The 7 Types of Pipe Fittings You May Not Realize Exist -
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The 7 Types of Pipe Fittings You May Not Realize Exist

The 7 Types of Pipe Fittings You May Not Realize Exist

Pipe Fittings

If you’ve got some pipe fitting on your weekend to-do list, you know just how overwhelming it can be to find the right (and the best) tools for the job.

When it comes to choosing pipe fittings, it’s important to know that they can be expensive, they can take a long time to install, and there are dozens of fittings to choose from. To save yourself time, money, and potentially more work down the line, the correct selection and use of fittings is crucial.

In the pipe fitting world, fittings are attached to the end of pipes for the purpose of:

  • connecting straight pipe or tubing sections
  • branching or re-directing the piping system
  • controlling the water flow
  • changing the diameter of the pipe
  • providing a jointing method if 2 disimilar piping materials are used in the one system.

Pipe fittings are either welded or threaded, mechanically joined, or chemically adhered, and are usually made from the same base material as the pipe or tubing being connected.

Although there is a wide range of pipe fittings out there, these 7 are the most common:


These are commonly used to change the angle or direction of flow between two pipes (usually 22.5, 45, and 90 degree turns). Elbow fittings come in both long and short radius forms.


this t-shaped fitting has one inlet and two outlets arranged at 90 degrees to the mainline connection (inlet). A tee is used to combine or to split the material flow.


Cross-type fittings contains 4 openings in 4 directions (one inlet and three outlets or one outlet and three inlets). These fittings are connected when 4 pipes meet at a point. Cross fittings are usually used in fire sprinkler systems.


Reducers are used to join 2 different pipe sizes together in order to reduce flow. Concentric reducers allow for the accumulation of air resulting in cavitation, whereas eccentric reducers have one edge parallel to the connecting pipe, not allowing for air accumulation.


A cap fitting is liquid or gas-tight and is used to cover the end of a pipe. It is similar to a plug fitting; however, a cap has female threads and a plug has male threads.


A coupling is used to connect pipes of the same diameter. These are useful fittings if the pipe is broken or if any leakage occurs.


A union fitting is used to join pieces of pipe where pipes can’t be turned, or to allow a quick and easy disconnection of pipes to allow for maintenance, equipment removal, or fixture replacement. Union fittings are similar to coupling fittings, however, coupling fittings cannot be removed.

Whatever fittings your particular job calls for, be sure to get it right the first time!

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