

What is a quick-disconnect fitting?

A quick-disconnect fitting is a watertight connection made between different types of tubing and water filtration systems that can be put together or taken apart quickly and easily. The fitting gives any user the ability to add a break in a line of tubing for any application requiring quick removal of tubing from another connector.

How does a quick-disconnect fitting work?

A quick-connect fitting, as opposed to a quick-disconnect or quick-release fitting, provides a permanent seal to your tubing, making it much harder to remove. In a setting where you would need to disconnect the tubing from other tubing or filtration equipment on a consistent basis, a quick-release fitting would satisfy your needs. They have two different components that help them function: the coupling body and the insert. The insert connects with the coupling body, snapping together to make a watertight seal. To release the fitting, you simply press the latch and pull them apart.

Do quick-disconnect fittings come with a shut-off valve?

In special applications where it is imperative that no fluids drip out, like flavor bags in beverage dispensers or IV bags in the hospital, you may consider using a quick-release fitting that has a valve. A valve fitting, when disconnected, closes the valve when the insert is removed from the coupling body to prevent fluids from dripping out.

What is a quick-disconnect fitting commonly used for?

There are a variety of applications for quick release fittings. They are made in an assortment of different sizes with many different configurations and tube connection types.

Connection types

  • Hose barb
  • Threaded
  • Compression

These fittings come barbed, threaded, or threaded on one end and barbed on the other. Typically, you will find most threaded ends of a quick-disconnect to be a male thread.

The this type of fitting is frequently used in the medical industry. They use quick-disconnect fittings when handling IV bags with water, medication, and other bio-fluids. Most of the time, however, you will see a quick-release fitting being used on water treatment products related to quick connect. For example, you might see a quick-release fitting on the inline filter for a refrigerator. This is usually something that you're going to take apart every six months when it's time to change the filter.

Quick-disconnect fittings are more often used in commercial applications than residential systems. Currently, the strongest demand for quick-disconnect comes from OEM manufacturers for commercial applications.

How do you connect and disconnect a quick-disconnect fitting?

Quick-release type fittings are installed differently depending on the configurations of your water treatment system. For example, a standard compression fitting would be used with a copper tubing configuration. When using a plastic compression fitting, with a compression nut, you would connect it with plastic tubing. Once you have the components attached to the tubing, copper pipe, or directly into a manifold, you should make sure you leave yourself enough room to make the connection. If you have a quick-disconnect fitting featuring a valve, you will have to establish water flow once it is connected. If you have a non-valve fitting, the water will flow openly so that you don’t have to bother turning on or shutting off the valve. To connect the fittings, push the insert into the coupling body and push them together until it snaps. To release it, push the latch, and then pull it to disconnect the fittings.

Can quick-disconnect fittings be used for pneumatics?

Quick-disconnect fittings are made strictly for liquids. They are not made for pneumatic, compressed air, or gas applications.

How much pressure can a quick-disconnect fitting withstand?

The amount of pressure that a quick-disconnect fitting can withstand varies depending on the series variety of sizes, and shapes of the fittingSome of the smaller plastic fittings can handle up to 100 psi. The same sized fittings made of brass are stout but can handle up to 250 psi. The variety of fittings imply a variety of pressure tolerances 

Quick-disconnect fittings are normally rated for operation with certain pressures and temperatures. Depending on the heat of the liquid being fed through your systemthe temperature may play a role in the amount of pressure that the fitting can withstandThat has more to do with the type of tube connection that the fitting is making than the actual fitting. A barb connection, for example, is not going to withstand as much pressure as a threaded connection. It's important to understand what your application is and whether you are picking the right type of connection for that application.

Comments 1-10 of 1
Is there a disconnect tool for compression fittings and if so , what is it called? Thx
Dave on July 31, 2020
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