Pipe Fittings – Types and Uses

Published: 15th June 2010
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Pipe fittings are tools and materials used in plumbing and pipe systems to connect tubing sections or straight pipe, so that they can get adapted to various sizes or shapes, as well as control fluid flow. With emphasis on the non-common types, fittings can be costly, and need time, materials and tool for them to be installed. Therefore, they are the aspects of piping and plumbing systems that are non- trivial. Technically, valves are regarded as fittings, but they are often not discussed along with fittings.



Pipe Fittings Materials



The bodies of fittings used for tubing and pipe are usually of exact base material with the tubing or pipe which is being connected; examples steel, copper, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). On the other hand, any material that is authorized by code can be used; however, such material has to be well-matched with the other materials used in the system, the fluids that are being conveyed, as well as the pressures and temperatures in the internal and external of the system. Factors such as earthquakes and fire hazards influence fitting materials.



Piping and Plumbing Common Fittings



• Elbow



This is a pipe fitting fitted in the middle of two lengths of pipe or tube, enabling a directional change (normally 45 or 90 degrees). The ends of the elbow could be machined to achieve butt welding, socketed, or threaded. A reducer or reducing elbow is the elbow that has different sizes for the two ends. A good number of elbows are obtainable in either long radius or short radius.







• Tee



The combining or splitting of a fluid flow is achieved with a tee. The popular ones are tees with exact outlet and inlet sizes. Also, there is 'reducing tee'.



• Cross



This fitting feature 1 inlet and 3 outlets; they are commonly used in fire sprinkler systems, and rarely in plumbing as a result of their additional cost relative to tees. The naming of the three outlets should be done orderly; left middle right.



• Nipple



Nipple is short stub of pipe, normally brass, threaded iron, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride or copper; on the other hand, it is occasionally mere bare copper. Nipple features two male ends; its common use is for plumbing, and for hoses. Its other use is as valves for pipes and funnels.



• Cap



Cap is a variety of pipe fittings (usually liquid or gas tight) that covers the end of the pipe. A cap's function is similar to that performed by a plug.



• Barb: the connection of flexible hoses to pipes is achieved with a barb.



• Plug: a plug has resemblance of a cap; however, a plug fits onto the fitting that is mated to it. The end of the pipe closes off with a plug. The plugs in a threaded iron pipe plumbing system feature male threads.



• Clean outs



Clean-outs are additional plumbing and pipe fittings that enable access to drain while leaving plumbing fixtures intact. Clean-outs are employed to enable plumber's snake or auger clean out a plugged drain. They should be kept in locations where they can be easily reached throughout a drainage system.





Snehil Shrivastva is the author of this article on Valves.

Find more information about BOP here.












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