Types of Plumbing Fittings

What Is Plumbing Fittings?

Pipe fitting is the process of connecting various pipes and tubes to form a fluid-carrying system. It involves selecting, cutting, and connecting pipes and fittings to meet the desired specifications and requirements of a piping system, such as flow rate, pressure, and temperature.

The fittings can be elbows, tees, reducers, flanges, valves, and other components that are used to control the direction, distribution, and regulation of the fluid being transported.

Types of Plumbing Fittings Names and Pictures

Following are different plumbing fitting types,

1. Adaptor

Types of Plumbing Fittings 18

Adaptors are mainly used for extending pipe runs in the forward direction with the same or different diameters. By using an adapter we can connect two dissimilar pipes in the same run.

Adaptors’ function is generally similar to pipe couplings, with the difference that they connect pipes of different types, one of which is an IPS (Iron Pipe Size).

It may have female or male IPS or threads on one end of the opposite gender on the other end, which needs to be welded or soldered onto a smaller pipe. Adapters can be used for various utilities, but they are typically used to connect different pipes to fixtures.

2. Barb

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A barb is generally used to connect hoses to pipes.

It is essential to have a male at one end and on the other end a barbed tube, which is a ridged and tapered cone.

Plastic barbs are used when it needs to carry cold water and brass if they carry hot water.

3. Coupling

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It is mainly used to connect two piles of the same diameter. Couplings can also be used to fix pile leakage or broken problem.

Couplings have two main types named compression coupling and slip coupling. Compression coupling is mostly used to connect two pipes and it is able to prevent leakage by the arrangement of gaskets or rubber seals on both sides, otherwise, glue is provided.

Slip coupling has two pipes that are arranged as one another. It is made up such that the inner pipe can slide up to some length. So, we can solve the problem of long-length damaged pipe by slip coupling.

Read More: Plumbing Valves and Types of Plumbing Valves

4. Cross-type

Cross type in pipe Fittings
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Cross-type pipe fitting has 4 vents or openings in all 4 directions and there are perpendicular to each other. This type of fitting is used when there are 4 pipes that are meeting at the same point.

These types of pipe fitting must be made from strong material as it has to bear more stress. These stresses come from the point where all 4 pipes connect from different directions.  These types of pipe fitting are majorly used in the sprinkler system.

5. Double-Tapped Bushing

Double Tapped Bushing
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The double-tapped bushing is one type of nipple itself, but it has to thread on both the inside and the outside.

It is named double-tapped bushing because its center hole is threaded (tapped) from both the top and bottom.

 It has only a female end. (Types of Pipe Fittings)

6. Elbow

Elbows in Pipe Fittings
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It is generally used to change the direction of the pipe run. Elbows are available at different angles 22.5º 45 º and 90 º. 

Normal types of elbows are used for a pipe of the same diameter and reducer types of elbows are used when diversion is to be done for a pipe of different diameters.

They are made from different materials. Elbows are mostly available with female threads and we can fix them by butt or socket welding also.

7. Mechanical Sleeve

Mechanical Sleeve
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Mechanical pipe sleeves are generally used to connect two pipes by a screw or other fixtures. This arrangement makes it easy to fix and repair.

The mechanical sleeves are mostly manufactured from a rubber material that is inserted inside a metal jacket (stainless steel clamp).

As we tighten the mechanical sleeves claim, it compresses the rubber inside to make a tight seal. (Types of Pipe Fittings)

8. Nipple

Nipple in Pipe Fitting
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It is the most useful pipe fixture in the plumbing system. The nipple is not connected to two pipes, but it connects two pipe fittings together.

It is a small pipe fitting that can be made of metals such as copper, brass, steel, or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC).

A nipple with continuous threading, then it is called a closed nipple. The nipple is available in males and comes in varying lengths.

9. Reducer

Reducer in pipe Fitting
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The fitting used to make a larger flow area smaller is called a reducer. It has two types one is a concentric reducer that joins two pipes on the same axis, and the eccentric reducer is used to join pipes of different diameters.

