Skip to Content

Can You Use PEX for Compressed Air Lines? (Answered)

Pex piping is quite popular as it is available and the price is always affordable. People would look for the easiest solution around and pex would come as their first option. It is not just cheap but also more durable than other pipes. Lasts long which would relieve you from changing the pipe. 

Following the below tips and information regarding pex and if you can use it for compressed airlines or not would help you to know more about the uses of the pex.  

Can you use pex for compressed air lines?

Pex is certainly not recommended for compressed airlines. Yet many use pex for compressed air lines. Pex is not able to stand UV rays and is not suitable for outdoor uses. Pex is generally flexible and lasts for a longer time. As pex is less expensive many prefer pex for compressed airlines.

Pex pipes are suitable for water. It can stand both hot and cold water. Moreover, it can stand a moderate amount of pressure. It does not even release toxic chemicals which can contaminate water. You can have a safe water supply at home by using pex. 

In addition to that, it is also cheaper.

Though manufacturers do not recommend pex for compressed airlines, people still prefer to use pex as they are cheaper and would cost less to install and settle. But pex is not suitable to use outside as it can not stand UV lights. It also can stand to a limited amount of pressure 

With time, pex can have air leakage. Though pex is durable, it is better to avoid it for compressed airlines. Pex is plastic and plastic can get deformed with time. It is also flexible. As it needs to be settled while using compressed airlines, it can get deformed with time.

Pex tubing is quite flexible and can be given any form. It is easier to connect pex tubing. You can also use it for the air compressor line yet it is not recommended. Pex is not suitable for the air compressor line according to the manufacturer.

Meanwhile, pex pipes are suitable for water flow and will not get damaged easily like steel-made pipes. It will not rust. But it can become deformed. Still, it would last for more than a decade depending on the circumstances. 

In spite of having too many benefits of using pex, manufacturers highly forbid using it for air compressor lines. 

Is there any pex for compressed air line?

Pex-Al-Pex is normally suitable for compressed airlines. Though manufacturers forbid using pex pipes for compressed air lines, pex-al can be used. Still, it is not too safe. Pex al pex is a pipe made of sandwiching aluminum layers in between. 

This provides better benefits than a steel-made or copper-made pipe. 

Pex al pex is resistant to corrosive materials and also temperature. Moreover, it is flexible and cheap. This can save the cost. Still, it is not ensured how much pressure a pex al pex can stand while using in a compressed airline.

Due to high pressure, pex can burst. Or else, it can also cause air leakage. Pex al pex is stronger and more reliable than pex. It stands for high pressure. Well, there are also different views on using pex al pex. That’s why it is better not to use pex for air-compressed lines. 

4 reasons why pex is not used for compressed air lines

Pex is mainly a plastic pipe that contains a complex molecular structure of polythene. Though pex is flexible and durable, it is no different from plastic. It might provide greater advantages than a steel-made or copper-made pipe in case of water supply.

On the other hand, pex is not used for compressed airlines. Though some may try it and can get benefitted from using pex. Certain reasons why pex is not used for compressed airlines are given below.

Can not be used outside:

Pex can not be placed outside. Though it can endure hot water temperature, yet will not be able to endure outdoor environment temperature. It is better used for cold or freezing temperatures.

Can not stand UV light:

Pex can not be placed where it can come directly in contact with the UV light. You can not place it outside nor too near to the wall. If you want your air-compressed lines to be placed in nearly, you may get more benefit from pex.

Can discharge:

If the pex can not stand the high pressure, it can even burst. There is a range of pressure pex can handle. When the pressure applied is higher than the pex can endure, it will either burst or there will be leakage. 

Manufacturer instructions:

The manufacturer knows their product the best. Pex manufacturers do not recommend using pex for air-compressed lines. Still, many may benefit from using pex.

What fittings to use for compressed air lines? 

Using the right pipe is necessary for compressed airlines and so as for the fittings. The fittings would hold the pipes together. At the same time, changing the direction of the airflow.

You need fittings that would go perfectly with the pipe and can endure the air pressure. Moreover, the fittings should direct the airflow direction. Certain fittings for compressed airlines are included below. 

Elbow fitting:

Mostly both male and female elbow fittings are used in air-compressed lines. You can use them and secure your pipe. Well, elbow fittings are deformed at a 90-degree angle. Which makes a way for the air to flow. 

Moreover, it can connect two pipes while holding the inner pressure as they are made of metals. 

Bulkhead union:

Bulkhead unions work as seals. You can use it to let the air flow smoothly. It would ensure proper airflow through pipes. It is mainly used in water tanks to seal the outway of the water. You may also use this in compressor lines. 

Brasses compressed airline fittings: 

You can find different sizes of brasses that can be used in compressed airlines. You can choose according to your needs. They come in larger or smaller sizes. 


Male and female connectors can be used for compressed airlines. These connectors are easy to settle. Moreover, you can fix them and remove them as you want. They can serve better for years. 

How to connect pex to an air compressor?

A pex is certainly different from a plastic pipe. If you want to use pex for an air compressor, you would need to know how to connect the pipe. Moreover, the usage of the fitting is also required to know. 

Though choosing the right pipe is necessary, choosing appropriate fittings is a must. Below certain steps required for connecting a pex to an air compressor are added to help. 

Connect pex to burbs:

You need to first connect the female or male fittings to the adaptor. And also to the fitting which would go with the compressor. Connect the fittings using taps as taps would tighten them. Now, put copper rings and burbs in the pex. Crimp them together with a crimper.

Connect the pex to the compressor:

One end of the pex fitted to burbs. Now connect the other end to the compressor. You should again crimp the copper ring to the connector to connect pex to the compressor. Attach them tightly. 

If you need a long pex, you can connect them with elbow or t connectors. You would require female or male adapters on both ends. Meanwhile, elbow connectors or t connectors to attach two pipes together. Using taps would hold them more strongly. 

Final thoughts:

Overall, pex is not recommended by its manufacturers to use for compressed airlines. Still, many people prefer to use pex in order to save their money and for other additional benefits. Pex certainly will not cause harm while used in air-compressed lines yet proper monitoring is needed.