Plumbing Pipe fittings are vitally used in plumbing systems for the purpose of connecting different pipes that come in varied shapes and sizes. Pipe fittings are widely used for both commercial and domestic purposes. The pipes may be connected via straight connections or may be twisted in some other direction. This facilitates connection of pipes having varied proportions. Pipe fittings are made up of different kinds of material. Some of these materials include copper, polyvinyl chloride, steel and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. While selecting a particular pipe fitting, one must ensure that the material of the chosen pipe fitting is attuned with other materials in use. It should also be in accordance with internal and external temperatures as well as pressures. Natural phenomena like earthquakes also influence the decision regarding choice of pipe fittings.

Pipe fittings are easily available at plumbing outlets located in the vicinity. Plumbing pipe fittings help in connecting pipes by two means. One way that can be used connecting pipes is by using threads. Thread connectors are basically available in two types. One of which is male threaded connector and the other one is female threaded connector. In male threaded pipe fittings, threads are exterior that are used in pipes with large diameter.

Whereas, in female threaded pipe fittings, threads are interior that are required to receive male threaded pipe fittings. The second way to connect pipes is by slip fit. The slip fit pipe connectors are again classified as male threaded and female threaded. In order to facilitate easy connections without changing its inner diameter, the ends of pipe fittings should be bigger that the rest of the pipe. This also ensures better flow of fluid. Another way of connecting two pipes is through coupling. However, if there is any difference in size or material of pipes, this effect is called “reducing coupling”. There are various pipe fittings that can be effectively used for plumbing purposes. Some which are as follows:

• A pipe that is inserted between two tubes or pipes which causes 90 degrees or 45 degrees of change in direction is called Elbow pipe.

• A pipe consisting of three outlets and one inlet is called Cross. These are not commonly used in plumbing operations but are widely used in fire sprinkler systems. The names given to three outlets are left, middle, and right. These three outlets should be named in this sequence only.

• Street elbow is another pipe with male to female connections. It is an alternative to Elbow.

• Cap is another kind of pipe fitting that is placed at the end of the pipe to cover it.

• In order to close pipe ends, plug is used.

• Hoses and pipes are connected with the help of a barb. Plumbing involves a lot of skill and technique. A plumber should possess complete knowledge of various kinds of pipe fittings. He should know about various pipes and their materials. This shall facilitate right selection of pipe fittings that would be compatible to other materials being used in the system.