15 PVC Pipe Fittings: Names and Images

Pipe fittings need money, materials, time, and tools to install which is why it is important to choose wisely. Certain standard codes are followed while designing and manufacturing a piping system. ASME, API, AWWA, and MSS are some of the organizations that promote these standards. Before getting into the topic of PVC pipe fittings: names and images, let’s read what a pipe fitting is.

What Is a Pipe Fitting?

Pipe systems use fittings to connect the straight sections of tubes or pipes. These fittings come in different shapes and sizes. Pipe fittings facilitate regular fluid flow and are widely used in plumbing to manipulate the flow of liquid, gas, or water through commercial or domestic pipe systems.

Names of PVC Pipe Fitting Material Names in Your House

Here’s a list of the names of PVC pipe fittings you need to know:

  1. Adapter
  2. Coupling
  3. Elbow
  4. Nipple
  5. Reducer
  6. Union
  7. Tee
  8. Diverter tee
  9. Cap
  10. Cross
  11. Double-tapped bushing
  12. Barb
  13. Plug
  14. Valve

Let’s Get to the Details!

Listed below are the PVC pipe fittings name list that is usually used in pressurized piping systems which is why they are said to be commonly used.

1. Adapter

The term ‘adapter’ generally refers to a fitting that interfaces two dissimilar pipe parts. They are also sometimes called reducing couplings and have slip sockets or threaded socket ends to enable the connection between pipes. They can be either female or male-threaded which are otherwise known as a spigot or socket respectively. It has types, namely,

  1. Expansion adapter: These adapters have a flexible part to absorb contraction or expansion from two dissimilar pipes.
  2. Mechanical joint (MJ) adapters: MJ adapters are used to join polyethylene pipes to some other material.
  3. Bell adapters: these are similar to MJ adapters but have a stainless steel backup ring. This ring acts as a positive seal against the mating flange.
  4. Flange adapters: Flange adapters are attached to polyethylene pipes that have a butt fusion that stiffens a junction. It allows you to bolt another flanged pipe or fitting.

2. Elbow

Elbows are installed between two pipes or tubes to facilitate a change of direction, generally a 45 or 90-degree angle. However, 22.5-degree elbows are also available. If the elbow ends differ in size, then these elbows will be called reducers or reducing elbows. Side elbows are another type of 3-ended elbows that are usually used in canopies, boxes, displays, and tents. The ends of elbows are machines to enable butt welding. They are threaded (commonly female) or socketed also.

3. Coupling

Couplings are the most inexpensive and simple PVC pipe fittings. A coupling connects or “couples” two pipes together, usually permanently. The couplings required for pipes of different sizes are called reducer, adapter, or reducing coupling. There are two types of couplings:

  1. Regular coupling: This has a small stop or a ridge internally that prevents a pipe from being inserted too deep. So, sometimes the pipes are not inserted properly which results in an unreliable connection.
  2. Slip coupling: This coupling is also called repair coupling and has no ridge or stop like the regular coupling. Thus, the installer must be careful while inserting the pipe by properly measuring the final location of the slip coupling.

4. Union

A union is the name of a PVC pipe fitting that also connects two pipes but is not permanent like the coupling fitting. You can easily disconnect this fitting even multiple times, as and when needed. It has 3 parts: male, female, and nut. The nut seals the male and female joint ends. The nut, shaped in the form of a ring, can be removed for easy maintenance and deconstruction.

Dielectric unions are another type of PVC pipe fitting that is used at the joints of pipes made of dissimilar metals such as galvanized steel and copper. This is done so to prevent galvanized corrosion from occurring between two dissimilar metals when an electrically conductive solution (tap water) passes through them.

Rotary unions are another type of PVC pipe fitting that allows mechanical rotation of one of the parts that are joined but also resists any kind of leakage.

5. Nipple

A nipple is a name given to a short stub of pipe. This short stub is usually male-threaded steel, CPVC, copper, or brass and occasionally unthreaded copper. Typically, a nipple is used to connect two female fittings of a PVC system. They are mostly made with a schedule 80 PVC as they require a tight fit even though they are also quite compatible with schedule 40 too.

6. Reducer

A reducer is used to reduce the size of the pipe. It may also refer to any fitting that changes the size of the pipe diameter. They come in two types:

  1. Concentric reducer: It joins two pipes together on the same axis. It looks like a cone.
  2. Eccentric reducer: It is used to join two pipes with different diameters. The shape of the eccentric reducer looks like bells that have offset center lines.

7. Double-tapped Bushing

Double-tapped bushings are fittings that can also function as a reducer. Its sleeve is threaded on both its outer and inner circumference but is similar to a close nipple. The difference between a reducer and a double-tapped bushing is that the latter is more compact and has a smaller female thread.

8. Tee

Tee is a type of PVC fitting with an outlet and an inlet shaped like the letter “T”. there are 3 ends: 2 are straight in line whereas the other one is on the side at a 90-degree angle. This fitting is used when two separate lines have to be split at a 90-degree angle. These tees can also connect 2 pipelines into one mainline. Most tees have slip socket ends and are sturdier than cross fittings. They come in different sizes too.

