Pipes come in all sorts of sizes but eventually they need to connect. And sometimes they need to connect with each other. While the connections are sometimes straight, at other times they may take a turn in direction. For those situations, pipe fittings help to connect pipes of different sizes and diameters and help lines to change direction, often abruptly. And in the case of underground sprinklers, an opening needs to be in place for the sprinkler head.
Pipe fittings, like pipes themselves, come in different types of material. They can be made of strainless steel, copper, or PVC (which is short for polyvinyl chloride) to name a few. While many are rounded, there are other types of fittings. Male and female, plain end bell or socket, pipe clamp ends, or ribs are just a few. They are as varied as the pipes they connect and have varied requirements for strength depending upon the pipes and the material that they are expected to funnel, whether it is solid or liquid.
The best sources of pipe fittings are the local hardware or plumbing store. While it is sometimes possible to mix materials for pipes and the fitting it is not recommended. Most times the material for the fitting should match the material used for the existing pipes. Depending upon whether the goal is to join two full pipes or to repair a crack in an existing pipe without digging out the entirety of the system, purchasing a threading dies may also be recommended. Large retail stores may provide the items that a person needs but a plumbing store might be required for unusual prospects such as joining two pipes of different diameters.
Cost of pipe fittings varies by material and purpose. While there are exceptions, PVC pipe fittings typically cost less (in the range of a few dollars) than do stainless steel fittings, which can costs about $6 or $7. A specialized fitting, like those for infrared tube heaters, can cost as much as $80 or more. These also often require shopping at very specialized stores or online, which can add costs for shipping and handling. Depending upon a person’s budget shopping for these items in mass when they are on sale can save not only considerable money, but time later on as they will be available when they are needed and will not require a special trip to the plumbing store to obtain them.