There are a wide range of materials that can be used for pipe fittings, so it is not always easy know which the best one for your requirement is. In today’s guide we shall look at one of the options in more detail – galvanized pipe fittings.

What they’re used for
Galvanized pipe fittings are a special type of metal pipe fitting made from steel that has been coated with zinc that provides protection against corrosion and rust.

In the past, galvanized pipe fittings were commonly used for residential water supply lines, however they are now more commonly used for handrails and the replacement of existing pipe fittings.

As they are resistant to rust, galvanized pipe fittings can commonly be found in marine and industrial situations where pipe fittings would usually be subjected to tough, wet conditions that can cause rusting.

Galvanized pipe and fittings can be used for most applications except underground lines. It works best with cold water lines, but is still relatively suitable for hot water lines as well.

Galvanized pipe fittings cannot be used for gas supply lines as natural gas can cause the zinc on the fittings to come off and cause blockages in the system.

Types and Sizes
Unlike other pipe fittings made of various materials, there is not a wide range of different types and sizes of galvanized pipe fittings. In fact, the only available fittings that are made from galvanized steel are nipples and couplings.

However, there are a huge range of fittings that work with galvanized pipe that are instead made of malleable iron or cast iron as it can more easily be bent and shaped. Fittings come in a range of shapes and sizes including elbows, tees, unions and more.

Galvanized pipe fittings are usually made from malleable metal and can be connected by screwing them onto threaded pipes. Joint glue needs to be applied to the threads prior to screwing the galvanizing pipe fittings on.

Galvanized pipe fittings generally come in sizes ranging between 1/8th inch up to 20 inch diameters.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Galvanized Pipe Fittings
There are plenty of advantages as well as disadvantages to using galvanized pipe fittings. The main advantage is that galvanized pipe fittings can be a lot cheaper than other popular materials such as brass. However, there are less benefits of using galvanized pipe fittings.

The purpose of steel being galvanized is to help prevent corrosion and rusting – so clearly this is one of the main advantages of choosing galvanized pipe fittings. Galvanized pipe fittings have a long life span and are great value for money.

Galvanized pipe fittings have the benefit of a much thicker coating to metals that have organic coatings – which tend to thin out near the edges. Galvanized coatings stay thick at the edges and corners.

Before using galvanized pipe fittings you must always be aware of the disadvantages. The main issue people have with galvanized pipe fittings is that the zinc coating can hide problems and defects beneath the coating which would otherwise be visible.

Galvanized pipe fittings can also not be used underground unless they are properly covered and protected. You must also be careful which metals you have close to galvanized pipe fittings as some, such as brass and copper, can cause electrolyte action and can minimize the lifespan of the pipe fittings.

Where can you find them?
Galvanized pipe fittings are available from a wide range of outlets, and you should be able to find what you’re looking for at your local hardware store. However, if you want particularly large or less common sizes or shapes then you made need to seek out a specialist in your area.

One of the best places to go for all your galvanized pipe fittings needs is the internet. There are hundreds of websites that sell a variety of galvanized pipe fittings at prices much more competitive than you can find in your local retail store. Shipping costs vary, however they are usually quite reasonable and some even offer free postage to some areas if you spend a minimum amount on their products.