About Tubular Products
Tubular piping, bends, tailpieces, etc. are pre-formed pipes used for wastewater drainage in residential and commercial kitchen & bathroom applications. Tubular covers the section of drain piping from the sink drain to the main drain piping (which is generally PVC, cast iron or ABS).
Brass and Plastic Tubular
Tubular drainage piping comes in two distinct types – brass and plastic.
Plastic tubular is made from either PolyPropylene (PP) or Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – hence the typical white color, and has a standard wall thickness.
Brass tubular is most often available in rough brass (no finish) or chrome-plated finishes, the latter used where tubing is exposed (i.e. pedestal or bar sinks) and a visually appealing look is desired. Unlike plastic, brass tubular pipes come in various wall thickness which is indicated by “Gauge”. Most common ones are 17 gauge (thicker walls) and 22 gauge (thinner walls).
Tubular sizes – 1-1/4” and 1-1/2”
1-1/4” tubular is generally limited to bathroom sink installations where there’s less flow and debris, and therefore no inherent need for larger piping.
1-1/2” tubular has a wider scope of applications, including kitchen sinks, bar sinks, laundry and utility sinks and in some cases bathroom sinks too.
Types of tubular connections
Slip joint – the most common connection, where a portion of the tubular pipe is expanded in order to accept corresponding size non-expanded pipe. This connection utilizes a slip nut and a slip washer.
Tailpiece – ends of the pipe are bent outwards to form a flange (T-shape). Used with a flat tailpiece washer and slip nut, which tightens over an outlet such as a kitchen sink drain, garbage disposal outlet, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the actual OD of 1-1/4” and 1-1/2” tubular piping?
A: These are the actual OD’s.
Q: What is the difference between 22-gauge and 17-gauge brass tubular?
A: The difference is almost double the wall thickness. Our 22-gauge tubular is about 0.54mm thick, whereas 17-gauge is 0.94mm. The former is a “budget grade” tubular, the latter is a “commercial grade”.
Q: Is brass tubular thickness uniform in all brands?
A: No. Some companies would market a 20-gauge as a 17-gauge or 22-gauge as 20-gauge to create a higher markup, since there are no strict regulations and standards in this industry. Some low-quality brass tubular is literally paper-thin and can be easily bent by hand – avoid it, or opt for plastic tubular when cost is an issue. Brass tubular we sell is either high quality domestic-made or high quality imported.
Q: Do I need special tools to work with tubular?
A: No. You will need a standard pipe cutter (with adequate opening) and adjustable pliers, such as Channellock Tongue and Groove series. Use thread sealing tape on threaded tailpieces where needed.
Q: Should I use solid brass or die cast zinc slip nuts?
A: Solid brass nuts are designed to last. Die cast zinc nuts are designed to get the job done at minimal costs. In most cases, zinc tubular slip nuts will work with no issues, but with zinc nuts being less durable and more brittle, there have been instances where they crack and leak from over-tightening with a wrench or plier.
Q: Are there any real advantages of using brass over plastic tubular?
A: Other then the appearance - no, but there are limitations. First, local codes may restrict the use of plastic. Second, plastic will degrade faster when exposed to high temperatures and sunlight.