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All The Basics About Pipe Nipples and Thread Types

All The Basics About Pipe Nipples and Thread Types

Male fittings, female fittings, pipe nipples, BSPT, NPT: If there's one thing we can say about plumbing, it's that it has a lot of odd terms. Fortunately, you don't need to be a genius to figure those terms out. In this post, we'll discuss what pipe nipples are, how they're used and the different types available, as well as the differences between different thread types on fitted piping.

What is a Pipe Nipple?

What is a pipe nipple? What is a nipple in piping? Because fitted or threaded pipes come in long stretches that have threads pre-cut on the ends, sometimes they don't reach the right distance for a run of pipe. In these situations, plumbers use a pipe nipple which has pipe thread on both ends of the pipe to connect it to the fixture and the supply line. In essence, a nipple is a short piece of pipe, typically under a foot in length, to make these connections.

How Long is a Close Pipe Nipple?Merit Close Nipple

So now that you know what a pipe nipple is, what are close pipe nipples? Sometimes you need to make a very close connection and minimize the space between the fittings. In this case, a close nipple is used, which provides a direct to extremely close connection between the pipes. Because they are usually completely threaded, they allow two female connections to sit right on top of each other, minimizing pipe space.

How Are Pipe Nipples Length Measured?

Pipe nipples are measured from end to end, including the male threaded end. Pipe nipple sizes are available in a range of pipe sizes, or diameters, as well as lengths. This means that 6" threaded pipe nipples may have a half inch of male threaded cuts on both ends, with an additional 5" of plain pipe in the middle.

Why is it Called Pipe Nipple?

A pipe nipple is an accessory, or small part, of the entire piping system. It protrudes and delivers fluid (or, in some situations, gases) which is how it was given its name.

What Are the Types of Pipe Nipples?

There are several kinds of pipe nipples for different purposes. These include the barrel nipple, close nipples, weld nipples, toe pipe nipples, shoulder pipe nipples, hex pipe nipples, right-left hand pipe nipples, swage pipe nipples, seamless pipe nipples, combination/king pipe nipples, and hose pipe nipples.

What is a TOE Pipe Nipple?

A TOE pipe nipple stands for "threaded one end", so it is a pipe nipple that only has one end with a male thread pattern cut into it. Unlike regular threaded pipe nipples, which have both ends threaded, the toe pipe nipple is used for other purposes, such as tank legs.


All About NPT and BSPT Pipe Threads

Aluminum Pipe Nipples

What Does NPT Stand for?

What does NPT mean? NPT stands for National Pipe Tapered Thread, the standardized thread that is used in that system. This allows different NPT components to be used together, whether a female or male fitting.

What is NPT Thread?

Also known as the American Standard Pipe Thread, or ASPT, NPT thread has a standard angle of 60-degree thread pitch, threads counted per inch, flat crests, and truncation of roots.

What is BSPT Thread?

BSPT thread, by comparison, stands for British Standard Pipe Taper thread, and is the standard of pipe threading for the United Kingdom, as well as other parts of the world. It features a standard angle of 55-degree thread pitch.

Is BSPT the Same as NPT?

Are you wondering if BSPT and NPT the same? Unfortunately, they are not. Though they have the same thread count per inch, the different angles of the thread pitch and the fact that BSPT threads are rounded while NPT threads are flattened are enough of a difference to cause issues.

Are BSPT and NPT Compatible?

Generally speaking, NPT and BSPT threads are not compatible in terms of being able to interchange the pieces. However, it is possible to find fittings that will act as adaptors between the two thread types, giving you options should you need to switch from one to the other.

What is an NPT Pipe Nipple?

An NPT pipe nipple, by definition, is a pipe nipple that has had a male thread pattern added to the end or ends to connect two fittings or fixtures that have female NPT threading.

If you're having problems finding the right pipe nipple for your applications, the experienced professionals at Merit Brass can help. Reach out today with any questions or concerns.


11/20/2023 6:22:16 PM
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