Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe fittings typically are used to connect two sections or pieces of PVC pipe together. This connection creates a union of the two pieces, or offers an end piece for other items to be connected. The most commonly used sizes are .5 to 4 inches (about 1.3 cm to 10 cm) wide. PVC pipes and fittings are used widely in the application and transference of water in homes, gardens, and lawns.
The water pipes in homes and businesses use PVC water pipe and fittings to give the main water supply a medium through which to travel. There are many types of fittings that each accomplishes a flow direction. A T PVC pipe fitting allows one pipe to enter and then relocate the flow of water into two separate directions at once. PVC pipe fittings that are bent at a 45-degree angle switch the flow as needed around other items such as studs in homes, or simply are used to change the directional flow of water.
Other common PVC pipe fittings include the reducer and the coupler or union fittings. The reducer is larger around on one end and smaller on the other to reduce water flow effectively from larger PVC pipes to a smaller size. Reducers help increase water pressure as the coupler steps down the flow. This technique is used on the main water pipe that enters a home or business and also on lawn sprinkler systems. A coupler or union type of PVC pipe fitting is like a sleeve that slides over the end of each PVC pipe at a joint and is used to join the two pieces of pipe together.
Cap PVC pipe fittings usually are used to cap off the flow of water at one point. It also may be incorporated into a T fitting so that the water flow is stopped at the capped point but still flows through the second part of the T. Three-way, four-way, five-way, and six-way PVC pipe fittings are designed as a solid entry method with as many separate exit points as each name implies. These often are used for making furniture such as outside chairs and futons, as well as in the plumbing industry.
Taking a few items into account usually will enable a person to make plumbing repairs, or simply to use PVC pipes and fittings successfully. The pipe and fitting generally should be cleaned with a PVC cleaner before applying pipe glue. This usually ensures a clean medium for the glue to adhere to. Waiting the recommended time for the glue to dry typically is an important aspect in plumbing so that when the water is turned on, the pressure does not cause leaks or the fittings to loosen.