High pressure plumbing fittings are used in pipe and plumbing systems to connect pipes or tubing sections. The fittings are usually made from the same material as the pipes or tubing they connect, like copper, steel or PVC. Depending on the type, they sometimes require special tools or methods to install. Read on to learn about the various kinds of plumbing fittings and how to reconnect high pressure models.
Different Types of Fittings
There are different types of fittings.
Elbow fitting - Installed between 2 pipes to allow a change of direction (usually at 45 or 90 degrees)
Street elbow fitting - Basically the same as an elbow, but with a different connection type
Tee fitting - Commonly used to combine or split fluid flow
Cross fitting - Just like a tee, but with 4 ways (one inlet and three outlets or vice versa)
Cap fitting - Usually covers the end of a pipe
There are different connection methods used for connecting fittings as well. They are discussed below.
A threaded pipe is a pipe with a screw-threaded end. This is usually done with a nipple fitting. A nipple fitting is a short piece of pipe, usually provided with a male pipe thread at each end, for connecting two pipes. A wrench is used to position the nipple into a pipe, and screw it there. Once in place, the next pipe will be aligned with the fitting, and just rotated around it.
The flare tools are used to spread the end of a tubing section outwards. Then, the flare nut is used to compress that bell-shaped end onto a male fitting. This type of connections is very reliable in time. It is generally used in copper tubing.
Sweat fittings are used for this, and the connection is basically soldering pipes together. Place the fitting together, the joint is then heated using a torch, and the solder is melted into the connection. This is the most popular choice for water supply lines.
Install the ring onto the pipe and inside the fitting, creating a seal. Main disadvantage is that they take longer to make, and over time need retightening to prevent leaks.
Crimped and Pressed Connection
These connection types use special fittings which are permanently attached to the tubing with the help of a powered crimper. Slide the fittings, which usually have a sealant inside, over the tubing to be connected. Thousands of pounds of force per square inch of pressure are applied to deform the fitting and compress it against the inner tubing to creating a very tight seal. The advantages in this type of connections are that they don’t use an open flame, the visual aspect is probably the best, and they are the most reliable (they should last as long as the tubing itself.). Disadvantages are that the necessary fittings are harder to find than other fittings, and cost slightly more.