Different types of pipe fittings
Different types of pipe fittings

Pipe connectors are also known as pipe fittings. They attach pipes to each other to extend or alter the flow of a plumbing system. They are used to divert, combine or reduce the flow of water and come in many sizes to match the pipe they will be connecting.

It is important to know the dimensions of pipe fittings. There are also sizing guidelines. Although most fittings have the same openings at each end, there are some that have different openings. These fittings serve to transition between sizes of pipes.

This Home Depot guide will show you how to connect different pipe fittings in plumbing systems. It also explains how to make them.

Tee, Wye and Cross Fittings

Tee & Wye Fittings – Tees and wyes can be used to connect three pieces. Tees have two outlets and one inlet at 90 degrees in the form of a "T". They can be used to connect two supply lines or can combine two lines into one outlet. Tee fittings are often connected to water supply lines. The wye looks like a "Y", with the inlets forming a 45-degree connection to one outlet in drain applications. Sanitary wyes allow wastewater into a drain pipe by opening from one side. The second part of the "Y", which aligns with the pipe, allows sewer gases to escape upward.

Cross Fittings-- Cross fittings can be used to connect pipes. They have either one inlet, three outlets or three outlets depending on what you need. These four-way fittings can be used in sprinkler and irrigation applications.

Elbow fittings - Elbows alter the flow direction between two pipes. Common elbows can be used to turn by having 90-, 60, 45, and 22 1/2-degree bends. To move around obstructions in the pipeline run, they can be joined together.

Coupling, Adapter Bushing, and Union Fittings

Coupling & Adapter fittings - Pipe couplers are used to connect two pipes, usually permanently. A coupling is also known as a reducer or reducing coupling. It reduces flow by joining larger pipes to smaller ones. When connecting pipes of different types, adapters are used. An adapter can be attached to the end of a plain pipes to enable a threaded connection on the opposite side.

Bushing Fittings – Bushings are sometimes known as reducer bushings. They can be used to connect two pipes of different sizes. The bushing's larger diameter fits within the larger pipe. The smaller pipe can then be inserted into the bushing's smaller end.

Union Fittings – Union fittings are similar to couplings because they connect two pipes that are identical. To join two pipes, a threaded ring or nut is used to secure pipe unions. To disconnect the pipes, you can easily remove the ring by loosening it. A coupling must be removed to disconnect.

Fittings for Trap and Flange

Trap fittings - Traps can be described as horizontal dips or bends that are found under bathroom and kitchen sinks. They can be shaped as a U-shaped or a sideways P and serve two functions. The arc traps drain water to prevent sewer gases from entering the home. To prevent further obstructions, traps catch any debris that might block the drain.

Flange Fittings- A flange fitting is a round, flat fitting that seals with bolts or clamps. These fittings are used to connect pipes to floors, ceilings, and walls. The closet flange or toilet flange is the most popular flange for DIY plumbers. This is what attaches a toilet to the ground and connects the toilet drain with the drain pipe.

Cap, Plug, and Nipple Fittings

Cap Fittings – A cap is a fitting that fits over the pipe's end to stop water or gas flow. These fittings can be used to terminate a pipe permanently or temporarily cut off water supply during a plumbing project.

Plug Fittings – Plugs that are used at the pipe's end to seal the opening. A plug fits inside the pipe to seal the opening, while caps cover the opening. These are often found in cleanout areas for sewer systems.

Nipple Fittings: Nipples are short sections made of pipe that are male-threaded at both ends and are used to connect two female-threaded fittings or pipe ends.

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