Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "Where do you use compression versus flare fittings?"
A. We prefer flare with soft tubing over 3/8"od in size and compression fittings on all hard copper and soft tubing 3/8"od and smaller. Don't use compression fittings on gas connections at all as most codes do not allow it nor do we recommend it.
Q. "Are these flare fittings suitable for natural gas connections?"
A. Brass and copper pipe or tubing must not be used where the gas contains more than an average of 0.3 grams of hydrogen sulfide per 100 scf (standard cubic feet) of gas (0.7 mg/100) according to section 118.104.22.168 of the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code and section 22.214.171.124.3 of the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) fuel gas code. Since natural gas can contain some hydrogen sulfide, these brass flare fittings are not recommended. Galvanized and black steel pipe and fittings can be used if it is standard weight Schedule 40 or thicker.
Q. "Can you provide me with a quote on other brass fittings besides the ones listed above?"
A. Sorry but what we show is what we carry/offer/stock. We do not quote prices on flare fittings that we do not stock.
Q. "Should I use PTFE thread sealing tape or pipe joint compound on my flare threads?"
A. No, you definitely should not. PTFE tape and pipe joint compound (also known as "pipe dope") should only be used on "IPS" ("iron pipe size") threads, which are normal pipe threads. IPS threads make their seal along the threads themselves; when a piece of IPS-threaded pipe is screwed into a fitting, PTFE tape and/or pipe dope is used to assist that seal on the threads. Flare fittings, on the other hand, seal on the beveled ends of the fittings, and so using pipe dope or tape on flare threads could actually prevent the fittings from making an adequate seal.
Q. "Since these are brass fittings do they contain lead?"
A. Most of these fittings do contain a very small amount of lead. Consider that for many years copper fittings and pipe were soldered together with 50% lead and now little lead may be used by law. Same with these brass fittings. There is a small amount of lead in them. The more acidic the water, the more tends to leach out. Should you be concerned? Some would argue that any amount is bad, and they would not use it for potable water. Others argue that plastics will be the new "asbestos" of the future. We don't know, and we cannot recommend these fittings for potable water; but we can say that we ourselves drink our own water from and through these fittings.
Q. "What is the flare degree of the flare fittings you offer?"
A. The fittings we offer are SAE 45° flare with the exception of the 15/16"-16 flare cap found on our Gas-related Products page. The 15/16"-16 are 45° flare, but are not SAE fittings.
Q. "Why do you only offer a 15/16" flare cap and no other 15/16" flare fittings?"
A. The 15/16" - 16 thread flare fitting is used strictly for natural and propane flexible gas connectors and not for water or with fittings used in automobiles. Up until the 1980's, 5/8" O.D. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineer) standardized flare fittings were used for natural gas and propane flexible gas connections.
5/8" O.D. SAE Flare fittings were too close in size to 1/2" iron pipe size (IPS) fittings and pipe nipples. Because of this, 1/2" IPS couplings were often being used to connect to 5/8" O.D. SAE Flare fittings and IPS nipples into flexible gas connectors which then would not properly seal causing a small gas leak.
To alleviate this type of safety issue, the American gas industry implemented the 15/16" threaded flare fitting with fine threads (16 threads per inch) to be used on 5/8" O.D. (outside diameter) tubing.
The flare fittings we offer are SAE 45° flare with the exception of the 15/16"-16 gas flare fittings. The 15/16"-16 are 45° flare, but are not SAE fittings".
Q. "How can I measure my flare fitting to know if it is 15/16"-16 flare or another size?"
A. The 15/16"-16 male flare thread measures 15/16" diameter from the outside of the male threads. The flare threads have 16 threads per inch. The actual opening through the fitting is 1/2" inside diameter for the gas to flow through. Gas appliance connectors larger than 1/2" O.D. use special flare fittings designed for gas use only.