Q. "What does compression style (angle stop or straight stop) mean?"
A. The compression style in this case is referring to the way the water is shut off when the valve is closed. Please do not confuse this with the inlet or outlet size which can also be referred to as "compression". The handle is attached to a stem with a rubber washer on the other end. As the handle is turned to close the valve (clockwise), the rubber washer is forced (compressed) against the "seat" which is the metal opening of the waterway.
Q. "How do I know if I need 1/2" Fip inlet or 5/8" o.d. inlet angle stops?"
A. Angle or straight stops have an inlet that is either 1/2" fip (female iron pipe) or 5/8" o.d. copper compression. The 1/2" fip stops are for attaching to threaded pipe nipples. The copper compression fittings are designed to attach to the smooth outside surface of copper pipe.
Q. "Some of the outlet sizes are shown as 1/4" O.D. or 3/8" O.D. or 1/2" O.D. compression nut w/sleeve. Is this measurement referring to the outside diameter of the compression nut?"
A. No, it is not. Copper compression fitting sizes are measured and sized according to the outside diameter (O.D.) of the copper tubing or copper pipe for which they will be used.
Q. "Why are some of these fittings, valves, and nipples not for potable water?"
A. Starting January 1st of 2010, California and Vermont enacted new low lead laws. Effective January 2014, our U.S. Congress also passed the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (public law P.L. 111-380) which revised the Safe Drinking Water Act definition of lead free to mean 0.25% or less (weighted average) in pipes and fixture fittings used for potable water. Before then these top quality brass products were legal for potable water and used throughout the world and actually contain much less lead than products manufactured before the 1980's.
Q. "I'm hearing a lot about lead-free these days. What does that have to do with plumbing products and how does the new lead-free legislation affect me?"
A. Basically, the laws implemented Jan. 1st, 2014 require plumbing products that come in contact with drinking water to be essentially lead free (less than 0.25% weighted average). For further information about how the law determines what is lead free, rules regarding which plumbing products must be lead free, and who these laws will affect, please visit our LEAD FREE Plumbing Information page.
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