When you need to make a branch connection on a pipe, you have a few options. But two of the most common fittings used are weldolets and sockolets. While they serve a similar function, there are some key differences you need to understand before selecting one for your project.
Distinguishing the Differences
First, let’s cover the basics. A weldolet is a pipe fitting that has a socket welded on the side that allows another pipe to be welded perpendicular to the main pipe. Meanwhile, a sockolet fits over the main pipe and has a socket coming off for another pipe as well. The key contrast is that weldolets get welded directly to the main pipe, while sockolets slide over it.
The Installation Process
Due to their different designs, installation also differs between these two fittings. Starting with weldolets, you need to weld these fittings directly to the main pipe via the base. This allows that perpendicular opening to connect your secondary pipe. Sockolets instead use gaskets and sleeves to form a tight seal on the main pipe without requiring welding on the base. However, the socket is still welded to the branching pipe.
The Load-Bearing Ability
Here’s an advantage of the weldolet – their welded connection generally allows them to handle heavier loads than sockolets. Sockolets rely solely on the friction of that gasket seal under the sleeve, which works fine for lighter duties. But for larger, heavier pipes under greater pressures, a weldolet offers a much more robust, permanent load-bearing connection.
The Ease of Installation
While weldolets require actual welding, sockolets avoid that step with their sleeves and gaskets. This generally makes sockolets faster and easier to install out in the field. You may be limited on pipe size depending on the sockolet model. Weldolets require more skill to weld properly, but offer more flexibility on pipe sizes. Ease of access to the area can also determine which option works better.
As you can see, both of these fittings allow joining an intersectional pipe, but have some clear differences when it comes to design and capabilities. According to the Pipeline Association for Public Awareness, pipeline pressure is monitored 24 hours a day every single day. Keep these key contrasts in mind when selecting a fitting for your piping project. If you’re looking to purchase either weldolets or sockolets, Lynco Flange & Fitting can help. Reach out to us today to get help finding the right fittings for your project.