Low cost and easy to work with PVC pipe fittings have made most plumbing jobs around the home quite simple and straight forward. PVC pipes have been in use now for over 60 years and once installed rarely need any maintenance or repairs. Having said that, should you decide to replace old PVC pipes or PVC pipe fittings – the old ones can be recycled.
One of the most familiar types of PVC pipes that everyone will be used to seeing are PVC down pipes from PVC guttering. Black, grey and white are the most common colors you’ll see for both the guttering and the down pipes. To make the connections both for the guttering and the pipes a variety of mini, square and round fittings are available – according to the design you decided on.
Common gutter pipe fittings are: downpipe brackets, right-angle joints, fixed offset joints, adjustable offset joints, downpipe branch joints and connectors, to join both the same and different diameter pipes.
Another PVC pipe quite often fixed to the outside of a property is the larger diameter soil pipe. These are usually in black, grey or brown; the main fittings for these are connectors and brackets, the essential soil pipe access connector and one, two or three branch connector sockets. Finally there are angle joints for connecting to the underground soil pipe drain.
Indoor PVC Pipes and Fittings
The most familiar indoor PVC pipes and fittings will be for waste disposal from sinks and drains. Apart from the PVC pipes themselves, brackets to support the pipes and both angled and universal connectors; a variety of traps are available. PVC pipe fittings will join together at the rubber washers with either a straightforward compression joint or a screw joint.
The basic U-bend can be obtained in several variations of PVC pipe fitting. Either side of the U-bend you can have upright pipes of equal or unequal length; and where the lengths of pipes can be either chosen to be long or short, according to where it is to be fitted. Adding an extra length of upright pipe would, of course, give you a telescopic arm on one or both sides of the U-bend.
For places where space is tight, such as under a shower tray or bathtub, specially designed shallow U-bend traps can be bought. Most likely to be found under the kitchen sink is a PVC bottle trap with a bottom that can be unscrewed, allowing easy access to clear any blockages. A variation on this PVC pipe fitting is the dip tube trap. S-bends can be bought pre-manufactured; however, it is more common to fit together two U-bends, one of which is inverted, to create an S-bend.
PVC Bridge Fittings
It is possible to use PVC pipe fittings on copper water pipes. To do this you need to use a bridge fitting on the copper pipe, which will typically use PVC compression joints into the copper piping. Whilst you can use these PVC joints with confidence if you need to alter any existing copper pipe work but don’t want to use Copper piping itself, there is something to be wary of. A PVC bridge will break your electrical earth continuity for grounding. This is easily overcome by simply attaching ‘earth’ clamps either side of the PVC bridge and then connecting them together with an ‘earth’ cable.