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Old 02-22-2018, 02:11 PM   #1
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Union Nuts


Is there a good reason iron pipe unions are made with a hex nut rather than a round nut? That's the way it's always been done isn't a good reason.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:14 PM   #2
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Re: Union Nuts


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That's the way it's always been done isn't a good reason.
One of those days huh?
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:21 PM   #3
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Re: Union Nuts


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Is there a good reason iron pipe unions are made with a hex nut rather than a round nut? That's the way it's always been done isn't a good reason.
Unless a change would be an improvement the cost to change as well as challenging the market to changes may be to costly.
Unless there was an obvious reason the person bringing them to the job site would also be thinking, because that is how we have always done it.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:48 PM   #4
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Re: Union Nuts


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Unless a change would be an improvement the cost to change as well as challenging the market to changes may be to costly.
Unless there was an obvious reason the person bringing them to the job site would also be thinking, because that is how we have always done it.
Allow me to state it another way being cost to change always seems to be the hangup. Why were union nuts ever made hex rather than round from the get go? Yes, a change would definitely be an improvement.

There would definitely be a advantage to round being round is always less expensive to manufacture than hex.

And being open ended wrenches for a 2" union hex would be rather expensive and awkward the pipe wrench is the tool of choice anyway and the hex makes it aggravating for a pipe wrench.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: Union Nuts


Actually, I have seen both. I believe the union at the meter is round with a straight knurl.
Regarding cost to mfg. Might be a little less expensive to mfg round but not much. They are made from a casting, so only the added corner mat'l would be saved.
The hex is likely use full in the MFG process since the flats would provide a easy clamping surface.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:02 PM   #6
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Re: Union Nuts


Ayuh,.... I donno the answer, but,....

I've got a bucket of pipe unions, 'n many, of the same size, won't interchange with each other,......
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:29 PM   #7
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Re: Union Nuts


Flanges are round unions are square.......

I got theory- back in the day the used them smooth jaw monkey wrench things. They needed a square surface. That's all I got....

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Old 02-22-2018, 03:31 PM   #8
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Re: Union Nuts


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Ayuh,.... I donno the answer, but,....

I've got a bucket of pipe unions, 'n many, of the same size, won't interchange with each other,......
That's just typical of the pipe plumbing industry.

Valve length for instance. Would be handy if there was a standard length, but that seems to be unnecessary until we get into valves of 2" pipe or larger.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:54 PM   #9
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Re: Union Nuts


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Why were union nuts ever made hex rather than round from the get go?
Because they are made to be opened and reconnected on occasion. You would chew them up if they were round. Why aren’t the lug nuts on your car round ?

If you are having a problem opening them, you are probably using a pipe wrench. It doesn’t have parallel jaws and isn’t made for unions.

If you use a parallel smooth jaw wrench on them they generally open and close nicely.
https://www.ferguson.com/product/ree...14/_/R-3575768

There is also a special adjustable hex wrench that can be used.
http://www.plumberscrib.com/ridgid-3...iABEgK_vfD_BwE

Last edited by Oso954; 02-22-2018 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: Union Nuts


OH BOY, I had one of those wrenches in my hands once. Never again for the 60 inconvenience and aggravation in confined spaces.

Those unions that need to be operational often there are hammer unions for those situations.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:26 AM   #11
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Re: Union Nuts


What? How the hell is it hard to use a pipe wrench with them. I'm a pipefitter who has opened and closed unions probably thousands of times using pipe wrenches, channellocks-type wrenches, crescent-type wrenches, and combinations of the above. I have never once wished for the nuts to be round. This makes no sense to me. My pipe wrenches work just fine on the hex nuts.

I have on occasion wished I had a way to operate three pipe wrenches at the same time, though.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:55 AM   #12
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Re: Union Nuts


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What? How the hell is it hard to use a pipe wrench with them. I'm a pipefitter who has opened and closed unions probably thousands of times using pipe wrenches, channellocks-type wrenches, crescent-type wrenches, and combinations of the above. I have never once wished for the nuts to be round. This makes no sense to me. My pipe wrenches work just fine on the hex nuts.

I have on occasion wished I had a way to operate three pipe wrenches at the same time, though.
The reason you don't know any better is because you've never had a pipe wrench on a round union nut where infinite adjustments of the wrench could be made. NEXT
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Old 02-24-2018, 04:50 PM   #13
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Re: Union Nuts


Oops, disregard. I thought from the title we were going to discuss Unions and the people who run them. Sorry. My apologies to those who like them.

I do find pipe wrenches handy, but man do they booger up brass. I had a guy who worked with us at the airport who "traveled light" with his tools, meaning he only carried a pair of channel locks. He could booger up gas fittings coming and going. I could tell when he had preceded us.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:16 PM   #14
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Re: Union Nuts


It hit me on the way home today from a goodwill service call at my son's house.
I was there troubleshooting why he had a short supply of hot water. I ended up replacing a single handle tub cartridge.
I remembered the old 2 handle tub fillers. They used round union nuts.... I think that's the only time I've seen them.

@Chandler I'm one of those channel lock guys..... but only on rough in work
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