There are many different types of pipe fittings available to buy these days, making it hard to know which type is the best choice for your projects. In this post, we will take a look at brass fittings, what they are used for, why they are used, and what some of the alternatives to brass fittings are.
What are Brass Fittings Used For?
Brass is one of the most commonly used materials for making pipe fittings. The zinc and copper alloy has been used for centuries because of its unique properties that make it a good choice for a variety of uses. Of course, in more recent history and modern times, the most common use for brass is in pipes and fittings used in plumbing.
Brass pipe fittings are often the choice of plumbers and other construction professionals because of its dynamic properties. It is more durable and flexible than other material options and resistant to corrosion.
Brass pipe fittings are typically used for carrying water, chemicals, flammable gases, slurries, and other plumbing substances. Pipe fittings made of brass come in a wide range of shapes and thread sizes to connect, adapt, or control any liquid or gas in pipes.
Besides plumbing, brass fittings are also used for some automotive applications, such as in air brakes, hose ends, and fuel line valves. You may also find brass fittings in ballcock adapters, refrigerator cooler fittings, and compression fittings.
Why are Brass Fittings Used?
The effectiveness of brass as the material for pipe fittings provides you with safe and durable components within your plumbing system. While they can be a bit more expensive than some other types of fittings, brass fittings are worth the extra cash. Here are five reasons why you should use brass fittings for your next plumbing project:
- 1. They are durable – Brass fittings have been used in both residential and industrial plumbing because it is great for heavy-duty use and it stays in good condition for years. When you have a plumbing project that needs to have a long lifespan, brass is a good choice because it lasts for a long time without disintegrating or even cracking. It’s also perfect for use in hot water supply lines.
- 2. They can withstand high temperatures – As the best fitting material for distributing hot water, brass provides exceptional conductivity and improves the efficiency of the distribution system. In fact, brass fittings can tolerate much higher temperatures than fittings made of other materials, up to the point of being fire resistant.
- 3. They are malleable – You may find that you need to mold or shape a fitting to make it work in specific areas. If so, then a brass fitting is the ideal choice. Brass is a malleable metal – much more so than iron or steel. That makes brass fittings a very flexible option for many tight plumbing spots.
- 4. They are corrosion resistant – Brass doesn’t rust and it is highly resistant to corrosion. Rust and corrosion rapidly speed up the natural wear and tear process on the fitting, so when you are looking for long-lasting fittings, brass is the best material for the job.
- 5. They are versatile – You can find brass fittings in all types and sizes, so you can always find just what you need for your specific plumbing projects.
There are so many different types of brass fittings that you can use, that’s what makes them so versatile. Here are a few of the most common ones:
- – Pipe couplings: used to connect pipes of the same size (unless it’s a reducing coupler, where the pipes are different sizes)
- – Pipe adaptors: used to change the connection type (male or female) at the end of a pipe
- – Pipe nipples: typically used to connect two fittings
- – Pipe tees: in the shape of a “T”, used when more than one branch is required of a water supply
- – Pipe elbows: used to change the direction of flow between pipes
- – Pipe unions: used in the same manner as couplings
- – Pipe plugs: used to close pipes
- – Pipe wyes: in the shape of a “Y”, used to join pipes at a 45-degree angle
That’s not an exhaustive list, there are various other types of brass fittings that are ideal for just about every need you can think of. Additionally, you can find brass fittings in a range of sizes – from smaller sizes that are perfect for residential jobs to larger sizes that are used for industrial applications.
What are Some of the Alternatives to Brass Fittings?
While brass fittings are ideal for many uses, there are some alternatives that can be used in some situations. Some of the most common alternatives to brass fittings are copper, PVC, CPVC, PEX, steel, and cast iron.
- Copper fittings are most commonly used in residential water systems and HVAC refrigerant lines. They are used for both hot and cold-water applications.
- PVC (polyvinyl chloride) fittings are the most common type of plastic fittings, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are typically only used for cold water applications.
- CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) fittings are used for both hot and cold-water applications in residential plumbing.
- Steel fittings are used for cold and hot water applications and are strong and durable with a high heat resistance. However, they are prone to rusting.
- Black iron fittings are typically used for drain and waste pipes. Black iron fittings are an improvement over cast iron due to its improved corrosion resistance.
Brass pipe fittings are perfect for many residential and industrial plumbing needs. While they do tend to cost a bit more, they are not too significantly more expensive than other options. Their durability, dependability, and quality make brass fittings a wise investment for the few extra dollars. Next, check out our post that helps you determine which type of piping you should use to go with your fittings.