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Biographie A fitting is a detachable piece of pipe or tubing that either connects to another piece of pipe or tubing or connects two such pieces. Fittings are generally used in mechanical and plumbing operations for a number of different purposes. There are many different kinds of fittings, made from a variety of materials: some of the most common types are elbows, tees, wyes, crosses, couplings, unions, compression fittings, caps, plugs and valves.


Elbows, also known as "ells," are used to change the direction of a pipe system. An elbow typically features a 45- or 90-degree bend, although other angles are also available. Elbows come in a variety of diameters and are generally threaded for connectivity. A common example of an elbow fitting in the home is the piece that extends from the wall of your shower to which the shower head connects.

Tees, Wyes and Crosses

Tee, wye and cross fittings are all used to combine or split pipe or tube sections. Their names describe the basic design of each: tee and wye fittings each have one input and two outputs (or vice versa), intersecting at 90 and 45 degree angles, respectively; cross fittings have one input and three outputs (or vice versa) that intersect at 90 degree angles. All three designs come in standard designs (in which all outlets/inlets are the same diameter) and reducing designs (in which one or more is a different size).

Couplings and Unions

Couplings and unions come in a number of different sizes and designs. The basic function of each is simply to connect two pieces of pipe or tubing. Therefore, couplings and unions are generally quite short fittings. The main difference between couplings and unions is that couplings are designed to be somewhat permanent and are often welded in place or secured by a series of bolts and nuts, while unions are designed to be easily removed at any time.

Compression Fittings

Compression fittings are generally made up of three pieces: a body, nut and gasket ring (or ferule). They use pressure to tighten connections, thereby preventing leakage. These fittings are used in many different industries, as well as many places throughout the house, such as in toilets and faucets.

Caps and Plugs

Caps and plugs perform basically the same function but in different ways. A cap, as its name suggests, is a cap that goes over the end of a pipe, creating a dead end. Plugs also stop up a pipe or tube system, but are plugged, like a stopper, into the end of the pipe.

Can You Use Teflon Tape on Gas Pipe Fittings?

When connecting gas pipelines and their fittings to a stove, grill or other connection, it is important to use Teflon tape designed for gas connections and not Teflon tape designed for water pipes. Teflon tape seals the gas fittings' threads and keeps leaks from developing. The Teflon tape for gas fittings is available at hardware, home improvement and plumbing supply stores.

Teflon Tape

Teflon tape for gas fittings, also known as gas-rated Teflon tape, is yellow in color and clearly states it is for gas lines and connections. The tape works on all gas line types, including butane, propane and natural gas lines. Gas-rated Teflon tape is thick, Underwriters Laboratories listed and has a temperature range of negative 450 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The tape cuts easily with a utility knife or scissors.

Where to Use It

Apply gas-rated Teflon tape only to the fittings' threads. Do not apply the tape to gas compression connections, the removable nuts and bolts used to connect two gas pipes together. Gas fittings are on the ends of gas lines and are not removable. Turn off all gas connections at the gas meter outside your home or business before disconnecting or attaching gas lines to appliances.

Gas Leaks

After applying the tape, connecting your gas lines and turning the gas back on, mix 2 teaspoons dishwashing liquid and 1 cup of water in a pot. Dip a cloth or rag in the soap solution and swab the solution on the gas fitting. If you see bubbles forming on the fitting, you have a gas leak. Immediately turn off the gas source and tighten the gas fitting. Then turn the gas back on and test the fitting again. If the solution is still bubbling, turn off the gas, disconnect the fitting and check the fitting for dirt, debris or damage. Clean the fitting thoroughly, and reapply gas-rated Teflon tape. Repeat the testing process. Have a professional replace the gas line if the soap solution continues to bubble.

Plumber’s Teflon Tape

If you use plumber's Teflon tape on gas pipe fittings, the tape will degrade over time and gas vapors will escape from the fitting. Plumber's Teflon is white in color and thinner than yellow gas-rated Teflon tape. Leaking gas pipes and fittings are dangerous and can cause an explosion. If you are uncomfortable applying gas-rated Teflon tape to gas fittings, contact a plumber or repairman specializing in gas connections and repairs to complete the gas pipe installation or repair.

Innovative ways to hide a circuit breaker box

Generally, circuit breaker panels are considered to be the power center of any building. It ensures uniform distribution of electricity across all the circuits. Most distribution boards have a vertical arrangement of circuit breakers. These circuit breakers act as safety guards for your building. However, circuit breaker panels are huge and unappealing. It is also observed that these panels tend to disturb the look and feel of your interiors. Additionally, if you have toddlers in your home, it is always advisable to hide these circuit panels for the purpose of safety. The good news is that you can be as creative as possible while attempting to hide your circuit breaker box. Here are few innovative techniques to get you started.

Incorporate colourful paints

One of the simplest ways to decorate your circuit breaker panel is to incorporate colourful paints. What is most important here is the choice of the colour. It is always ideal to use colours that are in contrast to your home décor and wall paints. Another great idea is to use the same colours as that of your cupboards and lofts. Black is one of the safest options if you are in a dilemma. While playing with colours, the possibilities are endless with no boundaries for your creativity. Make sure you experiment with a lot of patterns such as polka dots and checks which are quite easy to incorporate and are unconventional too.

