Plumbing fittings comprises of all plumbing materials that includes pumps, tanks, pipes and fittings, valves, taps, sanitary ware and all other connections and outlets. These combined are also known as plumbing fixtures or plumbing parts. This forms a part of the entire plumbing system the purpose of which is to transport water to various points of use in a building.
The article shall cover all aspects of plumbing pipe fittings in detail.
Plumbing pipe fittings are pipe connectors used in the plumbing system to join multiple pipes of the same or different sizes either to lengthen the pipeline or change the direction of flow. This regulates the water flow in the plumbing system.
Based on their nature, they are either used to combine, divert, or reduce the water flow and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Plumbing pipe fittings are in huge demand for any piping and plumbing systems used in an industrial, commercial, and residential application.
Bends are used to transport liquids which require diversion. Due to their long radius and smooth change of direction, the pipe bend has ess pressure drop and a smooth flow of the liquid.
Tees & Wyes fittings are used to connect three pieces of pipes. Tees have one inlet and two outlets that resemble the right angle (90 degrees) in the shape of T, whereas Wye drainage fittings are shaped like a “Y” with two inlets coming together at 45 degrees into a single outlet in the drainage applications. It can be used to combine the flow from two inlets to one outlet as well.
A coupler is a very short length of pipe or tube, with a socket at one or both the ends that let the pipes to be joined. Coupling can also be used to repair a broken or leakage pipe. Reducer sockets can be used to join a bigger pipe with a smaller pipe.
Flange fittings are flat and round to create a tight seal with rubber washer, bolts and clamps. These types of plumbing fittings are used when pipes are passed through walls, ceilings, and floors.
Just like couplings, union fittings also connect two similar pipes. There are three pieces in a union namely a nut, a female end, and a male end. As soon as the female and the male end are joined, the nuts provide the pressure needed to seal the joint.
Valves are used to adjust the flow of fluids. There are many types of valves. Ball, Butterfly, Check, Diaphragm, Gate, Globe, Knife Gate, Parallel Slide, Pinch, Piston, Plug, Sluice, Concealed etc. Check Valve or Non-return valves also are known as check valves that allow the liquid to flow in one direction.
Bush fittings are called as reducer bushings and are used to connect two pipes of different sizes. The larger diameter of the bushing fits inside the larger pipe and the smaller end of the bushing fits inside the smaller pipe.
Cap fittings cover the end of the pipe to stop the flow of water. They are used at the endpoint of the piping system and are also used in piping headers for future connections.
Adaptors are plumbing fittings used to connect pipes that are of different types or any kind of plumbing fixture or equipment. An adaptor can be male or female threaded on one end which may be all plastic or brass.
Plug fittings are used at the terminal point of the pipe to seal the opening and are similar to cap fittings. However, caps fit over the opening while the plug fits into the threaded part of the opening to seal it.
Cast Iron Plumbing fittings
CI or Cast iron pipe fittings are used for drain or sewer systems as they are resistant to abrasion from sand, gravel, dishwasher discharge, garbage disposal etc.
Galvanized Iron Pipe Fittings
GI or Galvanized pipe fittings uses galvanization as a protection from corrosion. These formed the traditional pipes for plumbing applications and required treading to connect with fittings. These are fast getting replaced with plastic pipes.
Stainless Steel Pipe Fittings
SS or Stainless steel is a ferrous alloy containing 10% chromium. SS pipe fittings are highly resistant to oxidation and corrosion both in natural and man-made environments. Pipe fittings like Tees, union, elbows, etc are made of stainless steel. These pipes are used for chemical transportation, steam and ultra high pressure applications.
Cement plumbing fittings – Cement pipes and fittings are manufactured from reinforced or non-reinforced concrete and are used in stormwater, culverts, irrigation and gravity services.
Ceramic plumbing fittings – They are used for pneumatic conveying systems that handle abrasive materials. Ceramic pipes and fittings are widely used in applications that are prone to erosive wear.
PVC/UPVC plumbing fittings
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC) pipe fittings are used for all plumbing & drainage purposes in residential & commercial buildings. UPVC pipes and fittings are suitable for cold water distributions.
LLDPE plumbing fittings
Linear Low -Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) is flexible and available in coils.. They are used in chemical and gas handling, drinking water, plumbing, etc.
MDPE plumbing fittings
Medium Density Polyethylene (MDPE) pipe fittings are durable and are used for cold water mains. They are suitable for delivering high-pressure mains water from the main run.
CPVC plumbing fittings
Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) pipe fittings have become the most widely used plumbing system in residential and commercial, hot & cold, and potable water distribution systems. They are used in fire sprinkler systems as well.
PPR plumbing fittings
Polypropylene Random Copolymer pipe fittings are being used hot and cold potable water piping in residential, commercial, and industrial installations in some countries. They can be used for transferring water, sanitary liquids, compressed air, and aggressive chemicals.
PEX plumbing fittings – Cross-linked polyethylene also known as PEX pipe fittings are used in building pipework systems, domestic water piping, and hydronic radiant heating and cooling systems.
PERT plumbing fittings – PERT or Polyethylene of Raised Temperature pipe fittings are very easy to use and have a fool proof compression jointing system.
PVDF plumbing fittings – PVDF pipe fittings are designed from high purity durable fluoro polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). They are resistant to chemical corrosion, degradation, UV attack, and growth of microorganisms.
ABS plumbing fittings – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) pipe fittings are used for Drain, Waste, and Vent (DWV) systems. They are used for residential and commercial sanitary and drainage systems.
Plumbing Pipe fittings can also be categorized based on type of jointing method used: