Plumbing fittings: what is it, classification, shut-off and control valves, which one is needed, installation rules, selection criteria

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It is unlikely that anyone thinks about what plumbing fixtures are. But as soon as the need arises to repair the water or sewer network, everyone begins to delve into the design of these systems. And be sure to face the choice of parts, assemblies to them.

The content of the article:

  • What is sanitary fittings
  • What are the main types of sanitary fittings
    • By design
    • By functionality
    • Control Options
    • Sealing ratio
    • Mounting options for plumbing fittings
  • What plumbing fittings are needed for polypropylene pipes
    • Couplings
    • Crosses and tees
    • Elbows
    • ball valve
  • General installation rules
  • How to choose the best plumbing pipes and fittings for the ages
    • Pipes
    • fittings

What is sanitary fittings

First, it is necessary to indicate that there is a term - plumbing, it is also sanitary equipment. It includes a wide range of devices that are part of the plumbing and sewer systems. For example, toilets, sinks and sinks, bathtubs and showers. Here it is also necessary to add all the nodes with which the devices connect to pipes. This group is called sanitary fittings.

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It is widely represented on the market. There is a special classification, where everything plumbing fixtures are divided into groups:

  • stop valves;
  • shut-off and regulating;
  • safety;
  • distribution;
  • mixing;
  • phase separation;
  • protective.

The first two groups are the largest. They include a large number of plumbing fixtures. The most common: cranes, valves, valves and regulators of various types. Their purpose is to block the medium (liquid or gas) passing through the piping. As well as additional functionality - to regulate the amount and speed of movement of the medium.

Shut-off valves ensure the correct and efficient operation of plumbing fixtures. But this does not mean that other species cannot be exploited when using it. For example mixers.

The latter, which belong to the distribution-mixing variety, are used to mix two or more streams. Or the distribution of one stream to several.

Safety valves are protection, for example, from overpressure that occurs in heating networks when the coolant overheats. This causes it to be reset. This group includes safety valves, structures and devices of discontinuous action, and others.

What are the main types of sanitary fittings

There is no exact classification. The reason is simple - each species has properties and functions that overlap with other types and subtypes. That is, the functionality may differ, but in appearance and the principle of operation of the device are similar to each other.

As an example, you can designate valves. A large number of varieties only by the method of closing. But in essence, this valve performs one function - it closes or opens the pipeline.

And yet there is a need to somehow distinguish different types of plumbing fittings from each other. At least in order to understand - in what places which of them should be installed. After all, the correct and efficient operation of plumbing fixtures often depends on this.

Experts divide all plumbing fittings into two large classes, with the help of which:

  • medium is supplied to pipelines.
  • the medium is removed from the main circuit.

Everything else is divided according to different principles.


By design

There are four positions here:

  1. Cranes. With their help, the flow of the medium, mainly liquid, is blocked. Although there are more gas taps. They are divided according to the configuration of the functional element: locking and ball. The first are further divided into cylindrical and cone-shaped. Each has its own seat or shutoff configuration. The group also includes taps, with the help of which the liquid is redistributed. These are the so-called three-way models.
  2. Gate valves. They belong to the group of sanitary valves. It is impossible to regulate flows with their help. They work to open or close. Therefore, their locking mechanism moves across the axis of the pipeline. There is a wide variety of locking mechanisms: wedge, gate, knife and even hose.
  3. Valves. This group also includes valves, which are called poppet valves, because they have a locking device that resembles a plate. It is located parallel or at an angle to the axis of the pipeline. Diaphragm valves stand out in this category. They got their name from the type of locking mechanism, which is an elastic membrane. By means of valves it is possible to adjust the flow of the flowing medium.
  4. shutters. This is a type of sanitary fittings, in the design of which a disc is installed. It rotates around an axis located perpendicular to the axis of the pipeline contour. It is this arrangement and fastening that creates minimal hydraulic resistance.

