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Chapter 4

Fittings

Objectives
After completing this chapter, the student should be
able to:
identify and describe common types of fittings in a
residential plumbing installation.
understand that certain fitting materials and designs can
only be used for specific systems.
understand that some fitting materials can be used in all
residential systems.
relate fitting design selection to plumbing codes.
order fittings based on installation requirements, size,
and materials.

Degree of Fittings
The most common offsets used in the plumbing industry are 90,
45, and 22-1/2.
A 22-1/2 fitting is designed for a drainage waste and vent (DWV)
system.
90 and 45 fittings are used for most piping systems.
Flexible tubing allows offsets to be created without fittings.
Reference to the degree of a fitting is common when ordering
fittings for most systems.
When DWV cast iron fittings are ordered, the ordering process
involves the percent of a circle a fitting represents.

Degree of Fittings

Various Fitting Designs


Fittings are offered with two basic connection
types: fittings receiving pipe and fittings that
are inserted into a hub.
A fitting design known as a street fitting has
one end that receives pipe and one end that is
the same connection type as the pipe.

Various Fitting Designs


Not all material types or fitting designs are offered
in a street-fitting design.
Some piping systems such as No-hub cast iron
(NHCI) are not offered with a hub, and are
therefore not considered a street design.
Pressure-type plastic piping products that utilize a
solvent weld (glue) joint have a deeper socket than
a plastic DWV fitting.

Various Fitting Designs

Offsets
Similarities of all offset fittings are the
change of direction they achieve.
A 90 fitting that is installed to create a
perpendicular change in direction in a piping
system

Pressure systems, such as water and gas,


use a short design pattern, and DWV use a
longer radius design pattern.

Offsets

Tees
A fitting having three connections used for
pressure systems is known as a tee.
A tee is ordered stating the largest size side
first and also stating the size of the run before
the size of the branch.
If all three sides are the same size, order the tee
using the one size.
When both sides of the run are the same size,
order the tee using the single run size and the
branch size.

Tees

Common Tee Sizes and How to Order

Couplings
A coupling is also known as a sleeve and
connects two equal-sized pipe ends to form
one continuous pipe.
Except for SVCI (service weight cast iron)
pipe, every piping system uses a coupling
to connect two pipe ends.
A coupling is not offered in a street design.

Couplings

Reducers
A fitting designed to connect two different pipe sizes
together is called a reducer.
A reducing coupling and the fitting reducer are two
different design styles.
A fitting reducer is a street fitting, and the largest side
is the street side, which inserts into a socket of
another fitting to reduce a pipe size.
A reducing tee is commonly created by inserting a
fitting reducer into side 2 or side 3 of a tee.

Reducers

Bushings
A bushing is a fitting design for connecting two
different pipe sizes.
Similar to a fitting reducer, except more compact.

A bushing inserts into a fitting hub and


receives a pipe end or street fitting.
Not all types of piping systems use bushings.
They are more common for threaded and plastic
systems.

Bushings

Male Adapter
It has external threads on one end and a socket connection on
the other end.
The threaded portion can connect to any material type
compatible with National Pipe Thread (NPT) standards.
A male adapter is manufactured to Iron Pipe Size (IPS)
standards.
Small sizes of copper male adapters are offered with a street
end.
Flexible tubing systems use male adapters that insert the
unthreaded portion into the tubing, leaving the threaded portion
exposed to screw into the desired location.

Male Adapter

Female Adapter
It has internal threads on one end and a socket on
the other end.
A female adapter is the opposite of a male adapter
relating to its threaded portion.
The threaded portion can receive any material type
that has external tapered threads compatible with
National Pipe Thread (NPT) standards.
A female adapter is manufactured to Iron Pipe Size
(IPS) standards.

Female Adapter

Unions
It is a fitting designed to provide access directly within
a piping system.
Most codes dictate that unions remain accessible.
Most gas codes dictate that a union cannot be
installed in a ceiling.
Various designs are available to connect similar and
dissimilar materials.
DWV systems utilize them for portions of a system that
require sewage pumps.

Unions

Water Distribution
Water that is safe for human consumption is free
from impurities and is known as potable water.
No pipe, fitting, or product installed in a potable
water system can consist of more than 8% lead.
Flux and solder used to solder potable water
systems cannot contain more than 2% lead.
Some states, such as California require potable
water systems to be 100% lead free.

