Why Use Brass Pipe Fittings for Drainage Systems

The drain-waste-vent (DWV) system is part of our home plumbing that removes wastewater, particularly sewage and grey water from our home. The common points for such waste generation are kitchen, toilet, sinks and showers. One of the important functions of the DWV system is to ensure that there is sufficient air pressure in the pipes for the wastewater to keep flowing freely.

The other important aspect is to ensure that one gets the right DWV fittings. Fittings are points in a plumbing system where connections are made. Hence, this are subject to an increased risk for waste accumulation. The most suitable candidate for this job are brass pipe fittings. There are many reasons why brass fittings are most suitable for the job, including their resistance to corrosion. But first, we have to understand why DWV fittings are so important and what makes the system itself different from other plumbing systems in a house.

Requirements of a DWV System

  • Air pressure: There must be neutral air pressure in the drains. This allows the free flow of wastewater in the drain pipes.
  • Gravity: We need wastewater to move in a certain direction, that is, downwards. To ensure this, there must be adequate downward slope throughout the system so that all liquids or solids move towards the main drainage system. In a very large system like large apartment buildings, such consistent slope may not be possible In such cases, the direction of the waste is created by sewage ejector pumps.
  • Traps: Each fixture must have an external and internal trap. The traps are meant to ensure that sewer gases are not leaked inside the house. The traps also connect the pipes back to the main sewer line, which connects to a septic system.
  • Vent: A vent is attached at the lowest point of the system this goes to the top of the building. There could be more than one vent in a building. The vents throw out the sewer gas into the outside, while allowing oxygen to enter the system. The oxygen is important for the aerobic reactions inside the system and to prevent decomposition. It also stabilises the pressure on traps from both sides.

Requirements from DWV system fittings

The fittings for a DWV system also have to meet certain requirements. Brass pipe fittings are popular because brass meets all these parameters. The essential requirements from a drainage fitting are:

  • Resistance to Corrosion: Drainage pipes are laid in some very corrosive environment. Wastewater is highly corrosive. It contains powerful toxins that over time will corrode any given material. Brass has a very high resistance that can withstand this for decades. The corrosive factors also come from the environment in which these pipes are laid out. When laid underground, the pipes must withstand high presence of microbes and moisture, two highly corrosive factors.
  • No Obstructions: Drainage fittings must aid the smooth flow of sewer water in the pipes. Any obstruction will cause waste accumulation over time. This leads to blockages and the disruption of the air pressure within the pipes. Drainage fittings are hence, made as smooth as possible on the inside so as to aid this flow.

Common Drainage Brass Pipe Fittings

  • Elbow: These fittings are used to change the direction of the flow. The L-shaped or elbow-shaped fittings have a rounded turn with a longer radius than the usual elbow fittings to lower flow resistance and avoid back pressure.
  • Cleanouts: These fittings have removable fixtures, which allow us to access the pipes without completely dismantling the whole system. Cleanouts are essential for clearing the drains whenever these are blocked. Hence, these are required to be placed at regular intervals at accessible positions.
  • Tees: Shaped like a T, these fittings are designed to attach horizontal pipes to vertical pipes. Baffle tees are designed to regulate the water flow at such junctions. It will have a baffle that prevents wastewater from one pipe from entering into another pipe.
  • Wyes: Shaped like a Y, these fittings are used to connect three pipes. The design offers less friction and obstruction than the tees. These fittings also takes less space and can be used in a more confined area.
  • These are the common fittings in a DWV system. Today you can get an even wider range with most brass pipe fittings manufactures.

Copyrights © 2016, All Rights Reserved | Asian fasteners | Articles