Understanding the Different Types of CPVC Pipe and Pipe Fittings

An Overview of CPVC Pipe

CPVC pipe is simply any pipe made from CPVC. Couplings look like sections of pipe, but they are actually CPVC pipe fittings. They’ll be slide over pipe that is broken or leaking before being glued into place, or it may be used to help join two pieces of pipe.

An Overview of CPVC Pipe Fittings

Depending on where you draw the dividing lines, there are as many as 14 different types of CPVC pipe fittings. We’ll focus on the largest categories of pipe fittings and explain how they are used.

Adapters

Adapters are used to connect different types of pipe. They may be used to connect CPVC pipe to metal or PVC pipe. And there are CPVC pipe adapters that turn female pipe into male pipe and vice versa. In other cases, the CPVC pipe fitting is glued onto an end of pipe to create a screw-on point for additional pipe fittings.

Reducers

A reducer is used to reduce the space through which the fluid is flowing. Concentric reducers connect pipes with the same axis or diameter. Eccentric reducers join pipes with different diameters. For example, connecting a six inch pipe to a four inch diameter pipe would involve an eccentric reducer.

Barbs

Barbs specifically exist to connect hoses to pipes. They’re often made from metal, but hot water barbs can be made from CPVC pipe. And when you’re dealing with CPVC pipe, that’s ideal.

Caps / Plugs

Both caps and plugs close up pipe openings, which is why we’re treating them as if they’re part of one category. What’s the difference? Plugs are defined as having male threads, while caps have female threads. They may be screwed into place, soldered, or glued.

Couplings / Unions

Couplings allow you to connect pipe that has the same diameter and have the same diameter. You’ll use couplings to connect the pipes together to create one, long continuous stretch of pipe. They are sometimes used to fix leaking or broken pipe.

Unions are similar to couplings. They’re used to connect pipe, too, but the difference is that they’re made so that you can easily remove one piece of pipe for maintenance. If you may need to remove the pipe to clear a blockage, you’ll use a union instead of a coupling at the joint.

Crosses / Tees

Crosses are four way connections. They may have three inlets and one outlet or vice versa. Because they are the connection point for four pipes, they’re typically under a lot of stress. The preferred choice is a Tee or “T”. These have three connections. The fittings could have the same dimensions for all three connections or have one or two of different sizes. Because they’re not subject to as much turbulence or stress, they’re more often found in water distribution networks, sending water to toilets and sinks, in place of crosses. Crosses are only commonly found in sprinkler systems.

Nipples

Nipples are used to connect two pipe fittings. If the nipple has continuous threading, it is called a closed nipple. Double tapped bushings are a type of nipple, but they have threading on both their interior and exterior. This is why it is called double-tapped.

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