Plumbing: Pipe Fitting

SKU: RVI-11512Duration: 20 Minutes

A thorough understanding of plumbing systems is not possible without knowledge of the importance of fittings. While fittings are small and seldom seen, their importance cannot be overstated. Fittings provide the accessories to complete a plumbing system. Couplings allow multiple pipe sections to be connected. Elbows provide the mechanism for pipes to change direction. Unions are essential for easily disassembling plumbing systems for maintenance and repair. Plastic, steel and copper water piping systems will be covered, for waste systems plastic and cast-iron piping will be discussed. The unique connection methods for each piping material will be reviewed. While there are dozens of fittings available to the plumber only the most common ones will be presented including, couplings, elbows, unions, nipples and reducers. The cause of galvanic corrosion will be examined along with the fitting that prevents this type of corrosion. At the conclusion of this training you will be able to describe the connection method of various pipe materials and the tools and techniques required. You will be able to identify and describe a "street ell" and a "dielectric union". You will become aware of troubling procedures for leaking unions. Finally information on drain piping and the connection methods using "no-hub" fittings will be presented.

Course Details


Training Time: 20 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Learning Objectives

  • Identify types of pipes and their applications in commercial building
  • Name the tool used to cut threads on galvanized pipe
  • Compare and contrast common types of fittings
  • Identify a street elbow fitting
  • Recall when galvanic corrosion occurs
  • Explain what should be done when confronted with a leaky union

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What are the three types of water distribution piping?
The three types of water distribution piping are plastic, steel and copper. The most common connection methods used are gluing for plastic, threading for steel, and sweating or soldering for copper.

What are the three types of copper piping?
Type K has the greatest wall thickness of the three copper pipe types and is available in both solid and flexible piping. Type L is not as thick a Type K, but is often used in domestic plumbing applications where strength this required, such as underground. Type M has the thinnest wall thickness of the three types of copper pipe, and is often used in protected locations such as behind sheetrock.

What is the purpose of elbow fittings?
Elbows are simply used for a change of direction for the piping run. The most popular are 90, 45, and 22 ½ degrees. An elbow that changes from male to female or vice versa is called a street elbow or simply a street ell.

What can be an alternative method to the traditional sweating joining process?
An alternative method to the traditional sweating joining process is mechanical press fittings. In this process specialized fittings are attached to copper pipe by means of a press-on tool that applies pressure to the fitting making a permanent connection.

How would you prepare copper pipe for sweating?
To prepare copper pipe for sweating, the end of the pipe and inside of the fitting must be clean from foreign matter. Sandpaper or emery cloth is needed to clean and roughen up the pipe end. A wire brush used on the inside of the fitting accomplishes the same purpose.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

The joining method for steel pipe presented here will be threading. Threading can be accomplished with a hand threader or a powered threading machine. For small projects and few connections, a hand threader is more than adequate. However, for larger high volume work a power threader is essential. The process for threading black steel pipe starts with making a clean square cut. If properly setup in the threading machine obtaining a clean cut is almost automatic. The pipe will then need to be reamed to clean up any sharp burrs or edges. With the proper die in the threading machine, threading the pipe takes place. Liberal amounts of oil shall be used to lubricate the pipe to protect the dies from overheating. After the pipe has been cleaned of oil and burrs, apply pipe dope, followed by Teflon tape. The fitting is now ready to be attached to the pipe.
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