Hang a picture or a painting

Circuit breaker panels are an ideal place to hang a wall painting or a family photograph. While mounting the picture, make sure you keep the door accessible. Choose a painting or a frame that is slightly bigger than the circuit breaker box. An easy way to install a painting is by using button magnets with a peel-and-stick adhesive option. When there is a necessity to open the box, you just need to pull off the picture!

Design a storage cabinet

Installing a small cabinet or a cupboard around the circuit breaker box is yet another innovative idea to incorporate in your homes. Shallow cabinets with hinged doors are preferable. These cabinets can be used for storing medicines or any other valuables such as house keys, letters and bills.

Make it a vanity corner

You can create a small vanity corner by installing a mirror over the circuit breaker box. Mirrors of various styles and shapes can be incorporated to make the space more elegant. But, the most important thing that you keep in mind is to choose a mirror that is considerably smaller than the circuit breaker box, for easy access.

Types of Electrical Boxes

Most electrical boxes are either metal or plastic: Metal boxes are generally made of steel, while plastic boxes are either PVC or fiberglass. Weatherproof metal boxes for outdoor use are generally made of aluminum.

If you are using metal conduit to run wiring to the electrical box, then a metal box is required—both to anchor the conduit and because the conduit and metal box system itself may be used to ground the system. Metal boxes are more durable, fireproof, and secure.

Plastic boxes are typically cheaper in price and include built-in clamps for wires. If you are using a non-metallic cable, such as Type NM-B (non-metallic sheathed cable), then you can use either plastic boxes or metal boxes, as long as the cable is secured to the box with an appropriate cable clamp. Modern wiring systems with NM-B cable usually include a ground wire inside the cable, so the box is not part of the grounding system (however, metal boxes must be connected to the system ground, usually with a short length of wire called a pigtail).

Standard rectangular boxes, also known as "single-gang" or "one-gang" boxes, are typically used for single light fixture switches and outlet receptacles. They are generally 2 x 3 inches in size, with depths ranging from 1 1/2 inches to 3 1/2 inches. Some forms are gangable—with detachable sides that can be removed so the boxes can be linked together to form larger boxes for holding two, three, or more devices side-by-side.

Standard rectangular boxes come in various types of "new work" and "old work" designs, and they can be metallic or non-metallic (with metallic being more durable). Some types have built-in cable clamps for securing NM cables. These boxes can range in cost, but most standard options are very affordable.

Like standard rectangular boxes, gangable electrical boxes are used to hold household switches and electrical outlets, but they are oversized so that two, three, or four devices can be mounted side-by-side. Like other boxes, these come in a variety of "new work" and "old work" designs, some with built-in cable clamps.

The same effect can be created by using standard rectangular boxes with a gangable design that allows the sides to be removed so the boxes can be joined together to form larger boxes. Gangable electrical boxes are most often made of durable galvanized steel, however, some plastic snap-together options may be found at certain hardware stores (sometimes for a slightly higher price).

Plumbing Parts And Terminology

Bypass valves play the role of controlling pressure in a plumbing system by diverting part of the water flow. This normally happens by bypassing water from the pump outlet back into the reservoir. Bypass valves essentially regulate the pressure in a plumbing system by opening just enough to relieve pressure on the inlet port. Perfect pressure means perfect water flow.


Isolation valves allow you to turn off the water supply to a particular feed or faucet without having to turn off the mains. These valves are often attached to faucets under sinks in what looks like a slot headed screw. The valve in open when the slot is parallel to the arrow sign on the valve. When the slot is turned, it closes the valve and stops the water flow. Isolation valves are handy for issues such as leaking faucets, when a specific area needs to be isolated.


These cartridges or valves help to supply water at a constant pressure to a shower or bathtub despite pressure fluctuations from supply lines. They work by measuring the volume ratio of hot water to cold water and adjust these volumes continually to maintain a constant pressure. An example of this is when a toilet is flushed while the shower is turned on. Although the toilet draws water to refill, the Pressure balance cartridge maintains the water pressure in the shower while the toilet holding tanking is refilling.


Thermostatic valves operate by sensing the actual temperature of the incoming water and then adjusting the hot and cold flow accordingly to maintain a constant temperature. As with our toilet illustration for the pressure balance cartridge, a similar function applies here but with regard to temperature regulation. The thermostatic shower valve senses the incoming water temperature to ensure that a constant temperature is kept for the duration of shower or bath.


The flush valve is the part inside the toilet that moves the water from the holding tank into the bowl. As you push the toilet handle down, the valve lifts to allow the water through. Flush valves come in different sizes depending on your personal requirements.


The fill valve is a very important part of a standard toilet. It manages the water that fills into the holding tank. The valve does this by opening the water flow as the toilet is flushing, and closes off the water supply when the tank has been refilled.


A flange provides for the connecting pipes, valves or pumps to form a piping system. Flanges are connector pieces that are either welded or screwed on to form a joint. Flanged joints are assembled by bolting two flange pieces together with a gasket in between which provides a seal.


Providing a similar function to a flange, a coupling is a very short length or pipe with a socket at either one or both ends. Couplings allow for pipes or tubes to be joined together to make up a plumbing piping system.


A supply line is a plastic or metal line that supplies water from the main line to an individual fixture such as a faucet or toilet. Flexible supply lines are useful for certain applications that may require movement adjustments. Supply line maintenance may be required over time. 
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