Types of Plumbing Hardware

Types of Plumbing Hardware

May 17, 2023 0 By Brett Simons

Plumbing is a system that conveys fluids for a wide range of operations. Some common uses are heating and cooling, waste junking, and drinkable water delivery.

Generally, high end fixtures use brass fittings. For example, Dornbracht, Samuel Heath, and Waterworks are brass manufacturers.

Moen produces kitchen and bathroom fixtures with brass construction and water-saving technology. Their lustrous finishes and functional designs make them popular among homeowners.


Plumbing pipes carry water to and from fixtures in your house and create a vital drain and vent system. They are often made of copper, PVC, PEX or ABS. Depending on the type, these pipes are rigid or flexible.

Rigid pipes typically use a solder connection method to join together. Soldering is done using a torch, and the male and female ends of each tubing section are cleaned thoroughly with flux to ensure a smooth bond between the metals.

Plumbing professionals remain drawn to PEX piping for water supply lines because it’s affordable and easy to install. It’s also physically flexible enough to weave through walls, ceilings and basements with ease. It’s color-coded for hot and cold water, making it easier for plumbers to manage. Like other piping, it is subjected to strict chemical and mechanical tests during manufacturing. These are documented in a material test report and mill traceability report, respectively.


Pipe fittings connect, redirect and adapt pipes. They also close and seal plumbing system openings during inspections and repairs. They come in different shapes, sizes and materials, but they all function the same way to ensure that fluids and gases flow properly through the pipes.

The most common pipe fitting is the tee. It resembles the letter T and is used to create branch lines. Its smooth angling helps reduce friction and turbulence in the water. Plumbers use a tee with three connections of equal size as an equal tee, while it’s called a unequal tee when the inlet and outlet pipes have different diameters.

Couplings join two straight pieces of pipes and are available in various materials, including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS plastic), copper, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC). They can be joined with a regular coupling or a reducing coupling/reducer when their diameters differ. Bushings make a small change in a pipe’s diameter, while reducers make an abrupt change.


Valves are a crucial part of plumbing hardware since they help modify the movement of water or regulate flow. They can also stop water in the event of an emergency. Valves are available in a number of different styles and sizes, each with its own design and function.

For instance, angle valves are designed for quick shut-off of fixtures such as toilets and sinks. They open and close with just a quarter turn, making them very easy to operate. Ball valves are another common type of valve. They have a rotating “plug” that lines up with the pipe when it’s open and prevents passage when closed.

Other types of valves include gate valves, which contain an internal gate that can be raised or lowered to control the direction and amount of water flowing through them. Plug valves, on the other hand, have ports that can be either round or diamond-shaped, allowing them to redirect and restrict the flow of water.


A fitting that opens or closes one or more passages to start, stop and regulate liquid flow. They come in many types based on their application including throttling, non-return and isolation valves.

A type of nipple that has threaded ends on the inner and outer surfaces for connecting two different pipe sizes. It can be welded, soldered or glued to the pipes.

Generally, they have female IPS or threads on one end and male IPS or threads on the other. It joins pipes of different types and is easy to connect and disconnect.

It is a large threaded coupler that can be tightened or loosened to take apart. It is a convenient alternative to a union. It cannot be used in concealed areas because it loosens over time. It can also be used in place of a plug or cap, which seal off unused plumbing system branches or components. It is available in many materials and finishes.