Copper Fittings Guide
Copper is an extremely applicable resource that serves many important purposes. Its malleable structure is a helpful component in the manufacturing of various things, such as wrought objects. Wrought (wrot) objects are solid metals that have been physically altered to a preferred shape through hammering or another form of bending. For example, copper pipes and fittings are considered wrought devices.
The copper fittings from Pex Universe are made from a high purity alloy C12200. Other manufactures such as Nibco, Cello, Mueller, and Elkhart use the same copper for their fittings. These fittings are made to ANSI and ASTM Standards and are NSF Certified for commercial or residential potable water applications. They’re also compatible with Lowes, Home Depot and local plumbing supply copper pipes and fittings.
Copper fittings are used for many different connection types. There are elbows, street-elbows, tees, couplings, slip couplings, caps, threaded adapters, and threaded street-adapters. Each term has been defined below. Fittings can have male, female, or threaded ends. In print, male ends are abbreviated with a “C” and female ends with “FTG”. These aspects determine how a fitting should be installed.
Elbow: is used to unite two pipes at an angle of 45° or 90°, having female connections at both ends
Street Elbow: joins pipes to fittings at an angle of 45˚ or 90˚, having a female connection at one end and a male connection at the other
Tee: a “T” shaped fitting that joins 3 pipes at a 90˚ angle
Couplings: connect two pipes in a direct line, extending a run. They utilize an internal stop, which hinders a pipe from moving beyond its center
Slip Couplings: have the same function as a standard coupling, but they’re designed without the stop feature so they can be used for repairs and instances where a normal coupling might be considered problematic
Caps: attach to the end of a pipe to temporarily or permanently terminate its use; they’re also used for testing purposes
Threaded Adapters: combine copper piping to threaded pipes and fittings. Copper x Male adapters connect copper pipes to threaded fittings and Copper x Female adapters join copper piping to threaded pipes
Threaded Street Adapters: are used to join copper fittings to threaded pipes and threaded fittings. FTG x Male street adapters connect copper fittings to threaded fittings and FTG x Female street adapters combine copper fittings to threaded pipes
Copper fittings are designed to form a joint between two metals using screw threads, compression fits, or soldering. Screw threads use their ridges to secure a tight bond while compression fits are sealed as pressure is applied. However, soldering requires additional steps and items. The necessary materials have been listed.
Necessary Soldering Materials:
- Wire brush (for inside the fitting)
- Sand paper, steel wool, or specially-made mesh cloth
- Flux or alternative soldering paste (for cleaning the fitting or pipe)
- Copper Pipe Solder
- Pipe Cutter
- Propane Torch