Various types of pipe fittings are available in plumbing systems for different purposes and functions. A pipe fitting is used in plumbing system to join multiple pipes of same size or different sizes, to regulate the flow or to measure the flow. They are made up of different materials like copper, iron, brass, PVC etc.
Types of Pipe Fittings in Plumbing System
Different pipe fittings and their functions are explained below.
- Tee type
- Cross type
Elbow Pipe Fittings
Elbows are used to change the direction of flow between two pipes. Elbows are generally available with an angle of 22.5o, 45o and 90o. If pipes are of same diameter then normal elbows are used otherwise Reducer elbows are used. Elbows are made of different materials. These are generally coming with female threads and we can fix them by butt or socket welding also.
Reducer Pipe Fittings
Reducer is a pipe fitting component which reduces the flow size from larger to smaller by reducing size of pipe. Usually there are two types of reducers are available. One is concentric reducer which is like cone shaped with gradual decreasing around the pipe but in this case accumulation of air may possible and it results in cavitation. Other one is eccentric reducer which is having one edge parallel to connecting pipe due to which air accumulation is not possible.
Tee type Pipe Fitting
Tee type fitting is a component of plumbing system which is in T-shape. It is having one inlet and two outlets, outlets are arranged at 90o to the main line connection (inlet). It can also be used to combine the flow from two inlets to one outlet. They are also available in different materials and different sizes. If the 3 sides of T-fitting are similar in size then it is called as Equal tee otherwise it is called as Unequal tee.
Cross type fittings contains 4 opening in 4 directions. These are connected when there are 4 pipes are meeting at a point. These fittings generate more amount of stress on pipe as the temperature changes, because they are located at the center of four connection points. Cross fittings are generally used for fire sprinkler systems.
A coupling is used to connect the pipes of same diameter. Coupling are also useful if the pipe is broken or leakage occurs. Generally there are two types of couplings are available. Compression coupling and slip coupling. Compression coupling is regular coupling which is connected between two pipes and it prevents leakage by the arrangement of gaskets or rubber seals on both sides, otherwise glue is provided. Slip coupling is easier to install and it contains two pipes which are arranged as one into other, inner pipe can slide up to some length. So, we can fix long length damaged pipe by slip coupling.
Union is a type of fitting, which functions as similar to coupling. But coupling cannot be removed after fixing but in this case we can remove the union whenever we needed. Unions consists nut, male and female ended threads. So, this is also useful for maintaining purpose of pipe.
If the pipes are not having special ends or plain ends then adaptors make them threaded either male or female whichever is needed. Adopters are generally used for copper and PVC pipes. Male adapters contain male threads and female adapters contains female threads. One end of adapter is plain which is glued or welded or soldered to the plain pipe end.
Olets are used when there is standard sizes of fittings are not suitable for our requirement. Sometimes the inlet pipe size is larger compared to outlet pipes in t-sections then also Olets are used. There are many types of olets are available. Some important types of olets are:
- Socket weld Olet
- Threaded olet
- Elbow olet
- Nipple olet
- Lateral olet
- Flange olet
Plug is a component of plumbing component which is generally used to close pipe opening during inspections and repairs. Plug are generally contains male threads.
Cap is a type of pipe fitting which function is same as plug but the only difference is plug contain male threads and cap contain female threads which is screws on the male thread of pipe. These are available in different materials like rubber, copper, steel, plastic etc.
Valves in Pipe Fittings
Valves are components of plumbing system which are used to stop or regulate flow of fluid in its path. Different types of valves are available depending up on their applications.
Some important types of valves and its applications are listed below.
- Gate valve, plug valve and Ball valve – used for isolation only
- Globe valve – used for throttling
- Check valve – used for preventing reverse flow (non-return)
- Butterfly valve – used for isolation as well as throttling
- Diaphragm valve – used for isolation as well as throttling