Practice Tips #4: Quick Disconnects

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Adding a quick disconnect (Q/D) for water to your unit is easier than you think. A few minutes, a couple of quick attachments and you will have a water Q/D for that scaler or other item that needs to be connected to a water source.

We are going to install the Q/D on a Beaverstate assistant’s arm as seen below. Beaverstate, (like many manufacturers) uses a color coding system for the different supply tubing; we will want to attach our Q/D to the 1/4” water tubing. Beaverstate uses blue tubing for the waterline (as do most manufacturers).

Quick Disconnect: #13-06

The following parts will be needed:

  • 1/4” Female panel mount quick disconnect with a 1/4” compression fitting. This Q/D will mount into a 1/2” diameter hole and will attach to 1/4” outside diameter (“o.d.”) supply tubing.
  • 1/4” o.d. supply tubing, length to be determined. You will have to decide where you are mounting the Q/D, which will determine how long the tubing will need to be. The distance from the water line in your unit (assistant’s arm in our example) to the Q/D will dictate the length of the tubing. It is a good idea to purchase extra tubing and what is not needed can be trimmed. Under most circumstances, just a foot or two should be plenty.
  • Threaded multi-port tubing connector. We recommend this connector as it comes with both 1/4” and 1/8” barbs and sleeve clamps in case you need to “T” into anything other than 1/4” o.d. supply tubing.
  • You may need a mounting bracket. The bracket has a 1/2” diameter hole to accommodate the panel mount Q/D. Use this bracket to mount the Q/D if you do not have room to drill a 1/2” hole in the unit.

Installing your quick disconnect:

  1. If needed, find an appropriate spot for your mounting bracket. Often times the assistant’s arm has a utility center below which includes a mounting hole to accommodate a quick disconnect. There is probably a plastic plug in the 1/2” diameter hole. Simply remove the plug and install the Q/D in the hole.
  2. Make sure to shut off your unit. Locate the main water line going to your unit. The line should be a 1/4” outside diameter (o.d.) tubing, usually blue in color; you will want to find a convenient and appropriate spot to cut this line. This line should be a “live” line – so be sure to splice into the line before any valves or blocks.
  3. Insert two ends of the large plastic barb tee in either side of the tubing you just cut.
  4. Attach the additional length of 1/4” supply tubing to the open barb on the tee.
  5. Attach the free end of the tubing you just connected to the barb tee to the compression fitting on the back end of the Q/D and that’s it! You can now start using your new quick disconnect!


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