The concentric reducer mostly has a cone shape while eccentric reducers look somewhat like bells with offset center lines. They prevent air bubbles in the pipes. (Types of Pipe Fittings)

10. Tee

Tee in Pipe Fitting
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It is shaped like the letter “T.” it has an inlet and outlet. Tees are available in different sizes and are considered sturdier than the cross fitting.

A diverter type of Tee is used in heating systems that use water. These Tees have directional markings and need to be installed correctly for the system to operate.

11. Union

Union in Pipe Fittings
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It can have both male and female threads. Union is somehow similar to couplings, but the difference is unions are easy to remove making them convenient for maintenance or a planned future replacement.

A coupling nature is more permanent and needs to be cut out.

Generally, it has three parts:  nut, male end, and female end. It is mainly utilized to join the male and female ends.

12. Valve

Valves in Pipe Fitting
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Valves allow mainly used to regular or stop the flow of fluid in a pipe. There are various types of valves such as throttling, non-return, and isolation. Non-return valves only allow the liquid to flow in one direction and are often found in drains. They’re also called check valves.

Isolation valves are an important part of the plumbing system so that the system can be serviced or maintained.

These valves have the nature of being left open or left closed all the time. However, they are mostly used in an emergency, they should be checked now and then to see if they’re operational.

Throttling valves are likely used to control the pressure and amount of fluid. Because this valve experiences the stresses mechanism, they tend to wear out faster than other valves. Generally, these types of valves are installed near isolation valves.

13. Wye

Wye in Pipe Fittings
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Wyes type of pipe fitting resembles the letter “Y,” this fitting is made to connect three pipes.

Wye fittings permit the pipes to change their elevations and branch out into freshwater lines or drains.

Wyes fittings are somehow similar to Tee but the smoother angling reduces friction and turbulence in the water. It is mainly used to connect a vertical drain pipe to a horizontal one.

14. Cap

Caps in Pipe Fittings
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It has almost a similar utility to a plug.

But the main difference is that the plug contains male threads and the cap contains female threads which are screws on the male thread of the pipe.

They are manufactured from different materials like rubber, copper, steel, plastic, etc.

15. Olet

Olets in Pipe Fittings
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Olets types of pipe fitting are generally utilized where there are standard sizes of fittings that are not suitable for our requirements. If there is inlet pipe size is larger compared to outlet pipes in t-sections then also Olets are used.

There are different types of lots available. Some important types of lots are:

  • Butt-Weldolet
  • Socket weld Olet
  • Threaded outlet
  • Elbow olet

16. Plug

PVC Plug
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The plug is one of the most important accessories of a plumbing system which is generally used to close pipe openings during inspections and repairs.

Plug most have male threads.


In conclusion, pipe fitting is an important aspect of any plumbing system as it ensures the proper flow and distribution of liquids and gases.

There are several types of pipe fittings available, each with specific functions, such as changing the direction of a pipe, connecting pipes together, reducing the diameter of a pipe, and closing off the end of a pipe.

When choosing the right pipe fittings for a plumbing system, it is important to consider factors such as the size and type of pipes, the pressure, temperature, and fluid type, and the overall design of the plumbing system.

Proper selection and installation of pipe fittings can ensure the longevity, efficiency, and safety of a plumbing system.


What are plumbing fittings?

Plumbing fittings are components used to connect pipes and regulate water flow in a plumbing system. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are made from different materials, such as plastic, brass, and copper.

What are the types of plumbing fittings discussed in the article?

The article discusses several types of plumbing fittings, including couplings, elbows, tees, crosses, unions, nipples, and flanges.

What is an elbow?

An elbow is a type of plumbing fitting used to change the direction of water flow in a plumbing system. They come in different angles, such as 45 or 90 degrees, and can be made from different materials.

What is a flange?

A flange is a type of plumbing fitting used to connect pipes or fittings to equipment or other objects. They are typically used in areas where pipes need to be securely fastened to prevent movement or leaks.

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2 thoughts on “Types of Plumbing Fittings”

  1. Pingback: Building Construction Process from Start to Finish – INTERESTING ENGINEERING

  2. It helped when you mentioned that a reducer is the fitting used to make a larger flow area smaller. My uncle mentioned to me last night that he is hoping to find a lay flat hose coupler for his project and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell him that he should consult a trusted industrial and manufacturing company as they can answer all his inquiries.

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