Pipe Fittings and Their Functions

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Pipe fittings differ in their functionality and purposes. The fittings join a variety of pipes which can be similar or different in size and are used in regulating the flow. Materials like PVC, copper brass and iron are used to make them.

Various types of pipe fittings functions.


If you want to change the flow direction, then a plumber will use an elbow fitting. They come with angles of 45, 22.5 and 90 degrees. Where the pipes are similar in diameter, normal elbows are appropriate. However, at times the pipes are not the same in size and the reducer elbows come in handy. Fixed Today will advise you on the different materials the elbow fitting are made of and which is the most suitable for you. When you buy the elbow fittings, they are usually accompanied by female threads and they can also be fixed through socket or butt welding.


Ever seen a connection between two pipes of different sizes and wondered how the fitting was done? Fixed Today must have used a reducer fitting which reduces the flow from a bigger pipe to a smaller one. Reducer fittings are available in two types. The first one is a concentric reducer which has a cone shape but reduces in size gradually which may result in air accumulation then formation of cavity.

The other type of reducer fitting is eccentric reducer which does not accumulate air due to it having an edge that is parallel to the pipe.

Tee Fitting

This fitting is T-shaped and one inlet while the other two are outlets. Both outlets are at an angle of 90 degrees to the inlet. On the other hand, a plumber can use the two inlets as inlets while the third inlet serves as the outlet. They vary according to the materials they are made from and sizes. An equal tee has all the three sides similar in size otherwise it is known as Unequal tee.

Cross fitting

These fittings have four openings that flow into four different directions. The cross fitting connects four pipes which meet at the same point. As the temperature changes, the fittings increase stress on the pipes. These fittings are suitable for fire sprinklers.

Coupling fitting

Fixed Today uses coupling fittings to connect pipes which have similar diameters. They can also be used when a pipe is broken or leaks. Coupling is divided into two types, namely slip and compression. Compression fitting is where two pipes are fitted together then rubber seals or gaskets are arranged to seal or prevent leakages. In some instances, glue is used. Where one pipe is slipped into another and its used to repair a long pipe by slipping it into another.


Though union fitting is similar to coupling, they differ in that, once a plumber uses coupling fitting it cannot be removed while union can be detached anytime. Union’s fittings have male, female threads and a nut. They are used to maintain the pipe’s purpose.


Fixed Today uses adaptors for pipes which do not have plain or special ends. The adaptors make these ends to be either male or female threaded. In most cases adaptors are used to connect pipes made of PVC and copper.