In addition to pipes and valves a variety of other components are needed to complete a plumbing project. These can include different connections and joints that are fitted when the direction of the pipe run needs to be changed or when pipes of a different size need to be joined together. The most widely used fittings are described below.
An end-feed joint is an unobtrusive way of making a connection. However, solder needs to be applied to the joint when it is being heated to make a watertight joint.
A solder-ring is easier to use than an end-feed fitting as the inner surface of the joint section already has solder around it, so no additional solder is required.
No heat or solder is needed for making the connection as the pipes are pushed into the end of the connection where it is secured firmly in positioned by a stainless steel grab-ring. You will need a demounting tool if you want to disconnect pipes joined in this fashion.
Metal compression fittings are usually made of brass or chrome-plated brass. The pipe is pushed into the fitting and as the nuts are tightened on the threaded section of the fitting, an olive inside the fitting creates the seal.
A simple and easy way of connecting pipes. This is a plastic connection into which the pipe is pushed. Inside the connection the pipe is held securely by a grab-ring. Inserts (see below) should be used when connecting plastic pipes. The plastic connection can be unscrewed and the joint taken apart with a demounting tool.
To connect a pipe, simply push its end into the connector where it will be gripped by a toothed ring. As the connection is made you will hear a clicking sound. There may be an additional twist and lock mechanism. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation, inserts may or may not be needed.
Solvent cement is applied to the end of the pipe and then pushed into the connection. This method should only be used with PVC pipes or ABS pipes. Always check the solvent you are using is suitable as not all brands of solvent cement are multi-purpose.
Generally found on a push-fit drainage system this is one of the simplest forms of connection. The end of the pipe is pushed into the joint connection where a rubber seal fits tightly around the pipe.
This form of connection works on the same principle as the metal compression joint with two main differences. Firstly the connection is made of plastic and secondly it has a rubber seal instead of an olive. Plastic compression joints should only be hand-tightened.
An elbow is used to change the direction of the pipe run. Elbows are available with a 45° and a 90° angle.
These fittings connect pipes of different sizes.
T-shaped joints connect pipes of the same size at a 90 degree angle.
A variation of the Tee used to join a smaller pipe at a right angle to a larger pipe.
A coupler is used to join together two lengths of straight pipe with the same diameter.
At the end of a pipe run where the pipe is not joined to a cistern, boiler or other appliance a stop-end is used to plug the end of the pipe.
Short sections of plastic or metal tubing used to create an additional seal. They fit inside the pipes being joined together. Some manufacturers of plastic joints will recommend you use inserts when connecting plastic pipes and others will not. However, when connecting plastic pipes to metal fittings it is common practise to use inserts.
Flexible connectors or hoses
Flexible connectors eliminate the need to accurately measure and cut rigid pipes. These are particularly useful for making connections to rigid pipes in awkward areas or where the pipes are misaligned.
This trap does not have an obvious ‘U’ bend but is designed to be shallower as it fits underneath a shower tray.
Shallow bath trap
This is a particularly shallow trap, designed to fit under bathtubs.
Shallow bottle trap
This is used where there may be restricted space, for example under washbasins.
To take wastewater away horizontally a ‘P’ trap will have to be fitted.
The telescopic trap has an extended down pipe from the waste outlet to move the trap further below a washbasin. This style is particularly useful if the basin is installed within an enclosed space such as a cupboard.
Double inlet trap
This is a trap designed for more than one appliance to be connected to the drainage system. This is an advantage where the two appliances are right next to each other e.g. kitchen sink and washing machine.
These traps are designed to direct the flow of waste downwards instead of horizontally.
Toilets have in-built traps called ‘U’ bends which are much larger than usual traps.
Ninety-degree pan connector
Used to connect a toilet pan with a horizontal outlet to a waste pipe in the floor.
Straight pan connector
This connects the toilet pan outlet to the soil stack when they are in alignment.
Pipe collars are rings supplied in two halves that neatly snap together around a pipe. They are used specifically to provide a finish to pipes going through walls and floors.
Wall plate elbow joint
A 90° elbow joint fitted with a plate that has two screw holes. Made from brass, these fittings are frequently used when fitting an outside tap to a wall.