9. Diverter tee

Diverter tees are the names of PVC pipe fittings used in heating systems that concern water. They have directional markings and must be installed with precision to ensure accurate operation.

10. Cross

Cross, also known as cross branch lines or 4-way fittings. These have 3 outlets and 1 inlet or vice versa. They usually have female-threaded ends or solvent-welded sockets. They may cause stress on pipes when temperature changes occur as they connect four points. They add structural integrity to the framework and can direct fluid flow.

11. Cap

Caps are usually gas or liquid-tight and cover the open end of the pipe. The exterior of this cap could be I or U-shaped, rectangular, square, or round. It may also have a handgrip. Their job is to stop the flow and as it is at the end of a pipe, they can have either a female-threaded end or a socket end.

12. Plug

Plugs also have the same function as that caps but the difference lies in their gender. Plugs are male-threaded and are short barbed fittings that have a blank end. It can be used only with PEX piping and is sealed with a watertight PEX crimp. Instead of stopping the flow in the pipe, plugs stop the flow of fluid in the fitting. This is why they go inside the fitting.

13. Barb

A barb also called a hose barb connects tubing or flexible hoses to a pipe. They are typically male-threaded that can mate with the female threads. The other end of the barbs has either a multi or single barbed tube, which is a long tapered cone that has ridges. These ridges are inserted into the flexible hose or tubing. Barbs also have a clamp to securely attach it. If these barbs are meant to carry hot water then they are made of brass otherwise, for cold water they are made of plastic.

14. Valve

Valves regulate the flow of fluids and can be categorized by their application such as,

  • Throttling: These valves are used to control the pressure of the fluid inside a pipe. Throttling valves are designed to resist stress and wear of fluid flow. Since they usually wear out due to usage, throttling valves are typically placed near isolation valves so that they can be easily replaced or refurbished.
  • Non-return: non-return valves are also called check valves and they allow the free flow of liquid in one direction only. They can be found in sewage or drainage systems but can also be used in pressurized systems.
  • Isolation: These valves are used to detach a part of the piping system temporarily to carry out repair, maintenance, or for any other purpose. They are generally left either fully closed or fully open and can be in one place for many years and readily operable.

15. Tee Wye (TY) or Wye (Y)

TY is similar to tees but the difference lies in the angling of the branch line that reduces turbulence and friction. Wyes are usually used to attach vertical drain pipes to horizontal drain pipes. These are called so because of their T-shaped build.

What are Hydraulic Fittings?

Hydraulic systems involve high fluid pressure like hydraulic actuators for backhoes and bulldozers. The fittings used in hydraulic systems are designed for high pressure that is not experienced in general piping systems. This is the reason they are not compatible with the fittings used in usual plumbing. The hydraulic fittings resist sudden failure and high-pressure leakage.

Names of Drain-waste-vent (DWV) PVC Pipe Fittings

The fittings operate at low pressure and rely more on gravity to facilitate smooth fluid flow. DWV pipe fittings are found in drain-waste-vent systems and have smooth interiors so that no debris gets stuck to its surface. They are usually found in underground piping systems, systems disposing of groundwater, or stormwater.

  1. Slip-joint fitting
  2. Closet flange
  3. Sweep elbow
  4. Trap primer
  5. Clean-out
  6. Sanitary tee
  7. Baffle tee
  8. Combo tee
  9. Sanitary cross or double sanitary tee

The Bottom Line

Here we come to the end of the most commonly used PVC pipe fittings names and images. The names of PVC pipe fittings mentioned in this article are the ones you would use in the piping systems of your household. The DWV fittings are once used by drainage companies for massive drainage systems. You need to find the perfect fitting for the pipes in your house, to prevent leakage and frequent maintenance. Hope we helped you!

PVC Pipe Fittings Names FAQs:

1. How are PVC fittings labeled?

The sizes of PVC fittings are named by measuring the inside diameter (ID) of the PVC pipe, which is also called the ‘bore’. The outer diameter is not measured as it will have a size reading that is greater than the actual size of the PVC pipe. ID is also referred to as the nominal size, which means size “in name only”.

2. How much length do PVC fittings add?

While considering the length, you must include the distance between the extra reach and the fittings. So, if you are using a ½ inch pipe, then you must add ½ inch per end and 7/16 inches per end.

3. What do the markings on PVC pipe mean?

The markings on the side of the PVC pipe give you the readings of the size of the PVC pipe. It usually indicates the size of the PVC pipe in fraction or decimal. It will be written close to the manufacturer’s name such as 1.25 for 1-¼ “..

4. What do schedule numbers mean?

The schedule number indicates the thickness of the wall of the pipe. With the increase in the thickness of the wall, the schedule number also increases. Here are some examples,
  • Pipe size: 1.000” Schedule 40 The thickness of wall: 0.133”/3.378 mm
  • Pipe size: 1.000” Schedule 80 The thickness of wall: 0.179”/5.547 mm
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