Water Distribution Materials


Pipe Type

Fitting Type(s)

Connection
Type

PEX

Brass

Crimped

CPVC

CPVC

Solvent welded

Copper

Copper and
brass

Soldered

Polyethylene

Nylon, brass, and


galvanized

Clamped

Galvanized

Galvanized

Threaded

Brass

Brass

Threaded

PEX
PEX is one of the most popular products installed for
water distribution systems.
The fittings have a unique ribbed pattern on the
exterior to provide adequate holding capabilities once
the fitting is installed.
Two connection methods are used:
The crimping method utilizes a fitting that is inserted into the
tubing and is secured with a crimp ring.
The expanding method utilizes a PEX ring that slides over the
tubing, and an expander tool that is inserted into the tubing.

PEX

CPVC
The connection of the fittings and pipe are
solvent welded (glued) with specially
designed glue.
CPVC glue cannot be used to solvent weld
other types of plastics.
Solvent-welded joints typically require 24
hours to cure before the system can be
pressurized.

CPVC

Copper
Water distribution systems use three different
grades of copper tube.
The fittings for all three are the same.
Copper DWV fittings have a greater radius and a
shallow socket.
Copper fittings are joined to copper tube with one
of two welding processes:
Soldering
Brazing
Less common process

Copper

Polyethylene
All PE fittings have a unique ribbed design,
which is only compatible with PE.
The fitting is inserted into the tubing and
secured with a stainless steel hose clamp.

Polyethylene

Galvanized and Brass


Galvanized materials often produce rust when
exposed to certain water qualities.
That makes them a poor choice for water distribution
systems.
For this reason, brass materials are more widely used.

Galvanized is commonly used to cap or plug pipe ends


and to test piping systems because it is less expensive
than brass.
Brass fittings are used where poor water quality is
present and galvanized materials will corrode.
Brass fittings are available with chrome plating.
Used when installed in finished locations.

Galvanized and Brass

PVC
PVC used for water distribution is limited to installation
on the exterior of a residential building.
Typically terminates at a maximum of 5-0 inside the house.

The flow radius of fittings are more compact than


DWV, and the socket of a fitting is deeper.
PVC adapters are only offered with plastic threads.
PVC female adapters should not be screwed over
metal male adapters.
Prevents cracking or splitting of the PVC adapter.

PVC

Drainage Waste and Vents


Drainage waste and vent represents the combined
drainage and vent systems.
Many codes vary on the installation of a drainage
system and vent system, but the material types can
be the same for both systems.
Fittings in the installation of a DWV system are
designed to allow wastewater and sewage to flow
with little resistance out of a drainage system by
gravity.

DWV Fitting Materials


Material

Abbreviation

Residential Use

DWV Polyvinyl Chloride

DWV PVC

Extensively throughout USA

DWV Acrylonitrile Butadiene


Styrene

DWV ABS

Some states in USA

No-hub Cast Iron

NHCI

Vertical stacks for noise


control

Service Weight Cast Iron

SVCI

Rarely

Galvanized

Galv.

Rarely

DWV Copper

Type DWV

Rarely

Wye
A wye has three connections and is named
based on its similarity to the letter Y.
The side outlet connection is known as a
branch.
The 45 branch creates a direction of flow to
eliminate disturbance of wastewater within a
DWV piping system.

Wye

Combo
Combo is a trade name for a three-sided fitting that
creates a long radius 90 branch (side inlet) that is
perpendicular to the run.
Manufactured to eliminate having to create a single fitting
by combining a wye and 45.

A cast iron 45 fitting is also known as a 1/8th


bend, and a combo is commonly known as a
combo wye and 1/8th bend.
A combo is used extensively in the drainage
system with the branch and run in the vertical or
horizontal positions.

Combo

Sanitary Tee
A sanitary tee is a compact fitting with three
connections used in drainage and vent systems.
The side connection known as the branch creates
a standard radius that is a 90 angle from the run.
The branch has a direction of flow to direct
wastewater and sewage through a drainage
system.
Its use is strictly regulated by code pertaining to the
installation positioning based on the flow direction.

Sanitary Tee

Sanitary Cross
A sanitary cross has four connections with two as
branches and has the same flow pattern as a
sanitary tee.
It is used to connect fixtures that are located side
by side and back to back.
Most codes limit the type of fixtures that can
connect into the two branches, and a sanitary cross
is regulated the same as a sanitary tee.

