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Pipe fitting is the occupation of installing or repairing piping or tubing systems that convey liquid

,
gas, and occasionally solid materials. This work involves selecting and preparing pipe or tubing,
joining it together by various means, and the location and repair of leaks.
Pipe fitting work is done in many different
settings: HVAC, manufacturing, hydraulics, refineries, nuclear-powered Supercarriers and Fast
Attack Submarines computer chip fab plants,power plant construction and other steam systems.
Pipe fitters (sometimes called simply "fitters") are represented in the USA and Canada by the United
Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the
United States and Canada.
Fitters work with a variety of pipe and tubing materials including several types of steel, copper, iron,
aluminium, and plastic. Pipe fitting is not plumbing; the two are related but separate trades. Pipe
fitters who specialize in fire prevention are called Sprinklerfitters, another related, but separate
trade.
Materials, techniques, and usages vary from country to country as different nations have different
standards to install pipe.

Steel pipe (or black iron pipe) was once the most popular choice for supply of water and flammable
gases. Steel pipe is still used in many homes and businesses to convey natural gas or propane fuel,
and is a popular choice in fire sprinkler systems due to its high heat resistance. In commercial
buildings, steel pipe is used to convey heating or cooling water to heat exchangers, air
handlers, variable air volume (VAV) devices, or other HVAC equipment.

Steel pipe is sometimes joined using threaded connections, where tapered threads (see National
Pipe Thread) are cut into the end of the tubing segment, sealant is applied in the form of thread
sealing compound or thread seal tape (also known as PTFE or Teflon tape), and it is then threaded
into a corresponding threaded fitting using two pipe wrenches. Beyond domestic or light commercial
settings, steel pipe is often joined by welding, or by use of mechanical couplings made by companies
such as Victaulic or Anvil International (formerly Grinnell) that hold the pipe joint together via a
groove pressed or cut (a rarely used older practice), into the ends of the pipes.
Other variations of steel pipe include various stainless steel and chrome alloys. In high-pressure
situations these are usually joined by TIG welding.
In Canada, with respect to natural gas (NG) and propane (LP gas), black iron pipe (BIP) is commonly
used to connect an appliance to the supply. It must however be marked (either painted yellow or
yellow banding attached at certain intervals) and certain restrictions apply to which nominal pipe size
(NPS) can be put through walls and buildings. With propane in particular, BIP can be run from an
exterior tank (or cylinder) provided it is well protected from the weather, and an anode-type of
protection from corrosion is in place when the pipe is to be installed underground.

Copper tubing is most often used for supply of hot and cold water, and as refrigerant line in HVAC
systems. There are two basic types of copper tubing, soft copper and rigid copper. Copper tubing is

Flare connections are a labor-intensive method of making connections. A flare nut then compresses this bell-shaped end onto a male fitting. it is carefully annealedto make it soft again. It can be joined by any of the three methods used for rigid copper.joined using flare connection. it is therefore more expensive to produce than non-annealed. Compression fittings use a soft metal or thermoplastic ring (the compression ring or "ferrule") which is squeezed onto the pipe and into the fitting by a compression nut. but are advantageous in many cases because they are easy to make using basic tools. or solder. . Soft copper is the most popular choice for refrigerant lines in split-system air conditioners and heat pumps. Flare connections require that the end of a tubing section be spread outward in a bell shape using a flare tool. Soft (or ductile) copper tubing can be bent easily to travel around obstacles in the path of the tubing. but is becoming very costly. and it is the only type of copper tubing suitable for flare connections. and creates a seal. Compression connections do not typically have the long life that sweat connections offer. While the work hardening of the drawing process used to size the tubing makes the copper hard/rigid. and sometimes require retightening over time to stop leaks. A disadvantage in compression connections is that they take longer to make than sweat. rigid copper tubing. The soft metal conforms to the surface of the tubing and the fitting. compression connection. Copper offers a high level of resistance to corrosion. but are quite reliable over the course of many years.