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Pipe fittings (also known as pipe connectors) are used to attach pipes to one another to increase or decrease the length of a plumbing system's flow. They can be used to reduce, divert, or combine the flow of water supply.
The dimensions of fittings are crucial and there are standards for sizing. Most fittings have identical openings on both ends, but some fittings have different-sized openings that allow for the transition between one size and another.
This Home Depot guide will teach you about the different types of pipe fittings used in plumbing systems. You'll also learn how they are connected, and what materials they are made.
Tee, Wye Cross, and Elbow Fittings
Tee & Wye fittings - Tees are used to connect three sections of pipe. Tees can have one or two outlets, at 90-degree angles. They are designed to split supply lines and combine two lines into one outlet. Tee fittings are commonly connected to potable water supply line. The wye is designed to look like a "Y", and the two inlets are connected at approximately 45 degrees into one outlet for drain applications. Sanitary Wyes allow wastewater to pass through a drain pipe from one side. The second portion of the "Y", aligned with the pipe, allows for sewer gases to exit upward.
Cross Fittings: Cross fittings are four-way pipes. There is one inlet and three outlets, or three inlets & three outlets depending on the use. These four-way fittings are not as common but can be used for sprinkler and irrigation purposes.
Elbow Fittings- Elbows can change the flow direction between pipes. Common elbows are used to turn. They have 90-, 60 -, 45 -, and 22 1/2 –degree bends. They can be connected together to overcome obstructions in the pipe line.
Coupling and Adapter, Bushing, and Union Fittings
Coupling & Adapter Fixtures - Pipe couplers slide over two pipes to join them, often permanently. A coupling can also be called a reducer. They reduce flow by connecting larger pipes to smaller ones. Adapters can be used to connect two pipes of different types. To allow for a threaded connection, an adapter could be placed on the end a plain pipe.
Bushing Fittings- Sometimes called reducer Bushings, bushings can be used to connect pipes of different sizes. The bushing with a larger diameter fits into the larger pipe. The smaller pipe is then inserted in the smaller end.
Union Fittings-Union fittings connect two identical pipes. Pipe unions are made by tightening a nut or threaded rings in the middle of two fittings to connect them. You can remove it by loosening the fitting to disconnect the pipes. However, a coupling must also be removed in order to disconnect.
Fittings for trap and flange
Trap Fittings- Traps are horizontal bends or dips in drainage pipes that are under kitchen and bathroom sinks. They have two functions and are shaped like an "U" or "P". First, the arc holds drain water and creates a barrier to stop sewer gases rising into the home. The traps capture debris and prevent it from clogging further down the drainage system.
Flange Fittings: A flange is a round flat fitting that seals tightly with bolts and clamps. They are used for pipes that pass through ceilings, walls, or floors. For DIY plumbers, the most common flange is the closet or toilet-flange flange. This is what connects the toilet drain and the toilet drain to one another.
Fittings for Cap, Plug and Nickel
Cap Fittings-A cap is placed over the end of a pipe in order to stop any flow of water or gases. These fittings are used for either the permanent termination of a pipe, or to temporarily cut off supply during a plumbing job.
Plug Fittings- These plugs are used at one end of a pipe to seal an opening. Plugs fit into the pipe's threaded opening to create a seal, while caps are placed over it. They are usually found at cleanout sites for sewer systems.
Nipple Fittings-Nipples are short sections that are male-threaded on each end. They are used to connect two female threaded pipe fittings or ends.