With any major plumbing jobs, you will likely need pipe and
pipe fittings. Pipe fittings are plumbing parts used to connect different sections of a pipe. Pipe fittings are
available in various shapes and sizes, and are essential when trying to fit pipes where needed, around corners, underground,
or up a wall.
Purpose & Types of Pipe Fittings
The shapes, sizes, and material of pipe fittings vary with the purpose. Typically the pipe fitting material should be
the same as the pipe being fitted.
The chart below shows common uses and pipe fitting types:
Adapters, Unions, Caps, and Plugs Pipe
PurposeExtend or seal a pipe
PurposeChange a pipe's direction
Pipe FittingTees, Cross, Side-inlet Elbows, Wyes
PurposeConnect two or more pipes
PurposeChange pipe size
PurposeChange direction of the flow
Pipe Fitting Connections
The type of pipe material, shape, and size, will determine the type of connection you need for your pipe fittings.
- Threaded pipes attach by screwing together. The pipe will have either exterior (male) threads or interior (female) threads
- Slip fit, crimp, and clamp connections use sleeves, rings, or clamps that fit over the pipes once they are connected
Push-to-Connect fittings such as
, connect easily when pushed into place
- Sweat fittings require the use of solder at the connection
- Solvent weld fittings connect with quick-drying solvent cement
- Compression connect threaded pipes with a nut and ferrule
Selecting Pipe Fittings
When trying to find the right pipe fittings for the job, there are few key things to keep in mind:
- Material—The fitting must be compatible with the pipes and the fluids it will carry
- Temperature and Pressure—Be sure the temperature and pressure ratings are appropriate for the situation
- Design and Application—Choose right size and type of fitting for job
The reliability of any pipe fitting depends on proper installation and application.