Valves and fittings are essential to piping and plumbing projects. You can find any type of pipe fitting you need from pipe supply stores and plumbing centers. Here are some important terms to keep in mind.
Coupling - A fitting used to connect two sections of pipe.
Reducer - Works like a coupling but reduces the size of the piping.
Elbow - A pipe fitting that creates an angle to change the direction of the piping. Elbows usually exhibit an angle of 45 or 90 degrees.
Tee - A common type of pipe fitting in a T-shape, with two outlets at right angles to a central line. Use a tee if you need to change the direction of your pipe flow or connect unlike diameters.
Union - A fitting that is used to connect piping sections, and allows for easy disconnection. Union fittings consist of a female end, a male end, and a nut that holds them together when it is tightened.
Plug - A piece that closes off the end of a pipe by screwing or attaching to a male end.
Valve - A fitting that regulates the flow of gas, liquid or other substance through a pipe. A handle is often attached to a valve to manually shut it on or off. Valves are available at pipe supply stores.
Check Valve - A type of valve that allows a fluid to run in one direction only. Check valves are found in heating systems and sprinklers.
Pressure Regulator Valve - A valve that cuts off water or gas flow when it senses a certain pressure. It is an important component for propane devices.
Gate Valve - Uses a gate or wedge to block or allow water flow. These may be seen on hot water pipes and fire hydrants.
Valves and fittings are commonly needed for a number of plumbing and industrial tasks. While valves are typically used to regulate the flow and pressure of fluids or gases, fittings are connectors for pipes, which can be made from copper, PVC, or stainless steel. There are manufacturers located around the world that produce these products, and supply them to distributors in the United States. Depending on what the job or task is, different types of valves and fittings are utilized.
Valves and fittings are often used in hydraulic machinery. The valves control compression from heat or steam, and can be adjusted to release more or less. It is common to see valves and fittings used in residential homes. These are crucial aspects of plumbing systems. Copper, brass or PVC pipes are equipped with proper fittings and valves, which control water flow through the home. For instance, sometimes a bulkhead fitting is used in order to permit the free flow of liquids like water that fill or drain a tank. These are often made from PVC, and are used on fish tanks or aquariums. Pneumatic valves are used for gas regulation in homes and commercial buildings, while certain ball plugs are used in bathroom toilets. Most of these items are manufactured and then sold at wholesale price to retailers.
Be sure to check online in order to learn a lot more about retail valves and fittings used to regulate water pressure, and the flow of liquids through all kinds of pipes.