PVC Fittings 101: Ultimate Guide to Types, Uses and Installation

Types of PVC Fittings: Understanding Common PVC Pipe Connection Options

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) fittings are essential components used to connect and redirect PVC pipes in plumbing, irrigation, and other applications. These fittings allow for secure and leak-free joints while providing flexibility in designing and constructing PVC systems. In this article, we will explore some common types of PVC fittings and their uses.

1. Coupling

A coupling is a simple and versatile PVC fitting used to join two pipes of the same diameter in a straight line. It consists of two socket ends that can be glued onto the pipes, creating a tight and secure connection. Couplings are commonly used for repairs, extensions, or straightforward pipe connections in plumbing systems.

2. Elbow

An elbow fitting is used to change the direction of a PVC pipe. It has a 90-degree bend or sometimes a 45-degree bend, allowing the pipe to turn either vertically or horizontally. Elbows come in different configurations, including 90-degree elbows, 45-degree elbows, and street elbows (with one threaded end). Elbows are widely used in plumbing systems to navigate corners or connect different sections of a pipe.

3. Tee

A tee fitting resembles the letter “T” and is used to create a branch connection in a PVC pipe system. It has three socket ends, with one serving as the inlet and the other two as outlets. Tees allow for the addition of a new pipe or the diversion of flow in different directions. They are commonly used in irrigation systems, plumbing systems, and other applications where branching is required.

4. Cross

A cross fitting, similar to a tee, allows for the branching of PVC pipes. However, it has four socket ends arranged in a cross shape, enabling connections in four different directions. Cross fittings are useful in complex plumbing systems or applications that require multiple branch connections.

5. Reducer

A reducer fitting is used to connect pipes of different diameters. It has two socket ends of different sizes, allowing for a smooth transition between two pipes with varying dimensions. Reducers are commonly used to connect larger pipes to smaller pipes or vice versa, ensuring a proper and secure fit.

6. Cap

A cap fitting is used to seal the end of a PVC pipe. It has a socket end that is glued onto the pipe, providing a watertight and secure closure. Caps are commonly used in situations where the end of a pipe is not connected to another fitting or where temporary closure is required.

7. Union

A union fitting consists of two threaded ends and a central nut, allowing for easy disassembly and reassembly of pipes. Unions are useful in applications where periodic maintenance or pipe removal is necessary. They provide a convenient way to disconnect and reconnect pipes without having to cut or glue them.


PVC fittings offer a wide range of options for connecting and directing PVC pipes in various applications. Couplings, elbows, tees, crosses, reducers, caps, and unions are just a few examples of the diverse types of PVC fittings available. Understanding the purpose and functionality of each fitting allows for efficient and effective assembly of PVC pipe systems, ensuring secure connections and proper flow within plumbing, irrigation, and other projects.