Home Plumbing How to Make Plumbing Fittings Family: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Make Plumbing Fittings Family: A Comprehensive Guide

by Michael Blount

To make plumbing fittings family, you can use software such as Revit, SketchUp, or AutoCAD. In Revit, you can create custom pipes, fittings, and accessories by starting with an out-of-the-box family or by creating a new fitting. In SketchUp, you can use plugins such as JHS PowerBar, Zorro, JointPushPull, and Curic Align View to create pipe fittings. In AutoCAD, you can use dynamic block pipe fittings to create plumbing shop drawings. The type of plumbing fittings you can create depends on the software you are using and your specific needs. Some common types of plumbing fittings include elbows, tees, couplings, adapters, and unions

Imagine a world without running water. No hot showers, no flushing toilets, no clean drinking water. While we often take it for granted, a functional plumbing system is essential for our daily lives. And at the heart of this system lies a family of essential components: plumbing fittings.

Proper installation of plumbing fittings is crucial for an efficient water flow and a well-functioning plumbing system. This article will delve into the world of plumbing fittings, guiding you through the process of selecting, installing, and troubleshooting these vital components to ensure a seamless flow in your pipes.


Plumbing fittings play a pivotal role in connecting pipes, redirecting water flow, and ensuring the overall functionality of a plumbing system. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, understanding the basics of plumbing fittings is essential for a successful installation.

Proper installation not only ensures efficient water flow but also helps prevent costly leaks and damage to your property. By following industry best practices and taking the necessary precautions, you can create a plumbing system that will stand the test of time.

Understanding Plumbing Fittings

Plumbing fittings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed to serve a specific purpose. Here are some of the most common types of fittings you’ll encounter:


Elbow fittings allow pipes to change direction, typically at 90-degree angles. They are available in various angles, such as 45 degrees and 22.5 degrees, to accommodate different plumbing layouts.


Tee fittings have three openings, allowing water to flow in multiple directions. They are commonly used to create branches in a plumbing system or to connect a main line to a secondary line.


Similar to tees, wye fittings have three openings but at a more acute angle, making them ideal for connecting horizontal and vertical pipes, such as in drain lines.


Unions are used to connect two pipes easily, allowing for quick disassembly and reassembly during maintenance or repairs.

Plumbing fittings are typically made from materials like PVCcopperbrass, and galvanized steel, each with its unique properties and applications.

Installation Process

Installing plumbing fittings is a crucial step in ensuring the proper functionality of your plumbing system. Here’s a general overview of the installation process:

  1. Planning: Before you begin, carefully plan your pipe layout, taking into account the placement of fixtures, appliances, and any potential obstacles. Measure twice to ensure accurate cuts and fittings.
  2. Cutting Pipes: Use a pipe cutter or hacksaw to cut pipes to the desired length, ensuring clean, straight cuts perpendicular to the pipe.
  3. Dry Fitting: Assemble the pipes and fittings without any adhesive or sealant to ensure a proper fit and make any necessary adjustments.
  4. Applying Adhesive/Sealant: For plastic pipes like PVC, apply a primer and solvent-based cement to both the pipe and fitting surfaces. For metal pipes, use thread sealant or Teflon tape to create a tight seal.
  5. Joining: Carefully join the pipes and fittings together, twisting slightly to ensure even distribution of the adhesive or sealant.
  6. Pressure Testing: Once the entire system is assembled, perform a pressure test to check for any leaks before closing up walls or ceilings.
  7. Final Checks: Inspect the system for any potential issues, such as kinked pipes or improper fitting alignment, and make necessary corrections.

Quote: “Proper pipe sizing plays a pivotal role in the functionality and efficiency of plumbing installations.”

Throughout the installation process, it’s essential to follow local building codes and manufacturer guidelines to ensure a safe and compliant plumbing system.

Common Plumbing Problems

Even with careful installation, plumbing issues can still arise over time. Some common problems include:

Leaky Pipes

Leaks can occur due to various reasons, such as improper fittings, worn-out gaskets, or corrosion. Regularly inspecting your plumbing system and addressing leaks promptly can prevent water damage and costly repairs.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be caused by clogged pipes, faulty valves, or improper pipe sizing. Identifying the root cause and addressing it can restore optimal water flow.

Running Toilets

A constantly running toilet can waste significant amounts of water and increase your utility bills. This issue is often caused by a faulty flapper valve or a worn-out flush mechanism, which can be easily replaced.

Addressing these problems promptly can save you money, prevent further damage, and ensure the efficient operation of your plumbing system.

