In the plumbing system, flanges are very useful tools that help in many ways. For instance, they can help prevent the escape of water and other fluids, depending on the application in question. Even though there can be specific applications where flanges are the only options, especially in high-pressure piping, they offer benefits that other alternatives cannot match.
It is also crucial to note the options of the devices are many. Often, if not all the time, the varied available options meet different needs. That is why it is usually advisable to choose what will work perfectly for the different application requirements. Going for the right flanges will minimize any undesired situation that can bring stress to the plumbing system.
That is to say, in general, someone looking to get a flange will want to consider some factors to guide their choice. While it is true that personal needs can influence the final decision a great deal, most of the time, the flanges’ functionality does more in the process. Therefore, apart from individualized needs, a perfect flange for any application should have some minimum characteristics.
It may seem like a hard rock to climb when it comes to making this decision. This is especially true to someone who has never handled the items even once in their life. That is why, when looking to buy or use flanges for the first time, partnering with experts will come a long way to make a big difference. No doubt, these professionals have an unmatched level of expertise in this field. And whenever one is struggling to get flanges applicable to their plumbing needs, a professional may help. Otherwise, under all circumstances, below are some of the factors to consider while choosing a flange.
Choose the Right Flange
As aforementioned, it is evident that flanges vary in type, size, and quality. So, whenever one isn’t aware of the best flange to use, researching all the available options will be an excellent idea. Plus, that is what this article addresses in the first place. Here are some of the common types of flanges in the wide market of plumbing system connectors.
These flanges, usually known as screwed flanges, have a thread inside the bore, which connects the pipe with the pipe’s male side. They are generally speedy and simple to use but are never suitable when high pressure is needed, otherwise, in plumbing systems for utility services such as water and air. Another good thing about them is that they are cost-friendly.
Socket-weld flanges are only perfect for low temperature and pressure applications. They have a female socket, on which the pipe fits. One thing to note about them is that they are not as cheap as one may expect but are averagely priced. They are also simpler to install, compared to the other alternatives like the welded flange. This reduces the limits that may come with the threaded ends, which can be tricky for a non-expert to handle.
As their name indicates, these flanges connect by slipping over the pipe or elbow. Ideally, their inside diameter is bigger than the pipe’s outside diameter to allow for flawless connection. Just like socket-weld flanges, they are perfect for low pressure and temperature application. Moreover, they are easy to install and use.
Lap Joint Flanges
Lap joint flanges usually boast two defining components. They have a stub end, which will require users to butt-weld them to the pipe. In contrast, the backing flange makes the flange move freely over the pipe. These two components can be or a different material, which in most cases influences costs. Nevertheless, lap flanges are perfect for use where there may be frequent dismantling is needed and in minimal spaces. Lap flanges offer a better joining compared to other types of flanges, thanks to the butt-weld option. However, it falls short of common expectations such as the cost of fabrications and components.
Weld Neck Flanges
When it comes to process piping, weld neck flanges are the best alternatives. They stand out from the flanges pool as the best provider of the highest level of joint quality, made possible with the butt-weld component. Besides, they are also perfect for use in high temperature and pressure applications. Unfortunately, these flanges can be costly, bulky, and require high levels of skills for fabrication.
These models are perfect where there is a need to allow or change the pipe’s size. They eliminate the requirement for a standard reducer in piping. With their one unique diameter and smaller diameter bore, these flanges are the perfect economical means to realize a perfect size transition. These flanges are also available in other types of flanges, which makes them extremely versatile.
Check on the Materials
Flanges, regardless of the model in question, are made of different types of materials. Therefore, when choosing the perfect flange to meet his or her needs, going for a material that will ensure longevity is one of the considerations never to forget. The choices are vast, and some of the popular ones include flanges made from fibrous, metal, non-metallic to others like elastomeric.
Evaluate the Chemical Resistance
Apart from checking on the flange material, a user will also want to check on the chemical resistance of the flange. Checking this, especially for a newbie or someone without any interest in this side of the work, can be challenging. But getting overall assistance from an expert will come a long way to make a big difference. The chemical resistance is an aspect that will ensure that a user chooses a flange that will meet a specific application.
Work With A Professional
It cannot go without saying how working with a professional in any field is critical. When it comes to flanges, the needs and demands are never any different. For instance, engineers are the professionals well placed to understand how a given flange can work in different circumstances. Otherwise, going this route will alone mean making a mistake on the choice of a flange, which can be risky, if not costly at the end of it all. A professional may also help perform accurate testing of the flange to ensure it aligns with the required area of application.
Choose the Right Manufacturer
In life, the choice of a provider is what usually defines experience and level of satisfaction. For this reason, whenever someone is looking to buy a flange, it is only sane to get the help of a reputed company. This will ensure the best results in performance, longevity, and direct costs on the flange.
The list of the types of available flanges in this article is not extensive. There are many other flanges available outside there, all of which work on different principles and applications in various areas. Nevertheless, everything will narrow down to what someone wants from the flange and what conditions are going to work. That is because this vast availability of options only connotes that flanges work in a myriad of ways.
Furthermore, when choosing the right or best flange, costs will determine a better part of the decision. So while someone wants to put all these factors into consideration, the initial buying price and the costs of maintenance are all that matters. Some of these flanges are cheaper, but others are expensive and may not be suitable for every pocket size.
But as the saying goes, quality is a hidden cost only visible over time; going for a pricey flange will mean the best of service from the item in the long end.