Now that we know what a fitting is and what it does, let’s get into the materials that the fittings on our site are made out of, and what application they’re typically used for in the plumbing world. There’s a lot to choose from, so buckle up, and enjoy ride!
PVC – (PolyVinyl Chloride) – a popular substitute to copper that covers a wide variety of applications. Copper was traditionally used for applications such as domestic water supply and drainage, but was limited due to its temperature and pressure ratings. Some of the more common types of PVC are:
PVC Sch. 40 – pressure fittings / irrigation / cold water lines / no hot water applications / temp rating up to 140 degrees / (the schedule 40 refers to the wall thickness – a higher grade means a thicker wall)
PVC Sch 80 – thicker wall than sch. 40, which means it can handle higher pressure ratings and applications / normally used in commercial applications / rated up to 140 degree Fahrenheit
DWV PVC (Drain Waste Vent) – used in sinks & toilets drains, otherwise known as “house” applications / not rated for pressure applications.
CPVC (Chlorinated PolyVinyl Chloride) – used in plumbing house lines / rated up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit / more flexible than PVC / approved for potable water / most SharkBite fittings can be used with it as it is CTS (Copper Tubing Size OD Regulated / popular with pool supply
ABS Plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) – cost-effective / lighter version of plastic / drainage only / not rated for pressure applications / mainly used in sanitary systems
Rubber – rubber fittings are usually able to connect two different types of material pipe, for example PVC to cast iron, copper to PVC, brass to plastic, etc. / some rubbers are UV, leak, and rust resistant
PolyAlloy– mainly used to produce PEX products / approved for potable water / approved for hot water applications / up to 200 degree Fahrenheit
Engineered Plastic– light weight / up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit / durable / certain engineered plastics are approved for potable water
Polypropylene– lightweight / lead – free / abrasive – resistant / environmentally friendly
Copper – Typically used in plumbing and heating purposes, it is lead free, and can be used for potable water. Contrary to popular belief it does not rust, and the green film that is commonly seen is only a tarnish that occurs over time, like the Statue of Liberty!
Brass– can be used with copper / great for hot water / tolerant of very high temperatures and may withstand a fire, which is why they are used in fire sprinkler systems / corrosive resistant
Chrome Plated Brass– used for aesthetic purposes when plumbing fittings may be visible, yellow brass and chrome plated brass are actually the same on the inside – the only difference is the outside coating
Bronze– consisted of primarily copper and contains other elements as well / may not always be approved for potable water / corrosive resistant
Black iron – cannot be used in potable water / typically used in boiler systems used to transport gas (mostly used on steam or older systems) / they usually have a black film that rubs off to the touch, so it’s a great idea to use gloves when handling these fittings!
Cast Iron– typically used for waste and drainage / corrosion and abrasion resistant / offered in no hub / very durable / high temp and psi ratings / good compression strength
Ductile Iron– stronger than regular cast iron and has higher psi ratings / very strong and workable (or ductile) / mostly found in the butterfly valves on our site
Galvanized iron – iron dipped in zinc which makes these fittings more durable / used for potable water back in the day / rust and corrosion resistant
Malleable Iron– great tension strength / shock resistant / plumbing applications up to 300 psi / fittings can carry multiple types of fluid / workable or “malleable” material
Carbon Steel– heat resistant / higher thermal conductivity than stainless steel / found in residential pipelines
Galvanized Steel– steel coated with a layer of zinc / corrosion and rust resistant due to the zinc coating/ works best with cold water, but can be used with hot water as well
Forged Carbon Steel – carbon steel that has undergone the forging process / suitable for high temp and high psi applications / able to withstand harsh chemicals
Stainless Steel – low pressure applications / suitable for high temperature applications / strong chemical and corrosion resistance