Plastic VS Brass Pex Fittings: What Are The Differences

Plumbing work comes with a choice of products for a complete pex fittings job. Over many years, there has been a battle between plastic and brass pex fittings in the plumbing industry to know which one is reliable.

Both PEX fittings come with several advantages and disadvantages that make one product better than the other depending on plumbing work needs. Before choosing the right product, many things are considered to find the best that meets your budget and requirements.

In this blog, I will explore details about plastic and brass pex fittings; they may help you choose the best one for your plumbing project.

Plastic VS Brass Pex Fittings: Things to Know

The plumbing products use both products according to their requirements; sometimes, they pick the plastic PEX fitting, and next, they choose brass pex fittings. But here, we will compare them depending on their applications.

Brass is a good product used in plumbing work when their major perspective is the strengthened material because of the weaker strength of plastic contractors do not rely too much on plastic over brass. 

However, the plastic Pex fitting is preferred when using it in a thicker wall or material that is highly resistive against corrosion. Plastic has greater strength against corrosion than brass. If water quality is poor, it may cause corrosion, but plastic has worked awesomely for years at such places.

We could compare several features to know more about brass and plastic Pex fittings.

1. Toughness:

Toughness is a major feature that helps measure the quality of a product; brass is a good product when you are concerned with toughness.

Plastic was also found reliable, but its strength is weaker than brass when compared with brass.

In some situations, brass pex fittings are preferred over plastic fittings because of their strength.

2. Installation:

In comparing their installation process, we found brass is better than plastic because you need simple tools to clamp the copper crimp ring down. You can easily complete your installation job within a few minutes.  

Plastic pex fittings take a lot of time, and careful installation is also needed. Only skilled people could do installation jobs easily. 

3. Reuse :

Plastic fittings are designed so that you can use them again and again because they are easy to service, clean, and reuse. There is no risk of breakage when removing them; without any worry, you can use them many times. Plastic fittings ensure satisfactory performance even when reused.

When comparing reuse features, brass is a weaker product. Its pinched clamp never can be used, no matter how skillfully you have removed it.

Its fittings may be reused, but it needs careful removal and cannot be reused more than once. It is also revealed from practical use that reused brass does not perform as well as reused plastic fittings.

4. Pipe Crush:

Water quality is not the same everywhere; brass pex fittings are not a good solution when contaminated with acidic water. If there is acidic material or water, it may cause water to crush.

No worry about plastic pex fittings because it offers more excellent resistance against acidic water. No pipe crush complaints were reported while using plastic pex fittings.

5. Leakage:

Things become worse and more painful when there are leakage problems in pex fittings. Plastic pex fittings are better than brass pex fittings because plastic does not leak. Brass pex fittings could leak easily.

6. Lifespan:

Many aspects affect the lifespan of your pex fittings; generally, excellent quality pex fittings have 40- 50 years of lifespan. Some factors like temperature, water quality, and use could cause variations. 

When comparing plastic and brass pex fittings, plastic pex fittings have a longer lifespan than brass pex fittings. The average lifespan of plastic pex fittings is 10 to 15 years more than the of brass pex fittings in the same situations. 

7. Flow Rate:

Water Flow rate is one of the major factors to consider, as all the fittings insert inside the pipes, so they also affect the flow rate because of their thickness.

The plastic pex fittings are thicker than brass pex fittings, which may reduce the pipe’s internal diameter by 15 to 10mm, increase the pressure, and reduce the flow rates.

Brass pex fittings ensure a better flow rate than plastic pex fittings provide an easy flow of water and need less maintenance than plastic pex fittings.


Can we Use Brass and Plastic Fittings Together?

Experts have different opinions; some think it is not good to use brass and plastic fittings together. But if you have good plumbing skills, then connecting plastic with brass pex fittings could be a perfect idea; it needs minimal tools but good skills to combine them and use the right product in the right place.

Which Pex Fitting is Better for Drinking Water Plastic or Brass Pex Fitting?

If the water is less acidic, then there is no such issue with the brass pex fittings, but using brass pex fittings is not wise if the water is acidic. It may face corrosion issues that pollute the water and make it harmful to drink. 
So keeping in view that situation, experts recommend plastic pex fitting for drinking water pipe systems because it is an entirely corrosion-free product.


Plastic and brass pex fittings are widely used in plumbing tasks, and both are performing awesomely. Both products come with several benefits that make one better than the other depending on the users’ requirements.

Brass is a better choice if your primary purposes are a better flow rate, strong material, and easy installation. But for reuse purposes, long-lasting, and corrosion-free purposes, plastic pex fittings are a better choice.


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