How to Select Pipe Fittings               Image Credit: Main Manufacturing, Inc. | GE Oil and Gas   Pipe fittings are parts that connect pipe sections together or to other components in in-line, offset, multi-port, or mounting configurations.   Piping vs. Tubing and Hose To begin, it may be important to distinguish some terminology. In industry, "tube" and "pipe" are nearly interchangeable terms.
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Q & A on Pipe Fittings

We asked our users for their input on Pipe Fittings. Here are the results of 213 users familiar with Pipe Fittings.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing pipe fitting design?
31 answers
Answers:
Energy Conservation in the process and creature comfort piping applications. Spirax/Sarco in the steam industry.
~Himself Anonymous M, Application Engineer, Cappagh Castlebar, FM
Most hydraulic applications in the US use mainly NPT, SAE, and flanged fittings. When dealing with international customers, it is very important to have a wide range of fitting adapters on hand or readily available.
~Mechanical/manufacturing engineer, Milwaukee, WI
There are numerous alloys being used in pipe fitting construction. The basic design really hasn't changed much over the years. The way fittings are manufactured has changed numerous times.
~Engineering, Design, Tucson, AZ
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative pipe fittings?
24 answers
Answers:
Hyquip, Ritter, and Parker are the absolute best companies I have used for hydraulic applications. Each company has their own niche. Finding microbore test point fittings on the fly can be somewhat difficult, however. These fittings are excellent for connecting transducers at remote points on a hydraulic system. When putting together a hydraulic system I always make sure I have a test point fitting at all important locations, even if I decide not to use them later.
~Mechanical/manufacturing engineer, Milwaukee, WI
Parker Hannifin seams to be a mainstay, Sporlan in the Refrigeration industry. Also there are a plethora of new companies from all over the global market, especially European companies with automatic battery operated and solar powered, radio controlled etc...I wish I had time to even try and keep track.
~Himself Anonymous M, Application Engineer, Cappagh Castlebar, FM
Not looking for innovation. Have quality issues with foreign as well as domestic products. Threaded fittings leak. ANSI flanged cast fittings are not true and occasionally have holes.
~Brian H, Technical Support, Simpsonville, SC
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used pipe fittings for?
71 answers
Answers:
Steam, high and low pressures. Stainless steel and Heavy Wall Black fittings. Heating and process. Condensate lines attacked by carbonic acid, Chemical Feed lines, automatic surface blowdown via automatic conductivity monitoring. HVAC/R all types of copper K, L, M , heavy wall, medium, thin wall. Hard drawn, and soft drawn, Rigid, Brass fittings and dielectric in galvanic reactions. Hoses, Flex connectors, etc in condenser water lines, Multi thousand water source heat pump loops, Variable Pumping, VFD applications to measure Pressure differential, Annubar measurement, flow, gpm measurement and placement of special fittings and test stations to measure pressure drops, and calibration wet stations designing the multiple valve stations around the transducers and to properly design and set up the Null valves and tap fittings for local calibrations ease etc. I have specified, selected valves in many 2, 3, and 4 way applications, calculated proper CV and submitted into many proposals for proper pressure drop to match coil pressure drops in mixing and diverting applications, also for steam valves in 2 and 3 way applications in research labs.
~Himself Anonymous M, Application Engineer, Cappagh Castlebar, FM
Every Day Piping design. Primarily schedule 10 sst. For the most part I just specify the Quantity & Type Long radius Ells & a few short radius Ells, Tees & Adapter Fittings. Sometimes we might modify a Fitting to fit Tubing when an Adapter for the specific situation is not available. I've used sizes from 1/4 npt or nps up to 18 & 24 Nps.
~Richard B, Design Engineer, Westerville, OH
I've worked in piping design for 38 years, Systems include . 1. STEAM 2. POTABLE WATER 3. COOLING WATER 4. HYDRAULICS 5. COMPRESSED AIR 6. NATURAL GAS 7. OXYGEN 8. ARGON Pipe Material C.S & S.S 1. Threaded 2. Butt welded
~Design Engineer, PITTSBURGH, PA
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that pipe fittings have been used for.
19 answers
Answers:
Take a heavy wall black, or carbon steel, or any mat'l straight coupling and weld it to the pipe for a well or outlet without a weldolet. Couplings of any mat'l to be used for connectors on exhaust hoses that collect drywall dust or sawdust... bulk head fittings for hand rails or tents, clothing racks no limits.. Threaded gizmos and adapters to stop leaks in piping, especially steam... like a threaded swivel press to clamp off a pinhole steam leak with all thread etc through a pipe coupling.. Jack stands, jack bolts, vices for clamping raising and pulling.. ask McGuyver...
~Himself Anonymous M, Application Engineer, Cappagh Castlebar, FM
I am working in a non industrial state that does not stock a lot of non standard pipe fittings. It seems that the supply companies in Florida do not stack much piping materials at all.
~Steve Hart, Project Manager, Auburndale, FL
Fittings are used in variety of applications. Most non-standard application is structural, for easels, basket ball hoops, laundry hampers, pull up bars etc
~Marketing/Sales, Northwood, OH
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of pipe fittings?