By functionality

This is a broader classification of sanitary fittings, because each type has its own purpose:

  1. Shut-off. These include: butterfly valves, gate valves, valves, Ball Valves. They can only block pipes. It is impossible to regulate the flow of the medium. The production of products is based on GOST under the number 9544-2005. The document has a name - “Pipeline shut-off valves. Classes and norms of tightness of gates. Here, the main emphasis is on tightness. She must be high.
  2. Regulatory. This valve is used to adjust the characteristics of the medium moving through the pipelines. It can be pressure, temperature, speed. The representative of the category is the pressure regulator. All models are divided according to the method of opening the working mechanism into mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electronic.
  3. Locking-regulating. It's like two in one. Valves of this type can completely block pipes, as well as regulate the parameters of the moving medium. For example, dampers, regulators, universal valves.
  4. Safety. It is mainly designed to protect pipelines from overpressure. This type of valve simply relieves pressure if needed. And it happens automatically. The group includes safety valves (they are either lever or spring), impulse fuses and other devices.
  5. Distribution-mixing. Purpose - redirecting the flow, mixing two media in one direction. This includes the usual mixers, bellows-type temperature regulators and other plumbing products.
  6. Disabling, it is also protective. If the characteristics of the moving medium change greatly, then this type of valve turns off the device, cutting it off from the pipeline circuit. This protects plumbing from damage. This group includes filters, boiler-type valves, switches.
  7. Reverse. Basically, this category includes valves of various types: rotary, ball, poppet and others. They provide the movement of liquids or gases in the opposite direction, if such a need arose. According to the method of operation, the products can be manual or automatic.
  8. Phase separation. Purpose - to separate the flows of different media or their phases, which differ from each other in parameters. This includes water and condensate traps, separators.
  9. Control fittings are sanitary. With its help, the parameters of the liquid or gas flowing through the pipes are controlled: pressure, quantity, that is, volume, temperature, and so on. Representatives - drain cocks and valves.

Control Options

There are 4 options here:

  1. Manual. The simplest and most common. Especially in domestic piping circuits.
  2. Remote type control. The essence of this type of fitting is that, in addition to the device itself, the kit includes an adapter that monitors parameters. It is from him, that is, at a distance, that control, adjustment and other actions take place.
  3. Drive option. This is still the same manual model, only it has an electric, pneumatic or hydraulic drive.
  4. Auto. The devices operate from the energy generated by the medium flowing through the pipeline. Some models use additional power sources.

Which plumbing fixture control option is best for you?









Voted: 0

Sealing ratio

There are also four groups:

  1. Gland - the most common in household plumbing fittings. Design feature - direct contact with the closing mechanism, because it is part of the device. Is established in cranes, gates, latches, valves.
  2. Bellows group, in which the bellows assembly is responsible for sealing. It has a corrugated shape. Plus - the block never rusts, hence the long service life of plumbing fittings. The principle of operation is a change in the form, which completely fills the gap in the movement of the medium.
  3. membrane variety. The design uses an elastic element called a membrane. It completely closes the passage, creating 100% tightness. It is installed in some models of valves, which are called membrane valves.
  4. Hose. The essence of the device is that it includes a hose through which the medium moves. When it is compressed, movement is blocked.

Which group do you think is able to provide a more reliable seal?









Voted: 0

Mounting options for plumbing fittings

Manufacturers offer five methods for installing plumbing fittings:

  1. Coupling, she is threaded. In everyday life, this is a commonly used type of sanitary fittings.
  2. Flanged. The name is derived from the flanges used to connect fittings to pipes. A simple way of fastening, detachable and high-quality. A large number of devices are connected in this way.
  3. Tsapkovy sanitary fittings. In fact, this is the same threaded one. But in its design there is one element - a shoulder. Purpose - to create a tight joint. An o-ring or cuff is installed under it.
  4. Fitting, she is a nipple.
  5. Welded. Welding is required to attach fittings to pipes. Reliable fastening and 100% tightness.

What plumbing fittings are needed for polypropylene pipes

Today, polypropylene is the main material for pipeswhich are used everywhere. They do not rust, do not change their internal section due to salt deposits. The service life in cold water networks is 50 years, in hot water networks - 25 years. Withstand temperatures up to +95 ℃, pressure up to 20 bar. Installation is simple. The price is low compared to metal products.

This fully applies to sanitary fittings made of polypropylene. Basically, the connection method is welding. Some types are threaded. The diameter of the products does not exceed 160 mm.


This is a universal part used for joining reinforced and non-reinforced pipes located on the same axis. Connection method - socket welding or threaded method.

There are several modifications of polypropylene couplings:

  • straight line, with which pipes of the same diameter are connected;
  • transitional - for pipes with different diameters;
  • combined - with an internal metal thread on one side;
  • the same as the previous one, only in the design there is a turnkey metal ledge;
  • combined with external thread;
  • as the previous one, only turnkey;
  • American - detachable coupling with internal or external thread;
  • with cap nut.

