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Other Fittings and Adapters

Pipe fittings come in a range of materials, sizes, and shapes. Various flanges and fittings can save you money in the long run as well as prevent unwanted leaks or restrictions to your water flow.

What are some types of plumbing fittings?

Standard galvanized pipes, black steel pipes, couplings, and connectors allow you to do the plumbing work you need to do without worry. Most parts come in variations such as black steel or galvanized steel depending on your needs. Black steel is used in gas lines, drain lines, and appliance supply lines. Galvanized steel resists corrosion and is used in water supply lines. Some common types of fittings include:

  • Elbow Fittings: You can change the direction of water flow through the plumbing system with elbow fittings. Different sizes and degrees of elbow fittings are common in the plumbing industry. You will use a variant of these fittings called the reducer elbow if you are connecting pipes of different diameters to one another.
  • Tee Fitting: As the name suggests, this kind of piping has a T shape. You will use these if you need to combine flow from two inlets into one outlet. Tee fittings are available in materials such as stainless steel and come in equal and unequal varieties.
  • Adapters: This pipe variety allows you to modify pipes with different threaded ends as necessary and are typically the connector of choice for many copper and PVC pipes.
  • Plugs: Plugs are typically threaded with the 'male' variant of threads and are the fitting pieces you will use when you must close a pipe for either repairs or inspection. You can often purchase plugs and caps as part of a set, with each containing the different threaded ends.
  • Bushings: Bushings will provide a measure of insulation and a boundary line between your various plumbing components.
How do you choose pipe fittings?

Knowing what each type and size of connector or adapter is for is only part of your pipe fittings selection process. You also need to keep some basic guidelines in mind while you are choosing the fittings that suit your needs. Following this simple guide will ensure that you choose the right plumbing parts for the job.

  • Determine the compatibility of your materials. Pipe fittings come in a wide range of materials including steel, copper, PVC, and brass fittings. Each of these types often come in black varieties as well. Knowing which fluids will be flowing through your pipes is key and will help you avoid leaks or damages.
  • Be sure to check both temperature and pressure ratings for the pipes and fittings you need. Decide what type of threaded fittings you will need for a given job, and choose those that will perform at either higher temperatures or higher pressures, such as durable black pipes.
  • Also, consider the pipe tubing you will use. For example, barbed fittings work well with flexible tubing, while compression fittings are ideal for more rigid pipes.
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