Different types of pipe fittings

Once you understand what a pipe fitting is, you can appreciate that there’s a need for different types of pipe fitting – to fit different types of pipes, used for different jobs.

Pipe fittings are the parts that connect pipe sections either together or to other components in a variety of configurations.

According to A.M.J. Metal Roofing in Brisbane:

“The type of pipe fitting needed for a job will largely be determined by:

  • the connection type required
  • the job that the pipe fitting needs to do”


You’ll hear people talking about pipes, tubes and hoses. Although all of these describe exactly what you’re likely to be visualizing – long hollow cylinders – tubes and pipes are actually far more similar than hoses.

  • Hoses are usually more flexible and made up of many layers of different materials, dependent upon their usage.
  • Pipes and their fittings are defined with nominal rather than exact dimensions. Pipes are primarily used to transport fluids.
  • Tubes have actual and rated dimensions that are the same. Tubes can be used to transport fluids however they can also be used structurally.

Types of Pipe Fittings:

There are different way to connect pipes and pipe fittings and the best option will depend on how the pipe is being used and what you need to be achieved.

Some of the most popular type of pipe fittings include:

1. Compression Fittings

These connect pipes using compression on a gasket, ring or ferrule. It’s made by tightening a nut onto the fitting over the piping and ferrule. This compresses and secures the pipe inside.

The advantage of these fittings (usually used for metal on metal connections) is that they generally do not require tools to assemble them and are therefore quick and simple to work with. They do not however have the capacity to withstand very high pressures.

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2. Bite Type Fittings

Another type of compressive fitting, these have a sharpened ferrule which bites the pipe when it’s compressed – therefore providing a seal. They can provide a strong connection which can withstand higher pressure connections than standard compression fittings.

3. Mechanical Grip Fittings

If you need a strong fitting that will provide good resistance to mechanical vibrations and withstand being reassembled without damage, you may want to try using mechanical grip fittings.

These are made up of two ferrules – the back ferrule grips the pipe whilst also pressing against the front ferrule. This spring loads the front ferrule and a seal is created between the piping and fitting body.

4. Flare Fittings

This type of fitting has a specially designed flared or coned end which the pipe is installed into using special tools. This provides a deep seal meaning that flare fittings are able to withstand high pressures.

5. Threaded Fittings

An intricate yet highly effective design threaded fittings have screw threads which are built in grooves that lie on either their inner or outdoor services.

These grooves are designed to accept piping with matching threads.

The threads can be either:

  • straight threads (these provide a connection but no seal)
  • tapered threads (these provide a tight seal to withstand gases or fluids under pressure)
  • dry fit threads (these are exact threads that do not require any additional sealant)

The Right Choice for You

There are a vast range of pipe fittings available and connections are becoming ever more effective whilst remaining simple to install.

Always seek expert advice to find the right choice for you and consider the specific application of the pipe that you need to connect before deciding on the best fittings.

If you’re looking for more information about piping, ask the pipe fitting experts here: www.amjmetalroofing.com.au

What are pipe fittings and how do they work

Not entirely sure what a pipe fitting is? Confused as to whether you really need to know what a pipe fitting is?!

Well, rest assured we can simplify things for you and give you the heads up on what exactly you need to know.

You’ll be grateful for having a clear idea of the pipe fittings relevant to you just in case.

What are pipe fittings?

Pipe fittings are the parts that connect the sections of pipe together, or to other components in inline, offset, multiport or mounting configurations.

You can buy pipe fittings from home improvement stores and plumbing shops. For more information check out : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piping_and_plumbing_fitting

Within your home, you’ll find existing pipe fittings everywhere once you start to look:

  • Sprinkler systems
  • U turns under the bathroom sink
  • In the water lines needed for your washer and dryer

Pipelines (made from a variety of materials including steel, copper and CPVC) are assembled in pieces with pipe fittings.

The combination allows water and gas lines to run wherever you need them to go – around corners, over ceilings or under your home.

The connection

You may be wondering how exactly pipe fittings connect to the pipes themselves. In fact, there are two ways that this can be done:

  • By Threads – used for metal pipes
  • By slip fit – generally used for plastic pipes

Threaded pipes can be screwed together, whilst slip fit pipes have sleeves that slip into one another.

Threaded and Slip Fit pipe fittings are further divided, into male and female connectors.

  • Male Threaded Pipe Fittings: the threads are on the outside and designed to screw into the inside of a pipe end of larger diameter with internal threading
  • Female Threaded Pipe Fittings: these threads are on the inside and are designed to receive male threaded fittings
  • Male Slip Fit: these do not have any threads and simply fit into the female sleeve which is slightly larger
  • Female Slip Fit: again, these do not have any threads but are designed to receive the narrower male slip fit.

With any type of pipe fitting, it’s always crucial that the ends are slightly larger than the rest of the pipe.

This ensures that connections can be achieved without the risk of narrowing the inner diameter of the pipe which would affect the flow’s consistency.

Australian Pipeline Association

Always Check

It’s important with any pipe work you may be doing to always exercise caution. Check local laws and always consult with local water, telephone or cable company for work that needs to be carried out underground.

You’ll also always need to use the right material for the job. There are specific types of pipe that are approved to carry pressurized air and gas, whilst others are ideal for drinking water.

Choosing the correct material for your pipe fittings ensures safety and efficiency.