12 answers
Answers:
Several....Inexperienced people that have been doing it a week longer than the other person....just by a miracle I or someone else just happen to be walking up or down the stairs.... One kid was going to remove a valve on a hot water heating system on the fourth floor of a fourteen story State Office Bldg and was going to change out the valve "on the fly" and they were tough guys and only going to get a little wet, and they would be heroes to the company for changing it out so fast. There were no other isolation valves all the way up to the mechanical room in the penthouse above the 14th floor... It was hot water for comfort heating,,, the valve was on a drain line looking down off of a heating coil with 180F water, but the drain line temp. was 70F because of no active flow. He said his buddy told him it was only 100 ft up to the penthouse and the pressure there would only be less than 50psig and they easily lift and manipulate way more than that in the weight room, and also it isn't that hot, and only a 3/4" wimpy ball valve. They also didn't take into consideration that the heating pumps were adding way more than that on the supply side, and 5 seconds later be scalded alive by 180F water, 140F water is too hot to touch. Thank God I was running down the stairs and ran into him. In one second the new valve would have been blasted out of his hand, 2 seconds later 180F water would have chased him away and he was on a ladder. Flooding down the stairwell, maybe 20 minutes later they might have been smart enough to turn the pumps off, if they could find them. I saw one contractor put gas cocks, and other pilot tubing fittings on a differential pressure transducer with normal operation pressures 150psig condenser water lines.
~Himself Anonymous M, Application Engineer, Cappagh Castlebar, FM
Yes, in high pressure fluid systems, make sure your fittings are all tight and are the correct mating thread patters. High pressure leaks can at least completely soak someone and I have seen it happen numerous times.
~Mechanical/manufacturing engineer, Milwaukee, WI
Steel or cast 'running joiners' designed for pneumatic systems have been found in hydraulic systems. These can become grenades when subjected to high pressure.
~Brian H, Consultant Hydraulic and Drafting Engineer, Childers, Australia
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
20 answers
Answers:
Materials that won't corrode due to internal or external influences. Ports easily identified with common standards ISO, ASME, or ASHRAE. Make it easy for the common maintenance personnel. Permanent application markings. Easy to read, understand, tune and calibrate without specialized schooling. Easy to override locally, and to be returned to a supervisory control. Push a button or wave my hand over or touch the screen and it would tell me what type it is and how to easily make this valve do what you want for as long as you want. Easily programmable without any laptop or hand held million dollar gizmo. It would radio parameter setup somewhere or have plenty of local memory for backup. The valve would operate at least one year from a standard 9v alk battery, and operate with tight pressure close off easily with power derived from the 9v battery... and if power failed there would be a local override crank for me to position it by hand until I can unplug the old controller with one hand and plug in a new controller. As soon as I turned on the new controller it would ask me do I want to upload parameters from the local memory that wasn't a part of the old bad controller or radio it in from the supervisory station, or do I want to upload the info from my thumb drive. etc. and valve position would never be in question.
~Himself Anonymous M, Application Engineer, Cappagh Castlebar, FM
Presently I am involved in the Sagd oil extraction industry in northern Alberta, for installation efficiency on butt welded connections, standardized inside dimensions especially with off-shore manufactured material.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Ft. McMurray, Canada
The industry is pretty well off ... I can't think of any applications in my field where there aren't enough features to meet my needs.
~Mike Maxwell, Engineer, Crystal Lake, IL
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of pipe fittings?
17 answers
Answers:
Ensure that specification, visual and dimension of fittings conform to the requirement. Review the certificate & inspection report, conform to the specification & the requirement. Ensure all testing & inspection have been already done. Apply fittings meet to the design & requirement of material.
~Sudaryono Sudaryono, Quality Control, Balikpapan, Indonesia
Call your local provider, or if you know someone that you trust just call that person, and ask them names of people that help them at supply houses...Don't just assume just cause you know lefty loosey, righty tighty anyone can do it...Get good advice from someone you trust...
~Himself Anonymous M, Application Engineer, Cappagh Castlebar, FM
If in production be careful to supply fittings that are designed not only for the working pressure but also the hydrostatic test pressure. When working with hot oil a heavier fitting may be required to allow tightening without splitting open the fitting.
~Brian H, Technical Support, Simpsonville, SC
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using pipe fittings?
19 answers
Answers:
Watch Reducers as the same supplier will have fittings from the Phillipines & Other Locations which have different Curvatures & so cannot be cut at the same location to fit against tubing where required.
~Richard B, Design Engineer, Westerville, OH
Ensure that manufacturers have been certified by ISO 9001 quality management system. Ensure that fittings have been consumed in most countries in the world.
~Sudaryono Sudaryono, Quality Control, Balikpapan, Indonesia
They should always make sure the items are supplied with mill certificate, and the heat number on the fittings corresponds with the one on the mill cert.
~Isaac A, Purchasing Supervisor, Lagos, Nigeria
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