What Is Plumbing?
Plumbing is a particular system which conveys various liquefied substances such as water, wastewater, rainwater & sewage wastewater for a wide range of applications. The conveyance of such liquid matters in a plumbing system is possible using various components such as pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, etc. In this article, different types of pipe joints used in plumbing systems are discussed.
The plumbing systems are used commonly for the purposes like delivery of potable water and removal of wastewater. But the system is not limited to the above-stated uses only. It has a wide range of applications and uses.
The word “plumbing” is derived from the Latin word for lead, plum bum; because the first effective pipes used, were made up of lead, which was used in the Roman era.
Types Of Pipe Joints Used In Plumbing
One of the important components of the plumbing system is the joint. The main function of a joint is to connect two or more pipes and form a conveyance channel or a system of pipes for an easy and smooth movement of the fluids.
There is an assorted variety of joints used in the plumbing system. But the selection of an appropriate joint for a pipe is based on several factors such as the size of pipe, material of the pipe, the pressure of flow in the pipe, etc.
Let us see the types of pipe joints in detail below.
Various types of pipe joints used in the plumbing system are as follows:-
- Threaded joint
- Soldered joint
- Grooved joint
- Flanged joint
- Welded joint (Butt weld & socket weld)
- Brazed joint
- Compression joint
- Push-fit joint
- Hep2o joint
Threaded joint means, the pipes are connected using the screw mechanism. Each of the pipes is threaded at its end. One pipe has threads on the outer surface and the second one has threads on its inner area. Threading is possible on various types of pipes such as Galvanised Iron (G.I.) pipes, Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes, cast iron pipes, and copper pipes.
Threaded pipes are available in various sizes ranging from 6 mm diameter to 300 mm diameter. The threaded pipes are not suitable for a higher pressure & temperature. So it is used where there is a low temperature and pressure.
A process of joining two different metals, here pipes, to form a single element by melting the metal above 600 degrees Fahrenheit which cools to form a strong electric bond, is known as soldering.
In these types of pipe joints, the pipes are to be connected with metal at a minimum temperature of 600 degrees Fahrenheit. When these pipes are cooled down, it forms a strong bond.
Soldering joints are usually done in copper pipes & copper alloy pipes. For soldering the pipes trained labors are required. The soldered joints have lower mechanical strength, comparatively.
In these types of pipe joints, the pipes are joined together by, making a groove on each pipe at its end with a grooving machine. A gasket of rubber is fitted over the end of two pipes. Also a two-part coupling is fitted around it using bolts and nuts.
The rubber gasket in the grooved joint pipe helps to prevent air leakage as well as leakage of water or fluid from it, making it airtight and watertight. The two-part coupler is designed to fit in the groove, which locks the pipes mechanically.
A grooved joint is widely used and it’s a technology that is nearly 100 years old. Because of the easy process of joining pipes, the tedious labor work is prevented and labor cost is hence reduced.
The maintenance of pipe systems with grooved joints is easier due to their easy installation and uninstallation process. Grooved pipe joints are mainly used for fire protection.
A system of pipes is formed by the connection of pipes, valves, pumps, and other equipment with the help of the flange method. A flange is usually welded or screwed. The flange joint is used where the intensity of pressure is high and where the pipes of relatively large diameters are used.
A rubber gasket is provided between the two flanges when screwed or welded. It helps in the prevention of water leakage. In this case, it is possible to join pipes of different materials & sizes also. But the joints should be properly fixed. Otherwise, the system may get damaged due to high pressure.
Commonly there are two types of welded joints for pipe. They are as follows:-
- Butt welded joints
- Socket welded joints
Butt Welded Joints
Butt welding is provided when the pipes of similar diameter are to be joined with each other. Butt-welded is the most commonly used welding for joining the pipes. It provides good strength for the joint & capable of resisting a high amount of pressure. Skilled labors are required to join the pipes using the butt welding technique. These types of joints are used for commercials & industrial systems of piping.
Socket Welded Joints
Socket welded joints are used where the pipes of different diameters are to be connected with each other. One end of the pipe having a smaller diameter is inserted into an end of the pipe having a larger diameter. Afterward, it welded around the joint.
This type of joint is used when there are more chances of leakage from the pipe joints. The cost of socket welded joint is usually lower than the cost of butt welded joints. So, it is economically cheaper option as well.
Brazed joints are similar to soldered joints. These joints are used to obtain higher joint strength. Brazed joints are done using the molten filler material, melted above 840 degrees Celsius. This filler material used is to provide great affinity towards copper. Usually, brazing is done on copper pipes & copper alloy pipes.
The compression joint is used where two pipes of different materials and/or different diameters are to be connected. Here the ends of the pipes are plain. So a fitting or a threaded coupler is fitted & the pipes are joined using the coupler.
The pipes should be properly joined with each other to prevent leakage. The coupler should be checked before using it. The compression fittings are available in various materials, which are used according to the requirements & type of pipes used.
Push-fit joint consists of a toothed ring for purpose of gripping the pipe and a rubber ring of ‘O’ shape which acts as a seal, to prevent leakage. The end of the pipe is pushed into the push-fit joint until it hits the internal stoppage of the joint. The pipes can be separated by pulling apart the joint & the pipe.
This type of pipe joint is very similar to the compression joint. The Hep2o joints are specifically designed for their use with polybutylene pipes. To join, the pipe is pushed into the joint till it hits the pipe & that’s it. Hep2o joints are more expensive as compared with any other type of pipe joint.