Types of Plumber Fittings
Plumber fittings come in various types of shapes and sizes and their main purpose is to help in changing the direction of the water flow. Some fittings are also used to stop water flow. Each plumbing fitting has a specific function to fulfill, for example joints or elbows for pipes or tee and cross fittings.
The most commonly used plumber fitting is the elbow joint. If you want to change the direction of the water flow, an elbow joint can be fitted at a 45-degree or a 90-degree angle. Sinks make use of elbow joints or similar fixtures in which the water flows into a drain leading to the septic tank or the sewer system. The ends of the elbow may be in the form of a socket or welded, and sometimes threaded. The street elbow is a kind of elbow joint which uses male to female threads.
Another kind of plumbing fitting is the tee joint which is used to control water flow, because it mainly combines or divides the flow. Most tee joints are the same size on both ends, but for some the inlet and outlet sizes of the joint are different. This kind of joint is also known as a reducer joint. Sometimes tee joints are used for computer components.
A third category of plumbing fitting is the cross joint. Cross joints are used for sprinkler systems because they have three inlet valves and one outlet valve or three outlet valves and one inlet valve. Cross joints are not commonly a part of general plumbing in a home, as they cost considerably more than the multiple tee joints.
Besides joints the other commonly used plumbing fittings are caps and plugs. If you want to close the end of a pipe, you can use a cap or a plug. Both serve the same purpose, the only difference lies in the way it fits on to the pipe. A cap has to be fitted over the ends of the pipe and is screwed in by threading. Plugs, on the other hand, fit into the end of a pipe. But both are generally well fixed so that no gas or water can pass through.
To clean pipes, plumbers sometimes use clean-outs. Just for a temporary phase a clean-out can be installed in such a place so that a pipe snake can be inserted into the pipe to remove any clogs. Hence, after cleaning the pipes, the clean-outs can be removed. That is why they are just a temporary fixture.
The most common material used for plumbing fittings are plastic, metal or PVC. If your old house has copper drains, the fittings may be made of copper or metal. It is quite easy to buy plumbing fittings at any home improvement center and then bring it home and fix it with the help of specialized glues and adhesives, used only by plumbers.