Plumbing fittings explained

Plumbing fittingsPlumbing is a general term used to describe conveyance of gas, water or liquid waste in commercial or domestic environments.

Plumbing systems use fittings of various types and shapes to regulate the flow of water or gas. Fittings are made up of various types of materials the common ones being metal, plastic and Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Plumbing fittings are usually connected to pipes in several ways among them welding and screwing. Welding is mainly used in high-performance situations such as gas stations. Screwing technique is used in the case of threaded pipes which make it possible for fittings to be screwed into place.

Fittings are categorised according to the functions they fulfill – the most common categories being tee joint, cross joint, elbow joint and plugs or caps.

1.) Tee joint: Also known as reducer joint, tee joint is one of the most common fittings. Tee joints are used when it is necessary to split or combine the water flow. Most tees have equal inlet and outlet sizes, although some have smaller inlets and bigger outlets and vice versa.

2.) Cross joint: Cross joints have three outlet valves and one inlet valve and vice versa and are mostly used for sprinkler systems. They are rarely used for general plumbing in homes because they are more expensive than multiple tees.

3.) Elbow joint: Elbow joints are easily the most common plumber fittings. Fitted at a 90-degree or a 45-degree angle, an elbow joint is used to change the direction that water flows in. Kitchen sinks and related fixtures in which water flows into a drain directing to a sewer system often use elbow joints.

4.) Plugs and caps: These plumbing fittings are also very common in plumbing and they serve the same purpose: to close up pipes that have open ends. The only difference between plugs and caps is the way each fitting fits on to the pipe. Plugs fit into the end of a pipe, while caps are fitted over the end of a pipe and screwed in by threading.

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