When it comes to plumbing systems, many people tend to prioritize inward pipe installation and disregard pipe fittings and pipelines, which are fundamental to ensure that your plumbing is fully-operational and working as it should. Understanding the significance of having a solid pipe framework is critical because if these fittings are not working correctly, it gives room for leakage. 

Plumbing fittings integrate several pieces of plumbing equipment, including lines, fixtures, and the joints that interface these installations. Installing quality pipe fittings and fixtures are essential for a continuous water flow and reliable plumbing framework.

Tips on Choosing the Right Plumbing Fittings And Fixtures

Whether building your property or renovating, you will eventually need to purchase plumbing fittings and fixtures based on your needs. Although these parts are small and appear optional, they help maintain the main plumbing framework. When looking for the ideal pipe fittings and fixtures, you can consider some factors here.

  • Cost – Finding the right fittings and fixtures also means staying within budget without sacrificing quality. Choosing to purchase branded plumbing accessories is expensive, to say the least, since you may end up spending more than you have intended. Asking for recommendations and checking for cheaper options is better before settling on your purchase to avoid exhausting your budget before the project is complete.
  • Quality – When looking for plumbing fittings and fixtures, you must always consider the quality of your purchase item. Installing inexpensive yet low-quality accessories will ultimately lead to a budget disaster since they can easily break and cause leakages. The leakage can also occur through an ingrained pipe that is hard to locate and isolate, making repairs especially expensive. Consider purchasing an item that can benefit you in the long run, just like fire-rated access doors and panels.
  • Material – Identifying your needs will lead you to choose the suitable material for your plumbing fittings and fixtures. Your contractor can give you recommendations if you are clueless about purchasing. Some of the materials used in fittings and fixtures are stainless steel, plastic, aluminum, concrete, copper, and glass, to name a few. 
  • Size – To ensure the stability of your plumbing system, you need to install the fittings and fixtures of the right size to hold the structure in place properly. When shopping for these accessories, do not forget to take the measurements along with you. Purchasing the accessories in the wrong size may delay the construction project and keep you off track when it comes to your budget range.
  • Aesthetic – Fitting and fixtures are considered as plumbing accessories. Therefore, it would be best to purchase items that can blend in perfectly with the overall aesthetic of your home or business. Thankfully, you can choose from several colors and designs.

When choosing the right plumbing fittings and fixtures, you must be extremely careful in deliberating what you need. Taking these buying factors into consideration will assure you that your plumbing system will work properly and last longer.

Types of Plumbing Pipe Fittings

There are various types of plumbing fittings available that have different functions. Plumbers use fittings to connect multiple pipes to regulate or measure the water flow regardless of size. Here are the various fittings used in residential or commercial plumbing systems.

  • Elbow – Elbow fittings usually have 90 degrees and 45 degrees turn and are installed to change the pipe flow direction. The sweep of the elbow fitting shows how fast it can make a transition or change in leadership.
  • Reducer – Reducers are installed to connect pipes with different diameters as it gradually changes in diameter to reduce flow.
  • Tee Type – This fitting is shaped like the letter T and has two inlets arranged at 90 degrees in the main pipeline. 
  • Street Elbows – Street elbows are composed of male and female threads. They are commonly used with galvanized steel and copper pipe, ideally in tight spaces.
  • Cross-Type – This fitting accessory is designed with four openings in four different directions and is commonly used for fire sprinkler systems.
  • Couplings – Couplings are used to connect pipes of the same diameter. It has two types available: compression and regular coupling.
  • Unions – Union fittings have similar functions to couplings. However, union fittings are not fixed and can be removed when needed. 
  • Adaptors – Commonly used in copper or PVC plumbing applications, adaptors are installed to change the end of a non-threaded pipe to male or female ends. 
  • Olet – Plumbers use olet fittings when the inlet pipe size is larger than the outlet pipes in a T-section. Several types of olets are available, such as butt-weldolet, socket weld, threaded, elbow, nipple, lateral, and flange olet.
  • Bushings – Bushing fittings may have a similar function as reducers, but they are different in making an abrupt change in diameter.
  • Plug – Plug is a plumbing accessory used in closing pipe openings during repairs and inspections. 
  • Caps – Caps have similar functions as plug fittings but consist of male and female threads. It is available in rubber, copper, steel, plastic, etc.
  • Valves – Valve fittings regulate water or gas flow through a pipe. There are different types of valves such as gate valves, globe valves, check valves, butterfly valves, and diaphragm valves. 

Types of Plumbing Fixtures

Since fixtures are for extended usage, they are often made with durable materials that resist corrosion, erosion, and water stains. Plumbing fixtures are manufactured with different materials, including PVC, fiberglass, tile, marble, glass, and stainless steel or copper. Here are the different types of plumbing fixtures.

  • Toilets – Toilets may look simple, but they have ingenious systems and designs. It mainly consists of a water tank mounted above the bowl with a large curved drain in the bottom. The toilet is then mounted to the floor with its drain pipe connected and positioned over the sewer pipe. Toilets also vary in some parts of the world and have different types: flush toilets, dry toilets, urinals, and high-tech toilets. 
  • Bathtubs – Commonly found in bathrooms, bathtubs usually have a shower attachment that provides the user versatility. Modern tubs have overflows, drains, and faucets that help in regulating water flow and water drain. Some of the most common bathtubs are Western-style bathtubs, Eastern-style bathtubs, Claw-foot tubs, Whirlpool tubs, and Hot tubs.
  • Sinks – Plumbing sinks are bowls or basins used to hold water in kitchens, bathrooms, and other utility rooms. Many sinks have cold and hot water options depending on users’ needs. The different types of sinks include self-rimming sinks, bottom-mount sinks, solid surface sinks, butler sinks, and stand-alone sinks.
  • Showers – Showers are plumbing fixtures that use a nozzle to stream hot or cold water over a tub or a shower space. There are several variations in the nozzle, but they all have the same function. Standard showers include water showers, electric showers, air showers, steam showers, bucket showers, beach showers.

Each plumbing fixture comes in various styles, colors, and designs. Depending on the fixture, they offer practicality and are often aesthetically pleasing.

Your plumbing system is considered an integral component since it deals with water flow and easter disposal. With this in mind, an effective maintenance program and regular upkeep are crucial to ensure its stability. In addition, it is imperative to equip your water system with necessary parts such as plumbing fittings and fixtures.

Guest Contributor: Chris Jackson

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