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What are Pipe Fittings?

10/23/2013 8:43:55 AM | by Anonymous

Pipe Fittings: Plastic

Pipe fittings are used with sprinkler systems, water and gas lines, washing machines, dryers and basically any appliance that have pipes in them usually require a pipe fitting. Pipe fittings are basically joints that enable pipes to be assembled through various combinations. These pipe fittings can be made out of various materials such as copper and steel. There are also plastic pipe fittings that are made up of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. These pipe fittings allow pipes to be assembled in a way such that the pipes are able to bend through obstacles and around corners. There are also other types of pipe fittings such as spigots and bulkheads.

For example if a pipeline is required to go around a 90 degree corner, the pipe is cut at the length just before it meets at the corner. Then the pipe line is attached to the end of the pipe to another corner around the 90 degree angle. This allows the go around the corner without additional energy required to bend the pipes instead. These pipe fittings can be attached by two methods. They can either be attached through slip fit or they can be attached through threads. Most of the times, metal pipes and metal pipe fittings are attached through threads while plastic pipes and plastic pipe fittings are attached through slip fit. The threaded method requires the pipe and the pipe fittings to screw on to each other whereas the slip fit pipe fittings have sleeves that enable pipes to slip on easily and securely.

There is a system that labels the parts of a pipe and a pipe fitting. There is the male and female part for each method. For the threaded method, the male part is where the threads are on the exterior while the female part is the one with the threads on the interior. As for the slip fit, the male part is the one that is slightly smaller to slip into the female part which is slightly larger. In order for two parts of a pipe to connect, one must be a male and the other must be a female.
Usually when repairing or installing a new pipe, different materials have to be used depending on the contents flowing through the pipe. For example, if the pipe is carrying water in sprinkler and ground drainage systems then PVC is a better material. While CVPC materials are better used when the contents flowing through the pipe is cold and hot water. However, it is important to keep the materials of the pipes consistent, if not replace with materials that are of better grade.

There are also different kinds of sealers that are used to prevent the connection between the pipe fitting and the pipe from leaking. There is a type of sealing tape known as plumber’s tape that can be wrapped tightly around these pipe fittings before attaching the two components together. These tapes provide a good seal to ensure that no leaks will occur at the threads. As for slip fit fittings, solvent cement is used instead to melt the plastic together. This not only prevents leaks but bonds the two parts of the pipes securely. Once bonded, they cannot be removed or replaced, unlike threaded fittings.


Pipe fittings can easily be found in most hardware stores or plumbing stores. It is also important to check if the materials are suitable for the type of pipes. Pipe fittings are an extremely important tool and without them we probably would not have a proper water source at home or anywhere else.


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