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What Is Pipe Fittings?
Pipe fittings are connectors/jointers in a plumbing system that help connect one pipe to another of the same or different size to increase its length or change flow direction.
These fittings help to join, reduce or divert the water supply flow, and come in different sizes to fit the pipe they will combine.
Fittings come in different types of materials like iron, brass, copper, PVC etc. Several pipe fittings are available for specific functions and purposes.
Pipe fittings sizes are essential, and there are standard sizes to follow. Maximum fittings contain openings of the same size on each end, but some fittings are made with different-sized openings and function as the transition from one size pipe to another.
Types of Pipe Fitting And Images
The following types of pipe fittings are commonly used in plumbing systems.
- Double Tapped Bushing
- Mechanical Sleeve
Elbow has a bend that resembles the shape of an arm joint provided between pipes to change the flow direction. It comes in different angles 22.5°, 45°, and 90°.
The standard elbow is suitable for pipes of the same size, while the reducer elbow is used when connecting pipes have different sizes.
It consists of various types of material and usually comes with female ends. Butt or socket welding may also be used to fix them.
As the name indicates, it has a shape like a capital “T”. Tee has an inlet and outlet. It comes in different sizes and is supposed to be stronger than the cross fitting.
A diverter tee is suitable for the heating system that uses water. It has directional marking and is required to be installed perfectly to operate the system.
The cross fitting has four openings in all directions at its ends and can join four pipes. It comes with three outlets and one inlet, or one outlet and three inlets. It is provided when four pipes are meeting at one place.
Since it has four connection points for four pipes, it remains under more stress than other fittings. Usually, it is made more sturdy than other fittings. It is generally used for the fire sprinkler system.
A barb helps to connect a hose to a pipe. Generally, it is male at one end, while at another end, a barbed tube that is ridged and tapered cone.
For keeping it secure, it may also contain a type of clamp. It is made of brass if it carries hot water and plastic if it carries cold water.
A nipple is a short pipe fitting that connects two fittings instead of joining two pipes. It is generally male and comes in various sizes.
A nipple is a small but essential pipe fitting in the plumbing system, made of brass, copper, steel, and CPVC. A close nipple has continuous threading.
Double Tapped Bushing
It is a type of nipple having thread inside and outside. Since the centre hole is threaded(tapped) from the inner and outer, that’s why it is called double-tapped.
It is a type of reducer but doesn’t have flexibility like a reducer. It generally comes with the female end.
The adapter helps make a plain end of the pipe into a threaded end, either male or female. It connects pipes of different types and can convert a pipe into male or female.
Generally, adapters are used for PVC or copper pipes. The male adapter has a male thread, and the female adapter has a female thread. It’s one end threadless, left for welding, soldering or glued to the pipe.
As the name indicates, it reduces the flow from high to low by reducing the pipe size. It has two types: concentric reducer and eccentric reducer.
There are two types of reducers. One is a concentric reducer having cone-shaped with a gradual reduction around the pipe. But due to its cone shape, it has a possibility of accumulation of air resulting in cavitation.
The second one is that the eccentric reducer has one edge parallel to the joining pipe, due to which there is no possibility of accumulation of air.
A coupling helps to connect two pipes having a similar diameter and the same type. It is also helpful to restore leaking or broken pipes.
Compression coupling is standard coupling connected between two pipes, preventing leakage by rubber seals or gaskets on both sides or glue provided.
Slip coupling or repair coupling is more manageable to position, has two pipes organised as one into the other, and the inner pipe can move up to some distance. It is suitable to fix specific lengths of damaged pipes.
Union is a type of fitting that functions similar to a coupling, but we can’t remove coupling after installation. While we can remove the union whenever required.
Union has a nut, male and female ended threads. It is also helpful for the maintenance and repair of the pipe.
A mechanical sleeve is a type of coupling that connects the pipes via screws or other means that make it easy to install.
It consists of a metal jacket inside which rubber is inserted and has stainless steel clamps on the outer side.
As we tighten the outer clamp, tight seal shapes due to contraction of the inside rubber. It is suitable for hard to install areas because it is slightly flexible and can accommodate minor misalignment.
Olet is a small fitting that is helpful when standard size fitting is not suitable as per our need.
When inlet pipe size is greater than outlet pipe in the T section, then olet comes in use. Various types of olets are available as per the requirement. Essential types of olet are as follows.
- Flange olet.
- Lateral olet
- Nipple olet
- Elbow olet
- Threaded olet
- Socket weld Olet
Valves are essential fitting in a plumbing system and are provided to stop or control liquid flow in its way.
Various types of valves are available based on their applications including throttling, non-return and isolation.
Non-return valves only permit the liquid to flow in one direction and are often seen in drains. It is also known as check valves.
An isolation valve is an essential part of the plumbing system that helps in system service or maintenance. This valve is left either open or closed all the time. Since this valve may require use in an emergency, it should be checked now and then to know whether it is operational or not.
A throttling valve helps to control the amount and pressure of a liquid. Since its mechanism experiences stresses, it is susceptible to wear out earlier than other valves. Generally, it is installed near the isolation valve.
Some essential types of valves and their use are as follows.
- Gate Valve, Ball Valve and Plug valve – For isolation only
- Globe Valve – For throttling
- Check Valve or Non-return – For stopping reverse flow
- Butterfly Valve – For isolation and throttling
- Diaphragm Valve – For isolation and throttling
Wye has a shape like the letter “Y”. It is used to join three pipes. This fitting allows the pipes to change their elevation and helps to branch out into a new line and drain.
It is the same as T fitting but has a smoother angle to help reduce turbulence and friction in the fluid. Mostly this fitting is provided to join the vertical drain pipe to the horizontal one.
A plug is a short but essential fitting of the plumbing system that helps to close pipe openings during checks and repairs. Generally, plugs contain male threads.
Cap is similar to a plug, but the only difference is a cap has a female thread while a plug has a male thread. Both cap and plug have the same role. A cap comes in various materials like plastic, rubber, steel, copper etc.
I hope now you know different types of pipe fittings’ name and their use.