A plumbing system with long runs of pipe can use a lot of fittings. Optimizing the layout of these can reduce piping costs and labor.

Plumbing systems have traditionally used large-diameter trunk lines that tee off to branch pipes. This type of system is inefficient and can cause problems.

SharkBite fittings include a cap that lets you temporarily stop the flow of water in an emergency. They also come with a gauge and tool that deburrs the end of the pipe.


Flanges are a common and simple pipe connection method. They look like light discs with flat surfaces that are mechanically joined by bolts, collars, adhesives or welds. They have high-moment-carrying capacities and are well-suited for piping systems that experience momentary buckling from temperature or pressure variations.

DWV flanges are used to connect drain, waste and vent pipes in commercial and residential settings. They can be found in a variety of material, including PVC, brass and cast iron. They’re fabricated with a smooth bore design and are available in slip-on and socket weld styles. Slip-on flanges are easier to install and have lower pressure ratings. Socket weld flanges are more durable and have a fatigue strength 50% greater than double-welded slip-on flanges.

Closet flanges, also known as water closet flanges or toilet flanges, are a type of flange that mounts the toilet to the floor and connects the closet bend to the sewer drainpipe. They can be found in a number of different materials, with some being more durable than others. For example, unadulterated aluminum flanges are more resistant to corrosion than composite aluminum flanges that are infused with copper, zinc and manganese.


Flange fittings join two surfaces by bolts or wedges and require a gasket to prevent leakage. The type of gasket required depends on the mating surfaces and the pressure the joint must withstand. Neoprene, polyisoprene and nitrile are common gasket materials. They may be a solid piece, like a raised face or ring-type gasket, or segmented.

Pipe elbows help direct water flow in the direction you want it. They come in many angles, but the most common are 90-degree and 45-degree bends. A long-sweep elbow makes a longer arc to promote more fluid flow, and it’s often used for drain lines.

Plumber’s putty is sometimes used to seal a flange connection, but it should not be the only means of sealing the joint. Instead, use a silicone sealant for this purpose. Silicone is also better for threaded connections than plumber’s tape or teflon tape. It holds up well under hot and cold temperatures.


Elbows change the direction of a pipe run and come in several styles. You can use them to create a tight turn and take up less space, but make sure you have enough room to work with the elbows you select. They’re available in short- and long-radius types.

A coupling joins two pipes, either one with a larger diameter than the other or both with the same size. It may also be called a reducer or adapter, depending on the type you choose.

Unlike a butt weld elbow, a socket weld elbow has a trapezoidal area on the end that we can insert and weld to the pipe end. It’s a more versatile design that lets you install and remove the pipe easily.

Street elbows are a good choice in tight spaces because they eliminate the need for a nipple. They can make tight turns, and have male threads on one side and female ones on the other. A nipple is another way to connect pipe, and it can be used to attach other fittings like valves or flanges.


A reducer is a pipe fitting that converts a larger pipe diameter into a smaller one. This can be done either to meet hydraulic flow requirements or adapt to existing pipes that are a different size. There are two types of reducers: concentric and eccentric. Eccentric reducers are constructed so that they have a top flat to avoid air accumulation, which can result in cavitation.

Other types of reducers include double-tapped bushings and sweat and solvent joints. A double-tapped bushing has a smaller female thread concentric to a larger male end, while a sweat or solvent joint uses fillet type sealing welds.

There are also several kinds of tees that can be used in plumbing systems. These include straight tees, reducing tees, barred tees, and wye tees. Straight tees collect fluid running from the main pipeline, while a reducing tee branch off to another area of the system. Barred and wye tees are also used to change the direction of flow in the pipeline. These are typically made of brass, chrome-plated brass, copper, CPVC, or malleable steel.


Nipples are short straight pieces of pipe that have threaded ends on both sides and are used to connect other female threaded pipe fittings or pipes. They are available in a variety of materials and lengths and are one of the most versatile types of pipe fittings. They can be made from copper, brass, CPVC, malleable (galvanized and black), or PVC. They are commonly used in low-pressure piping systems.

A close nipple has no unthreaded area and is ordered by the diameter of its threaded end, for example “close 1/2”. A shoulder nipple is longer than a close nipple and has a small unthreaded section that fits a wrench, so it’s ordered by the size of its shoulder, for example “shoulder 1/2”. Hex nipples have a hexagonal middle section that allows a wrench to grip it securely.

The easiest way to identify a pipe’s size is to find the IPS sizing printed on the pipe or use a sizing chart. Once you know your pipe size, you can select the proper fittings for it.

By Manish

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