Tips for Creating MEP Fitting Family

In the realm of Building Information Modeling (BIM), creating accurate MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) fitting families is crucial for efficient design and modeling. Here are some tips to keep in mind when developing fitting families in Revit:

  1. Understand Fitting Types: Familiarize yourself with the various types of plumbing fittings and their applications to create accurate and versatile families.
  2. Use Appropriate Templates: Utilize the correct family template in Revit, such as “Pipe Fitting” or “Mechanical Fitting,” to ensure proper functionality and parametric behavior.
  3. Define Parameters: Establish necessary parameters like size, material, and flow direction to allow for flexibility and customization in your designs.
  4. Leverage Shared Parameters: Utilize shared parameters to consistently define properties across multiple fitting families, ensuring uniformity and efficient data management.
  5. Incorporate Connection Points: Include appropriate connection points in your fitting families to facilitate smooth connections between pipes and fittings during the modeling process.
  6. Test and Refine: Create test families and conduct thorough testing to identify and address any issues before finalizing your fitting families.

By following these best practices, you can create accurate and versatile MEP fitting families that streamline your plumbing design workflows in Revit.

Selecting the Right Pipe Fittings

Choosing the appropriate pipe fittings is crucial for ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your plumbing system. Here are some key considerations when selecting fittings:

Material Compatibility

Always match the material of your fittings to the pipes you’re using. Mixing materials like copper and PVC can lead to galvanic corrosion, causing premature failure of your plumbing system.

Size Compatibility

Ensure that the fitting sizes align with the pipe diameters you’re working with. Using fittings that are too small can restrict water flow, while oversized fittings can compromise the integrity of the connection.

Application-Specific Fittings

Certain fittings are designed for specific applications, such as high-pressure or chemical-resistant systems. Consult with professionals or refer to manufacturer guidelines to select fittings that meet the demands of your particular plumbing application.

By considering these factors, you can make informed decisions and choose fittings that will provide reliable performance and a long-lasting plumbing system.


Plumbing fittings are the unsung heroes of a well-functioning plumbing system. From redirecting water flow to connecting pipes seamlessly, they play a vital role in ensuring efficient water distribution throughout your home or building.

By understanding the different types of fittings, following proper installation procedures, and addressing common plumbing problems promptly, you can maintain a reliable and leak-free plumbing system.

Furthermore, creating accurate MEP fitting families in Revit and selecting the right fittings for your specific needs will contribute to a smooth and efficient design and modeling process.

Remember, proper planning, careful installation, and regular maintenance are key to maintaining a functional plumbing system that will serve you well for years to come.


1. What are the most common types of plumbing fittings?

The most common types of plumbing fittings include elbows, tees, wyes, couplings, unions, and reducers.

2. What materials are plumbing fittings typically made of?

Plumbing fittings are commonly made of materials such as PVC, copper, brass, and galvanized steel.

3. How do I ensure a proper fit between pipes and fittings?

To ensure a proper fit, measure and cut pipes accurately, and use the appropriate fittings that match the pipe size and material. Dry-fitting before installation can also help identify any issues with alignment or sizing.

4. Is it necessary to use pipe dope or thread sealant on fittings?

Yes, using a thread sealant or pipe dope is recommended when installing threaded fittings to create a leak-proof seal and prevent corrosion.

5. Can I mix different types of pipe materials with fittings?

It’s generally not advisable to mix different materials, such as copper and PVC, as it can lead to galvanic corrosion and premature failure of the plumbing system.

6. How do I fix a leaky fitting?

First, try tightening the fitting if it’s a threaded connection. If that doesn’t work, you may need to disassemble the joint, clean the surfaces, and reapply sealant or adhesive before reassembling.

7. What is the purpose of using a union fitting?

A union fitting allows for easy disconnection and reconnection of pipes, making maintenance and repairs more accessible without needing to cut or replace the entire pipe.

8. How do I properly install a tee fitting?

Ensure the tee fitting is positioned correctly, with the branch opening facing the desired direction. Apply sealant or adhesive as required, and join the pipes and fitting securely, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

9. Can I use plumbing fittings for gas lines?

No, plumbing fittings are designed specifically for water systems. Gas lines require specialized fittings that meet strict safety standards and regulations.

10. How do I select the right size fittings for my pipes?

Always match the fitting size to the outer diameter of the pipe you’re using. Consult manufacturer specifications or plumbing codes to ensure you’re selecting the correct sizes.

11. How can I prevent plumbing fittings from corroding?

Use corrosion-resistant materials like brass or stainless steel in areas prone to moisture or chemical exposure. Additionally, ensure proper ventilation and avoid mixing dissimilar metals that can cause galvanic corrosion.

12. Can I reuse old plumbing fittings?

It’s generally not recommended to reuse old fittings, as they may have become worn or damaged over time, compromising their integrity and increasing the risk of leaks or failures.

13. How do I properly support pipes and fittings?

Use appropriate hangers, clamps, or straps to secure pipes and fittings, following manufacturer guidelines and local building codes for proper spacing and support requirements.

14. What are the most common causes of leaks in plumbing fittings?

Common causes of leaks include improper installation, worn-out gaskets or seals, corrosion, and excessive pressure or water hammer.

15. How can I create accurate plumbing fitting families in Revit?

To create accurate fitting families in Revit, use the appropriate family templates, define necessary parameters like size and material, incorporate connection points, and leverage shared parameters for consistency. Thorough testing is also essential to ensure proper functionality.

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