Twin Elbow
A twin elbow has the same flow pattern as a
sanitary tee, sanitary cross, and a standard
90 elbow.
It is called a double 1/4 bend when ordering
cast iron materials.
Its name is derived from being two 90
fittings uniquely manufactured to connect
back-to-back fixtures in a confined space.

Twin Elbow

Test Tee
Cannot receive discharge from the drain.
Used to provide access for cleaning and is
often referred to as the cleanout tee.
A test tee has three connections.

Test Tee

Cleanout
A cleanout is installed throughout a DWV system to
provide access into the piping system for clearing
obstructions.
A cleanout is a female adapter and a threaded plug
used together to create a single fitting.
The plug is often called a cleanout cover.
Codes dictate the installation locations and sizing
of cleanouts.
Plastic types are offered in a street-type design.

Cleanout

Closet Bend
It is specifically used as the last fitting of a drainage
system serving a toilet.
The closet bend is a reducing 90 fitting.
The 4 side of the closet bend can only be installed
vertically with the 3 piping installed horizontally.
A street version of this style is offered in plastic
materials with the 4 size as the street side of the
fitting and the 3 side having a hub.

Closet Bend

Heel Inlet 90
A heel inlet 90 is a specialty DWV fitting and is
referred to as a heel outlet fitting by a plumber.
It can only be used in specific locations and is a DWV
90 with a branch located at the heel of the bend.
The standard radius design is only offered as a 4 2,
3 2, and 3 1-1/2 size in plastic and 3 2 in nohub cast iron.
A long sweep version is available in plastic materials,
but the sizing is limited to 3 2 and 3 1-1/2.

Heal Inlet 90

Closet Flange
A toilet is also known as a water closet, and the flange
that connects the toilet to the drainage system is
called a closet flange.
PVC, ABS, and cast iron are materials commonly used to
manufacture closet flanges.

Most flanges have slots that allow adjustment of the


closet bolts and also have fixed slot locations that do
not allow adjustment of the closet bolts.
A wax seal prevents harmful sewer gases from
entering occupied areas and seals the connection
between the toilet and the closet flange.

Closet Flange

P-Trap
Every fixture must be served with a protective
water seal to prevent harmful sewer gas from
entering an occupied space.
A p-trap gets its name from its appearance, which
resembles the letter P, and is installed receiving the
outlet flow of water from a fixture.
P-traps are available in a variety of styles, which
include one-piece and two-piece designs.

P-Trap

Trap Adaptor
A slip-joint p-trap is tubular size and has a smaller
outside diameter as the connecting DWV pipe.
The fitting for connecting tubular sizes to DWV pipe
sizes is known as a trap adapter; also referred to
as a desanco.
A trap adapter is typically installed at the fixture
installation phase of a project.
Cast iron, copper, and galvanized piping systems
use a brass trap adapter.

Trap Adapter

PVC
One of the most widely used products for
DWV installation.
PVC fittings are made from the same
materials as the pipe.
All DWV fittings are identified on the side as
DWV PVC designs.

ABS
ABS is black and easily distinguished from
white PVC.
ABS fitting designs and code regulations
are the same as those for PVC.
Connections must be made with approved
adapters.
Most codes require the use of glue
specifically designed for ABS.

Cast Iron
Cast iron fittings are more expensive and
take longer to install.
DWV fittings must comply with all the same
code regulations as for other DWV material
types.
Generally used in commercial, as opposed
to residential, plumbing.

Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing Fittings


Used for gas distribution systems.
Uses unique self-flaring fittings not
compatible and not interchangeable with
other tubing.
Traditional fitting designs, such as male
adapters, couplings, and tees are used with
CSST.

CSST Fitting Connection

Summary
Most fittings are manufactured with the same
material as the connecting pipe.
Brass fittings can be interchangeable with
numerous piping materials.
Threaded fittings can be used to connect
different material types.
Plumbing codes dictate that solvent-welded
fittings can only be used with compatible pipe.

Summary
PEX fittings are specifically designed for the type of
PEX connections utilized.
Cast iron fittings are specifically designed for either
NH or SV pipe.
Dissimilar metal connections can cause corrosion and
must be protected against electrolysis.
DWV fittings have a flow pattern and plumbing codes
dictate their use.
DWV fittings are not designed for use with pressure
piping systems.

Summary
Water piping fittings have more compact design than
DWV fittings.
Black steel fittings cannot be installed in a potable
water system.
A male adapter has external threads and a female
adapter has internal threads.
A street fitting design has one end that is the same
outside diameter as the connecting pipe.
A fitting socket is also known as the hub.