Pipes and Pipe Fitting Guide

June 7, 2021
Plumber’s Guide To Pipes & Pipe Fitting

Pipes and pipe fittings are two of the plumbing industry’s core components. Pipes transport various liquids and gases from one part of a structure to another, while pipe fittings serve to control and direct the flow of these materials. Mid-West Instrument, a leading instrument manufacturer in the Midwest, offers broad experience with both products.

Types of Pipe

Galvanized Pipe

Galvanized pipe is used for water supply lines, well pumps, and various irrigation applications. These pipes are highly resistant to corrosion, thanks to the fact that they are dipped in zinc during the manufacturing process. One industry you won’t often find a galvanized pipe in is home building–it was a common solution up until the 1960s but has since dropped off and is rarely used in new home construction today.

Black Pipe

Strong, durable black steel pipes are used to transport natural and propane gas from the street or a tank to a residence. Also known as Black Iron, Black Malleable, black pipe is also ideal for fire sprinkler systems because of its high heat resistance. One of the most popular varieties of black pipe is hub-and-spigot, which is popular in settings in the Midwest such as natural gas filtration and conveyance.

Polyethylene Pipe

Polyethylene pipes are remarkably effective across a wide range of applications, including drainage, irrigation, water service, and underground gas transport. Polyethylene pipe is durable and provides long-term resistance to varied environmental conditions encountered in outdoor and underground environments.

Types of Pipe Fittings


Bushings are used to join pipes of different sizes, usually by reducing a larger fitting down to a smaller pipe. Bushings are usually threaded both inside and out and take up extraordinarily little space compared to a coupling or union, which accomplish the same goal.


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a black plastic pipe fitting used in drainage, sewer, waste, and vents. ABS pipe/fittings, as well as PVC, have replaced much of the cast iron, lead, and steel pipes formerly used for DWV (drain, waste, and vent). It’s important to note that ABS and PVC plastic cannot be completely glued together using a solvent cement or primer.


Likely the most recognizable name on this list, PVC is a rigid, generally white plastic pipe. PVC is ubiquitous and proven effective in a variety of applications, including waste transport, ventilation systems, and underground cold-water supply. PVC is also commonly used for sprinkler and irrigation pipes, sewers, drains, and vent pipes, and fittings. In the plumbing business PVC is usually white, but other industries may use different-colored PVC. One good example is water conservation, where purple PVC pipes are used to differentiate reclaimed water systems from potable drinking water systems.

Mid-West Instrument

Since 1958, Mid-West Instrument has been a leading global manufacturer of differential pressure gauges, transmitters, and switches. Our company is family owned and operated from our facility located in Sterling Heights, MI.

Our state of the art factory is equipped the latest CNC machine tool technology, test equipment, calibrations standards, and oxygen clean room.  This allows us to maintain precise tolerances and product quality with the shortest lead times in the industry.

Contact our experienced professionals to learn which differential pressure instrument best fits your application.

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