Being a homeowner is a goal that many people share nowadays. But while being the master of your own domain sounds lovely, it also comes with a specific set of responsibilities you might have left up to your landlord before. Needless to say, plumbing and everything that has to do with it falls into this category.
A Brief Dictionary
Knowing what goes into putting together the intricate system of pipes in a home is essential for at-home troubleshooting. Fixtures come in many shapes and sizes, and they serve various purposes. Here are the ten main plumbing fittings types every homeowner should be familiar with, organized alphabetically.
Adapters are a handy fitting to keep around because they connect dissimilar pipes. This allows for extensions and quick end type changes, which comes in handy when you want to avoid more complicated processes. They come in two varieties, namely male and female. Depending on the connection you wish to create, you can use one or the other.
As the name suggests, cap fittings are used to cover the end of a pipe. They are a female type of connection that can be attached to male ones only. In order to do so, you will need to either weld, glue or thread. They are available for purchase in most hardware stores, and they come in a variety of materials, including rubber, plastic and copper.
Coupling fittings are used in plumbing to either extend a pipeline or change its size. The latter purpose is achieved using a bell coupling which has reductive properties. Nevertheless, the coupling is usually performed on pipes that are of the same size and diameter. For this reason, they are some of the most widely used fittings in the field.
The cross fitting is another one that is explained by its name. It has four openings that go in four directions, which is why it has this particular shape. It is an excellent fixture for connecting multiple pipes at once. Naturally, a maximum of four simultaneous links can be made. It usually comes with either three inlets and one outlet, or the other way around.
An elbow fitting comes in handy when you want to alter the flow direction between two separate pipes. They come primarily in 45 and 90-degree angle variants, but you can also find more unique options on the market, such as 22.5 or 60. Various materials are used to make them, and you can easily find one to suit your project.
Plugs resemble caps in the sense that they are used to completely cover one end of a pipe. But while caps contain female threads, plugs have male ones. What is more, the plug goes inside of the actual tube, while the cap is attached around one of its trimmings. However, both of them serve essentially the same purpose.
If you want to decrease the flow of water between two pipes, a reducer fitting is the one to use. There are two types available on the market. The most commonly used one is the concentric reducer, which resembles a cone in shape and progressively diminishes the stream. The other kind is more unconventional because it has one edge parallel to the pipe.
Also known as a mechanical coupling, a sleeve connects two pipes using fasteners such as screws or anchors. It is usually made of rubber and can be jacketed using stainless steel or regular one. Unlike a traditional coupling fixture, sleeves are a lot easier to install and are a lot more secure. This makes them suitable for key points in the installation.
In plumbing, many fittings bear names that closely describe their form or functionality. This is also the case for the tee, a T-shaped fixture that contains two outlets and an inlet. The two outlets are positioned at a 90-degree angle to the inlet. You can connect three pipes to it, and the stream will be equal throughout.
The last fitting on the list is also named after the letter it is shaped like. The wye looks like a Y and it is set at a 45-degree angle. They are used to change elevation, and they pick up waste lines and straighten the pipe’s run. For this reason, they are primarily used in drainage, and they work better for this purpose than sanitary tees.
Being a homeowner means having to deal with plumbing from time to time. This involves unclogging drains, fixing leaks, or even troubleshooting the sump pump by yourself. While the field might seem intimidating due to its complexity, it is actually quite approachable when you possess the proper amount of knowledge.
Thus, knowing everything there is about fittings is an important step in the learning process. The ones presented above are the main ten used in most systems in households all around the world, and they represent a good starting point. Therefore, after reading up on this guide you will certainly know how to deal with the next malfunction.