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A Guide To Galvanised / Stainless Steel Based Pipes And Fittings


The availability of pipes and their variants are an essential part of our daily lives. We almost never see them as our minds are not set to focus on them during normal routines. Unless you are someone who works in the pipe industry, pipes become a daily meal and knowing the different types of pipes and their build is like knowing the back of your hand. Pipes have come a long way from just being the old and clunky cast iron pipe found (still) in a lot of homes across many countries. Fortunately for the most of us, technology has enable us to be supplied and supported with newer generations and variants of better quality pipes.


General pipe fittings


The different pipe fittings greatly vary but they generally fall into two different categories. You will commonly find both metal and plastic pipes. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks, as well as their preferred choice of utilisation such as land, drainage, water, or gas amongst many others. The trend nowadays amongst home owners is that they tend to swap out metal pipes with plastic based pipes such as HDPE simply due to their reliability and ease of use. However, metal pipes provide the same benefits, therefore it is simply a matter of personal preference when choosing pipes.


Metal Pipes


Metal pipes are very strong and can last for a long period of time. Metal pipes are being replaced by their plastic counterparts but many houses still use them. There are a lot of advantages of metal pipes such as having a strong build quality, excellent heat transfer, resistance to heat, as well as a higher melting point. Several drawbacks to metal pipes are its weight, corrosive properties after a certain duration as well as the need to weld it in during installation for most parts. Some metal pipes consist of:


  • Cast iron: this is still used in houses constructed in older times, generally reliable and strong but tends to corrode over time and is extremely heavy.
  • Steel/Stainless steel: both versions are very reliable and durable having excellent resistance to corrosion but are very expensive.
  • Galvanised steel: also an older version similar to cast iron, usually being grey in colour and has a slight resistance to rust and corrosion.
  • Copper: a very reliable composition but very expensive, they can resist corrosion effectively, are heat resistant, leak proof and come in three different sizes.
  • Range of couplings
  • Grooved couplings
  • Elbows
  • Tees
  • Reducing tees
  • Laterals
  • Adapter nipples
  • Concentric & eccentric reducers
  • Butterfly, check, ball & plug valves
  • Flange adapters & nipples


Galvanised and stainless steel threaded fittings and tube


In the past, galvanised pipes were used to transport drinking water but have been replaced since being suspect to contain lead. Regardless of this fact, the quality of minerals in the transported water plays a large role in the corrosive properties. The more minerals the water contains, the shorter the lifespan of a galvanised pipe. Galvanised pipes and fittings usually have a zinc and metal coating which makes them stronger and last longer than their iron or steel counterparts. The added layer of zinc helps with the issue of corrosion and can last for a period of up to 40 years. Both galvanised and steel pipes as well as their fittings are more commonly used underground. Usage indoors has been replaced by the availability of plastic pipes due to their easy installation. The process of cutting, threading and installing a galvanised or stainless steel pipe is quite tedious and can prove to be an expensive investment due to the amount of labour involved.

The different fittings available for both galvanised and stainless steel come in various forms. For instance, you can expect to find the following parts depending on your needs:




Before you make any purchases, make sure that the galvanised or stainless steel parts that you need are available, as well as their fittings. It is best to stick to one type of steed based product and use the compliant parts for them for ease of access and repair. If you are ever unsure or hesitant towards both elements of pipes and fittings, consult your local hardware store.