Tag: pipe fittings

PVC Pipe Fittings

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.

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Copper Pipe Fittings

Copper pipe fittings are one of the most popular types of fittings that are used, and have been used for several centuries. In today’s guide we shall look in more detail at copper pipe fittings, including advantages, disadvantages, types and where you can find them.

What They’re Used For

Copper pipe fittings have many purposes both in the home, in commercial buildings and various other situations. Some of the most popular purposes for copper pipe fittings include water distribution systems, oxygen systems, chilled water mains, drainage and vent systems, heating systems and non-flammable medical-gas systems.

Types and Sizes

There are various different types and sizes of copper pipe fittings. There are two main types: rigid and flexible which can be divided into various other categories that all come in a range of sizes.

Rigid copper pipe fittings are what are most commonly used when building new homes or buildings. They are much neater in appearance, however are more difficult to install than flexible copper pipe fittings.

Flexible copper pipe fittings are most commonly used for repair work on already installed rigid copper pipe fittings.

There are then different thicknesses of copper pipe fittings: Type M (thin), Type L (medium-thickness) and Type K (thick). The medium-thickness copper pipe fitting is the most commonly used, particularly around the home.

All copper pipe fittings are put into one of three categories – 1 to 3. Category one pipe fittings are used for making bends and turns within pipes, while category two copper pipe fittings are used for joining or branching copper pipes. Finally, category 3 copper pipe fittings are used for couplings, slip couplings and more.

Sizes of copper pipe fittings range from 1/8 inch up to 12 inch diameters.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Copper Pipe Fittings

There are many advantages to copper pipe fittings, as well as disadvantages. Copper has become the most popular type of material to be used in pipe fittings thanks to its huge range of advantages in comparison to other materials.

Copper is very versatile and easy to work with as it has thermal conductivity, is resistant to corrosion and is highly durable. Copper can even be embedded within concrete.

Copper pipe fittings can be produced in a wide range of sizes so it makes it suitable for numerous applications. They are also renowned for their reliability, and consistently stand the test of time.

As we mentioned before, copper pipe fittings are very easy to use and as a result it can lower installation costs as it takes a lot less time to install. Copper pipe fittings can easily be joined using soldering or brazing. Copper is also rigid while at the same time being ductile making it possible to form it into various shapes.

There are however disadvantages to using copper for your pipe fittings. The main disadvantage is that copper is a lot more expensive than other popular options such as steel and plastic. This however is slightly justified for as installation is generally much cheaper.

Copper pipe fittings also do not work well in water with high acidity. Copper piping that is used for plumbing should not be used in areas that the water acidity level exceeds either side of 6.5 to 8.5 pH.

Copper also conducts heat very well, so this can be seen as a disadvantage because they can become very hot to touch especially when used for hot water. Copper pipes are also prone to bursting when subjected to low temperatures.

Frozen burst in watter copper pipe

Where Can You Find Them?

Copper pipe fittings are very easy to get your hands on. The best place to purchase them is from plumbing and heating supply stores. These places will have the widest range available, and can usually offer you made-to-measure copper pipe fittings.

Depending on what types of copper pipe fittings you require you can head to your local hardware store to find them. Most large hardware stores offer a variety of copper pipe fittings to choose from.

Finally, the internet can be a fantastic resource for your copper pipe fitting. There are dozens of websites that sell copper pipe fittings online and usually at a much lower price than if you were to buy them in a store. However, you will need to know what you are looking for prior to shopping online.

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