A centrally located distribution block for your entire plumbing supply system, a manifold makes installation easier and emergency shutoffs faster. Manifolds can be purchased, but there are clear advantages to building your own from off-the-shelf parts, as outlined in this article.
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Most of the modern manifold are 3/4 inch feed a 1 or 2 inches manifold with 1/2 inches outlets that balance water pressure ,1/2 pex got a small id compare to 1/2 copper who is much closer to 1/2 inch, on a pex line should always run to its taps without couplings a straight through connector adaptor if you don't want your water pressure down , did that mistake once connected a shower head with 1/2 inch pex the balance tap didn't work anymore found out in the instructions later that even on a pex line the between the shower head and the tap it's got to be absolutely copper conduct ..the rest in pex..
I disagree with the article. Firstly, As I type this anyone can get a solid copper manifold with six copper ball valves for $70 which is, I think, cheaper than eight tees, two quarter turns, and six ball valves. (http://www.supplyhouse.com/Sioux-Chief-672XV0690-PEX-Manifold-3-4-PEX-x-Spin-Closed-Trunk-1-2-PEX-Ball-Valves-6-Outlets).
Secondly, plumbing almost always leaks at the joints and with 40 joints in there instead of 7 for a copper manifold it doesn't make sense either.
Lastly, the I.D. of a 1/2" PEX fitting is close to 3/8" so even if you branch off the trunk twice you aren't getting nearly the flow you could get out of a 1" sweat manifold (a valved 8 port 1" sweat manifold is $87 for the record). If you are worried about pressure loss then you can cut of the spun closed end and connect it back into your trunk.