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Flex vs. Rigid Couplers: What’s the Difference?

Flex vs. Rigid Couplers: What's the Difference?

Modern plumbing systems are complex and comprised of many different parts. Therefore, devices known as flex and rigid couplers are required to ensure the plumbing infrastructure is properly connected. But what’s the difference between these two parts? Read on to learn more about each coupler to understand its functions and applications.

Rigid Couplers

Rigid couplers, as their name suggests, are sturdy connection components useful in a variety of applications, but most notably in plumbing infrastructure. These devices maintain a quality connection between two aligned plumbing shafts. Additionally, they help prevent leaking and ruptures in your piping. However, rigid couplers cannot support any amount of shifting or misalignment. Because of this, they’re much more common for vertical pumps and related applications.

Flex Couplers

Flexible couplers accomplish what rigid counterparts cannot—joining two misaligned plumbing shafts with differing connections. These components can withstand torque created by misalignment and general movement without breaking the link and causing a rupture. Additionally, these couplers are tremendous at dampening vibrations and torque overloads. As such, flex couplers are often used as long-term solutions for shifted/aged plumbing infrastructure and problematic piping. Conversely, these parts are extremely valuable during construction when plumbing systems are first built.

Which Is Right for You?

Ultimately, both of these couplers play valuable roles in your plumbing system’s structural integrity and functionality. But which option is right for you?

Rigid couplers are what you need to deal with a vertical pump or related application. These parts provide superior support for systems that are unlikely to experience shifting or misalignment.

Conversely, outdated, aged, or damaged plumbing systems often show signs of piping misalignment. In these situations, flexible couplers are better suited to provide support and functionality. Furthermore, new construction projects are ideal applications for flex couplers.

Along with understanding the importance of pipe couplers, knowing the difference between flex and rigid couplers can help ensure better overall plumbing performance. In essence, flex couplers can support misalignment, and rigid couplers are best for vertical applications. If you’re still unsure of the best parts for your existing infrastructure, consider contacting a professional contractor for their expert opinion.

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