Pipe fittings come in a range of materials, and are suited to a wide variety of purposes. From PVC to stainless steel, couplings to elbow fittings, many options exist. When searching for a pipe fitting through a distributor, it can be helpful to know common terminology.
Flare Connection - A type of connection which requires the end of the pipe to be shaped into flanges, then custom-fit to a connector. This type of connection is well-suited to soft copper pipe and aluminum. It is a difficult type of connection to make, but holds up well over time.
Solder Fittings - A type of connection used with hard copper pipes. The connection fits over the end of the tube, and is then soldered in place. These are very durable connections.
Compression Connections - A coupling technique used with hard copper and aluminum. Pressure is applied on the fitting to bend the tube snugly against the coupling. This creates a tight seal. Compression connections may require tightening over time to maintain the seal.
Crimped Fittings - Also called pressed fittings. These are similar to compression connections, but include a sealant. When the pipe and the fitting are tightly clamped, the sealant forms an extremely durable connection between the two pieces.
Flange Fittings - Flanges hold up well under extreme pressure. These fittings may be used for hydraulic systems, or for applications like connecting PVC piping to a hose.
Black Iron Pipe - Also called steel pipe. This was historically used for plumbing for water, as well as flammable gas. Today it is still commonly used for flammable gases, as well as HVAC gases. Fittings are usually attached by threaded ends.
If you work for a construction contractor or plumbing company that frequently uses pipe fittings, then you might need the services of a pipe fittings fabricator. One of the big advantages of using a pipe fittings supplier instead of a pipe fittings retailer is that you can get deep discounts for your bulk orders. This can make a significant difference in the amount of money that you spend on pipe fittings and accessories. When you contact the pipe fittings dealers, you will need know what questions to ask them so that you can decide which companies are right for you. First, find out how long the companies have been in business. Those with several years of experience should have a wide range of pvc, copper, and steel pipe fittings that can be used for home and office. Ask the supplier if they have a catalog so that you can look at the steel, copper, and pvc fittings, couplings, welding materials, fitters, adhesives, water pipes, and grooved pipes that they have in stock. If the company has an online catalog, then you will not need to wait for one to come to you in the mail. You can start looking at their inventory immediately to see if they have the pipe fittings you need for your home, office, or irrigation project. Ask the companies if they can give you a written quote for the products that you want. Be sure to ask them if they quote includes services like delivery so that you can compare the costs of using the different distributors.