Manufacturers also offer so-called american womenmade entirely of polypropylene. They are called acid. They are installed in pipelines through which active substances move. They can also be installed in water supply networks and gas circuits.

Crosses and tees

This type of fitting is designed to connect pipes into branched circuits. Here there are completely plastic products, combined with external or internal threads, with a union nut.

Crosses help connect four pipe loops that are joined at right angles. Tees connect three pipes. The docking angle can be not only straight.


Elbows, they are also corners or turns, are used when connecting polypropylene pipes into complex contours. Manufacturers produce two varieties of them:

  • at an angle of 90º;
  • at an angle of 45º.

Installation is carried out only by welding. There are no combo options in this category.

ball valve

This is one of the varieties of pipeline crane. With its help, it is not only possible to block the pipe system, but also to regulate the flow of the medium. A design feature is a ball as a locking mechanism. The models are more than a hundred years old, but in those days there was no technology that would ensure one hundred percent tightness of the structure.


General installation rules

There are certain requirements for the installation of plumbing fittings. If you stick to them, you can guarantee its trouble-free operation for many years:

  1. If it is necessary to equip a gas pipeline with sanitary fittings, then options for gas are selected for it. In gas systems with low pressure, water seals can be installed.
  2. It is impossible to install other types or types of shut-off valves in the places of installation of shut-off valves. For example, regulators.
  3. In fittings with a diameter of up to 80 mm, there must be an arrow on the body indicating the direction of movement of the medium.
  4. Installation work is carried out strictly according to SNiP under the number 2.04.01-85. There is another set of rules and regulations under the number 3.05.01-85, which indicates the installation heights of plumbing fittings.
  5. Valves and faucets must be installed so that the liquid passing through them flows under them.
  6. Check valves are mounted strictly either vertically or horizontally. No slopes.
  7. Water meters are installed at a height of 30-100 cm. The mounting line is horizontal.

These are just a few tips for installing plumbing fittings. There are many of them, each type has its own rules. Most of them are the same, but there are significant differences.

How to choose the best plumbing pipes and fittings for the ages

Water is the source of life, but it is also the cause of great disasters. So that the second does not happen in the house, you need to choose the right pipes and plumbing fittings.


Here it is necessary to recall that pipes in houses and apartments are subjected to different loads. Basically, this is the temperature of the water flowing through them: cold and hot water supply, heating. Each system uses its own pipes. But if products for hot water supply are suitable for cold water supply, then vice versa. On the market you can buy the so-called universal counterparts, suitable for any network.

Today manufacturers offer different types of pipes:

  • steel;
  • stainless steel;
  • copper;
  • metal-plastic;
  • polyethylene;
  • polyvinyl chloride;
  • polypropylene.

The former are mainly used for laying gas pipelines. The second and third options can be used everywhere. But this pleasure is not cheap. Although the service life is impressive. All three metal pipes are highly durable, able to withstand high pressure and water hammer. The downside is not only the price, but also the complexity of installation.

Plastic pipes, especially polypropylene pipes, are at the peak of popularity today. Causes:

  • low price;
  • ease of installation;
  • withstands pressure up to 20 bar, temperature up to 95 ºС;
  • guaranteed service life of 50 years, which is ideal for such a price;
  • the cross section does not decrease during operation;
  • appearance - beautiful, does not require painting.


The functionality of plumbing is determined by plumbing fittings. Therefore, it is important to choose it correctly. And the first advice is to buy only good quality products from well-known manufacturers that have long established themselves. This fixture is not cheap. But this is exactly the moment when it is not worth saving.

Today, more and more preference is given to new products. For example, instead of standard valves and gate valves, ball valves are installed. Small dimensions, high reliability, 100% tightness, ease of installation - this is not a complete list of advantages over other elements of sanitary fittings of this type.

Butterfly valves compete with ball valves. They are cheaper and lighter in weight. But in terms of technical characteristics, ball valves are not inferior.

The right choice of high-quality plumbing, pipes and fittings is a guarantee of long-term operation of pipeline networks. This is high safety and comfort, 100% protection against leaks and other troubles that usually occur unexpectedly.

Did you know that plumbing fittings have so many types? Write in the comments. Save the material in bookmarks so as not to lose useful information.

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