Home > Fittings > Compression, Barbed, and Lock Nut Drip Fittings

What kind of fittings to use for your half-inch poly tubing? Well, today I’m going to show you the advantages and disadvantages of barb fittings, compression fittings, and lock nut fittings. Alfred Castillo here, The Sprinkler Warehouse Pro. Let’s talk fittings!

Inner Diameter vs Outer Diameter For Irrigation Tubing

What’s this O.D. I.D. stuff? Well if you’re buying half-inch tubing, it isn’t just half-inch. It has a few different sizes all considered half-inch. O.D. is the outer diameter: Point six seven, point seven zero, and point seven-ten. And then there’s Inner diameter. Point five-seven, point six zero, point five-eight, point six one five. The inside diameter depends on the thickness of the material. For Barb fittings, you’ll need the I.D. or inner diameter, and for compression fittings, you will need to know the O.D. or outer diameter.

If you’re in doubt about what size you’re working with, most manufacturers print the specs on the side of the tubing. So, here’s a number of barb fittings. I’ve got some couplers, tees, elbows, and end caps. There are also various kinds of adapters. You push them inside of the poly tubing. Now, I’m going to dip the tubing in a little warm water to make it a little easier.

Hose Clamps For A Tight Fit

It’s usually a good idea to use a hose clamp to keep the fitting good and tight. You could use crimping clamps, worm gear clamps, or plastic ratchet clamps. I like these little plastic ratchet clamps for my drip system because they go on fast. With no tools.

So why use barbed fittings? They are cheap and go on fast. Great if you need a lot of fittings. However, they are not reusable. Also, if you’re concerned about the longevity of your system, you should know that the Barb fittings do stretch the tubing just a little, weakening it. Over time the weakened area where the fitting is installed may crack or split.

About Compression Fittings For Irrigation Systems

On to compression fittings. For the compression fittings. You’ll need to know the outer diameter of your tubing. The tubing is inserted into the compression fitting. It’s a little difficult. A little warm soapy water will make your life easier. Just soak it for a few seconds till the tubing heats up first. Rocking the tubing back and forth while inserting also helps.

If you need to remove the fitting, you’ll have to cut it off like this. Compression fittings are not reusable. Unlike barb fittings, the tubing is not stretched. Compression fittings are inexpensive but slightly more difficult to install than barb fittings.

Lock Nut Fittings For Drip And Irrigation

And for our final category. Locknut fittings. Various manufacturers make fittings that are similar in that they have some sort of restraining nut system. The cool thing about these is they fit various sizes. Now, this is not your normal righty tighty. Lefty loosie. The nut turns opposite of what you’d expect. If you’re having trouble you may be turning the nut the wrong way. Right turning this will take you back to the tubing. Turning left will get you back to the fitting.

Screw down the nut exposing the barb. Push on the tubing. Screw the nut back up. These are removable and reusable. The downside is they are rather expensive compared to the other types of fittings. If you need a lot of fittings, it may be pretty tough on your wallet.

If you have any questions about our products, chat with one of our incredible customer service agents on Sprinkler Warehouse dot com. They really know their stuff, seriously. I ask them questions all the time. They’ll get you taken care of.

Shop Sprinkler Fittings At Sprinkler Warehouse

Remember, Sprinkler Warehouse has everything for your irrigation needs so your trees, lawns, flower beds, and gardens are lush and beautiful. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the most out of our user-friendly website. For Sprinkler Warehouse, I’m Alfred Castillo, your Sprinkler Warehouse Pro!