Different types of pipe fittings
Different types of pipe fittings

Pipe fittings, also called pipe connectors, are used to connect pipes together to lengthen or change the flow direction of a plumbing network. They can be used for combining, diverting, or reducing the flow of the water supply.

The pipe fitting dimensions are important. There are specific sizing standards. Many fittings have an identical size opening on each end. However, some fittings have different-sized openings which serve as the transition to one size of pipe.

This Home Depot guide will explain the various types of pipe fittings that are used in plumbing systems.

Tee, Wye Cross and Elbow Fittings

Tee & Wye Fittings – Tees or wyes are used for connecting three pieces of pipe. Tees are able to have one inlet and two outlet at 90-degree angles. Tee fittings can often be seen connected to potable drinking water supply lines. A wye has a shape similar to a "Y", where the two inlets meet at 45 degrees and form a single outlet for drain applications. Sanitary Wyes allow wastewater to be able to enter drain pipes from the side. The second "Y" aligns the pipe with sewer gases to allow them to vent upward.

Cross Fittings – Cross fittings have four openings to pipe - either one inlet with three outlets or one outlet, depending on the application. These four-way fittings, which are less common, can be used in sprinkler or irrigation applications.

Elbow Fittings: Elbows are used to change the direction of flow between two pipes. Common elbows have 90, 60, 45 and 22 1/2 degrees bends. These elbows are used for turning. To get around obstructions in a pipe run, they can be joined together.

Coupling. Adapter. Bushing.

Coupling & Adapter Pipe Fittings – Pipe couplers fit over the pipe to connect them, typically permanently. A coupling may be a reducer. This means they reduce flow by joining smaller pipes to larger ones. When two pipes are connected, adapters may be used. An adapter, for example, could be fitted to the end or plain pipe to allow threaded connections at the other end.

Bushing Fittings: Bushings (sometimes called reducers bushings) are used to connect two pipes with different sizes. The larger diameter bushing will fit inside the larger pipe. The smaller pipe should be inserted into each end of the bushing.

Union Fittings: Union fittings can be used to connect two pipes. For two pipes to be joined, a fitting called a pipe union has a nut (or threaded band) in its middle. To disconnect pipes, it is possible to remove the ring by loosening its ring. To disconnect, a coupling needs to be removed.

Fittings to Trap and Flange

Trap Fittings: Traps are horizontal dips and bends in drainage lines that can be found beneath kitchen or bathroom sinks. They have two main purposes and can be shaped in the shape of a "U", or a "P" sideways. First, they trap drain water in the arc to form a barrier that stops sewer gases rising into your home. To avoid further blockage, traps can also capture any debris.

Flange Fittings – A flange fits are a flat, circular fitting that creates tight seals using bolts or clamps. They are used when pipes run through walls, ceilings, or floors. The closet flange, also known as the toilet flange, is the most commonly used flange by DIY plumbers. This is what holds a toilet on the floor, and connects to the drain pipe.

Fittings for Plug, Cap and Nipple

Cap Fittings: A cap covers the pipe's ends to stop gas or water from flowing. These fittings can either be used permanently to terminate pipes or for temporarily cutting off supply during plumbing projects.

Plug Fittings: Plugs are used to seal the pipe opening at the end. However, a plug fits in the threaded pipe opening and seals the hole. Caps are attached to the top of the opening. These caps are frequently found at cleanout points for sewer system.

Nipple Fittings are short sections of pipe, which are male-threaded each end. They can be used to connect two female fittings or ends to a pipe.

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