Pipe fittings are an integral part of the plumbing system; it is only possible to create a smooth plumbing system with the help of pipe fittings. Their basic functions are to connect straight pipes together and change the direction of the pipes. Not all pipe fittings can be used for all purposes; thereby, it is better to be well aware of all the various pipe fittings to choose the right one for your particular need. Therefore, to form a stable and reliable plumbing system, we have tried to discuss all the aspects of different pipes fittings to make the selection process easier for you.
According To Connection Type:
According to the connection of pipe fittings, there are various pipe fittings with completely different connection types.
- There are compression fittings that are connected with compression made by a nut over the piping. These fittings use a ring, gasket, or ferrule to connect pipes. These are the more convenient pipe fittings as they do not require any tools for their installation. However, these pipe fittings do not have good pressure resistance; therefore, they can be used for high-pressure systems. There are also subtypes of compression fittings: bite-type, mechanical, and flare compression fittings.
- Other than compression fittings, there are end fittings that create surfaces for the connection of pipes. There are two types of end fittings one is clamp end fittings that clamp the pipes to the pipe connection, and the other is plain-end fittings that weld or scolder the pipes to the pipe connection.
- Then there are flange fittings that are basically ribs, edges, rims, and collars with flat surfaces held by bolts, clamps, welding, or threading.
- The simplest of these all are threaded fittings that because have threaded ends either from the inside or outside and are threaded onto the pipes for pipe connection.
According to Function:
All the pipe fittings differ a lot from each other in their functioning; some can just extend the length of the pipe, while some can reduce the length of the pipe. To make it easier, we have classified them into some types.
- Some fittings are used to extend or reduce the length of pipes; in this category comes adaptor, coupling, sleeve, union, cap, and plug. An adaptor is used to connect two pipes with different pipes together, whereas a coupling is used to connect two similar pipes together. A sleeve is somewhat similar to coupling as it also connects two similar pipes together, but unlike coupling, it does that with the help of mechanical fasteners. A union is also like a coupling as it can also connect two similar pipes together, but the difference lies here that it connects two pipes in such a way that you can detach the pipe from a union without causing any harm to the entire plumbing system. Then there is a cap that is used at the pipe’s dead ends to close it. A plug is also like a cap; it is also used to close the ends of the pipe. The difference between the two is that a cap only attaches with male connection pipes, whereas a plug only attaches with female connection pipes.
- The other type of pipe fitting is that adds or changes the direction of the pipe. In that, there are elbows, tees, wyes, and crosses. An elbow is used to change the direction of the pipe by 90 degrees or 45 degrees. A tee is used to add an extra direction to one pipe as it has one inlet and two outlets; it can also be used for reducing the directions of a pipe by using it with two inlet pipes and one outlet pipe. A wye is a little more complex than a pipe; it connects three inlet pipes together and makes them into one. Then there is a cross that offers a four-way connection; you can connect three inlets and one outlet with it or three outlets and one inlet, all according to your need.
- Then, a fitting called a reducer is used to connect pipes of different diameters. There are also two types of reducer fittings used in plumbing systems, concentric reducer, and eccentric reducer.
- Apart from all these fittings, there are also certain fittings that can provide special functions to the pipe. One such fitting is a valve; it gives a pipe the ability to start or stop the flow of water, and not just that, it also helps the pipe to control the flow of water. There are a handful of plumbing valves like ball valve, gate valve, globe valve, check valve, and butterfly valve. The other type of fitting that provides special connections to a pipe is a nipple. Apart from connecting two pipes together, it helps the pipe to connect with hoses and valves.