PVC pipe fittings are the most common form of pipe used for sewage and waste purposes in American and Canadian homes. In today’s guide we shall look in more detail at what PVC pipe fittings can be used for as well as where you can find them and other important information.

What are they used for?

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe fittings are used to connect together two pieces of PVC pipe.

They are largely used around the home and commercial buildings for purposes such as transporting water around the home, garden and lawn. They are ideally suited for transporting the main water supply of a home or building to where it needs to go.

PVC pipe fittings are also suitable for the distribution of air – both high and low pressure.

Types and Sizes

Like all types of pipe fittings, PVC pipe fittings come in a variety of types and sizes to suit varying needs. PVC pipe fittings most commonly come in sizes ranging between 0.5 up to 4 inches in diameter.

The most common types of PVC pipe fittings include couplers, tees, adaptors, bushings, plugs, caps and crosses.

Tees are used to create right-angle connections between PVC pipes and it also allows three separate pipes to be joined in one location. The outside diameter of all the pipes must be the same as the inner diameter of the tee pipe fitting.  Similarly, couplers are used to join just two PVC pipe fittings together.

There are two main types of adaptors – male and female. These are designed to help join a piece of threaded pipe to a piece of slip pipe. An adaptor with a threaded interior is female whereas a threaded exterior indicates that it is a male PVC adaptor.

Bushings are most commonly used to extend a non-threaded pipe section with a pipe with a threaded end. They come in a variety of different sizes.

A PVC plug fitting is used to stop the flow of water in any direction by inserting and securing it into the end of a pipe whereas a cap is fitted over the end of the pipe.

Finally, crosses are used when you need to join four pipes together at one intersection. They form the shape of a cross.

Advantages and Disadvantages of PVC Pipe Fittings

There are plenty of reasons why PVC pipe fittings are so popular in most households. It is incredibly versatile and can be used for in the distribution of both high and low pressure air and water. They are also very flexible in their application making it easy to install.

PVC pipe fittings are also a lot cheaper than many other popular materials. Additionally, it is a very lightweight material that comes in a wide range of colors, appearances and surface aspects. As they are lightweight it makes them much cheaper and easier to transport and install.

PVC pipe fittings are a lot quieter than other types of pipes when used to transport high pressure water or air. It is also self-insulating meaning it can withstand high water temperatures.

They have a very long lifespan and are highly resistant to corrosion and chemicals. The smooth internal surface of PVC pipe fittings means they offer fantastic flow properties and there is no attachment of internal sediments to the pipes.

There are disadvantages however. The main disadvantage of PVC pipe fittings is that they are less flame resistant than other popular materials such as copper.

PVC pipe fittings are also quite bulky and are not as suitable for fitting into small places as copper is. Some people have also claimed that using PVC pipe fittings to transport their water has meant that they have a slight plastic-y taste to their water.

Where Can You Find Them?

PVC pipe fittings are readily available from a range of plumbing outlets. You can also find them in your local hardware and general stores.

Thanks to the lightweight of PVC pipe fittings, it makes it very easy to purchase them on the internet as shipping costs are much lower than heavier materials. Buying your PVC pipe fittings on the internet means you are offered a wider variety of options and costs are generally much lower than in stores.