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Everything You Need to Know About ½” IPS

Understanding plumbing jargon can be a bit complicated. As a result, most new homeowners struggle with finding the right plumbing tools.

One of the most common terms used in the world of plumbing is IPS. Although it stands for Iron pipe size, it requires a bit of understanding. 

What does ½” IPS mean? 

IPS refers to Iron Pipe Size. It’s the measurement of the inside diameter of the pipes. The measurement of your pipe could be ½” IPS. It means that the diameter of the inside of the pipe is ½”.

Apart from these, there are some other factors to the IPS measurements. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know. 

Let’s begin!

What Does IPS Mean? 

The Iron Pipe Size (IPS) is a relatively old system for measuring pipes. It started in the early 19th century. And back then, it was the most popular measurement until the end of WW2. However, many parts of the world still follow IPS measurements. 

When IPS size was introduced, most pipes were cast in halves and welded together. Thus, it was important to know the internal size of the pump. Otherwise, the welding won’t be perfect. 

Knowing the sizes is important when you have to cap off a PVC water pipe. Because even if the outside diameters are similar, if the insides don’t match, it won’t fit. 

Why Choose ½” IPS Over Others?

Currently, the Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) is used interchangeably with IPS. Which might be confusing. While they aren’t similar, they are the same measurement. 

The nominal pipe size is the dimensionless measurement of the inside of a pipe. Although they’re measured in inches, they don’t have it written. So, if a pipe is ½” IPS, it means that it’s ½ NPS as well.

Since there are no fixed dimensions for Nominal Pipe Size, people often get them confused. However, they’re the same size. So, you can change your IPS pipes for an NPT pipe of the same number. 

What Are The Types of IPS Pipe Connectors?

Another common factor that you need to keep in mind is the male and female pipes. Among the types of PVC pipes, male and female classifications are often confusing. So, what do male and female pipes mean? 

The male and female terms are generally based on the type of threads. So, there can be male and female variants of the same pipe. So, keep that in mind when getting a pipe every time. 

Male pipe fittings have their threads on the outside. In terms of looks, they look similar to a bolt. While the female bolts have their threads inside. So, the outside is plain. This looks like a nut.

Unlike other PVC pipe categories, you need both male and female pipes. The male pipes go into the female pipes. The complete setup depends on both of them.

What Are The Types of IPS Pipe Fittings?

There are multiple types of pipe fittings for you to choose from. The quality of the fitting improves the longevity of your system. So, choosing the right fitting is important. 

You’ll find two very common fitting types out there, these include-

Threaded Pipe Fittings 

The most common type of fitting out there is the threaded pipe fitting. Commonly made of brass or galvanized steel, this is the standard for IPS pipes. Available in multiple dimensions, they are very easy to use. 

Simply twist them on and they’re good to go! If you’re wondering which threaded pipe fitting you need, check out our recommendations-

ATAILONZ PNEUMATIC 1″ Threaded Pipe FittingCheck Latest Price
Anderson Metals 1″ Threaded Pipe FittingCheck Latest Price

These are some of the best out there! Check out their reviews for more!

Compression Pipe Fittings 

If you’re wondering how to connect PVC pipe without glue, this is what you need! This is the quickest and easiest fitting to get working. However, they’re a bit technical as well. 

Since they’re relatively weaker than conventional ones, you need to be careful with them. Use them in places where there is relatively little movement. However, placing them is as easy as it gets. 

Place the sleeve over the pipe and put the nut over that. Then tighten the nut and you’re good to go! Since the enclosure is a bit weak, it can break easily. So keep that in mind.

Here are a couple of suggestions for compression pipe fittings:

Anderson Metals Compression Tube Fitting, 1/2″Check Latest Price
Anderson Metals Compression Tube Fitting, 90 Degree Elbow, 1/4″Check Latest Price


Question: What is an IPS thread? 

Answer: IPS pipes follow a simple threading structure. The threads are used to hold the fitting in place. The standard thread for IPS fittings is called IPS thread. 

Question: Are IPS and NPT sizes similar? 

Answer: IPS is the measurement of the inner diameter of the pipe. Meanwhile, NPT is the total measurement of inner and outer diameter. In some cases, they might be similar. But, in most cases they’re different. 

Question: Are FIP and MIP similar to IPS?

Answer: FIP and MIP stand for Female and Male Iron Pipes respectively. They’re the internal diameter for specific types of IPS.

Final Word 

Pipe fitting measurements can be confusing. There is a lot of jargon without a lot of explanation. However, ½ IPS have been very common in pipe measurements. 

To make your life easier, we’ve discussed everything there’s to know about! 

We hope you find this helpful!