How To Connect Two Galvanized Pipes Without Threads

Generally speaking, galvanized pipes come standard with threading on both ends. This makes it easy to connect two pieces and continue your project, but sometimes you might end up with two thread-free ends. So, now what? Can you connect the two ends without a hassle?

Lucky for you, the process is pretty straightforward. Although it might not seem as easy as threading the two ends together, connecting two square ends of a pipe doesn’t take much effort. This article explains the process, so continue reading to learn more!

What Type Of Coupling Do You Need To Connect Galvanized Pipe?

Before you start your plumbing project, you’ll need to round up a few couplings. There are a couple of varieties, so ensure you purchase the right option based on the pipe you’re using. Here are a few tips to help guide you in the right direction:

  • Rough surfaces: If the pipes you’re working with have a rough surface, you’ll need to choose a coupling designed for this. Choose a rough surface coupling, as standard pipe couplings are better suited to smooth surfaces.
  • Same-size pipes: If the pipes are the same size, you can use a standard coupling. Use the diameter of the pipes to determine the correct size. Again, if the surface is smooth, use a standard coupling, but if it’s rough, use a rough surface coupling.
  • Different-sized pipes: You can connect different-sized pipes, but you’ll need a stepped coupling. You’ll need to determine the size of each pipe to choose the correct stepped coupling.

Additional Considerations For Connecting The Pipes

Aside from choosing the proper couplings, there are a few additional considerations you’ll need to note and correct before connecting the pipes. Here’s what you need to check:

  • Diameter of the pipe: Before you choose the correct coupling, you’ll need to know the exact diameter of each pipe. So, before you proceed, ensure you carefully measure the diameter of each pipe.
  • Squareness of each end: For the pipe ends to connect without a problematic gap, both ends need to be square. Use a square to check each end, and use a power saw or hacksaw to square them off as needed. Then, use a metal sander to smooth out rough patches o the end.
  • Connection technique: While you can weld galvanized piping together, you might find it easier to use a non-welding approach. If you use the welding method, ensure you remove the zinc coating and follow the proper safety technique. Choose the option that best fits your skill set.

How Do You Connect Two Pieces Of Galvanized Pipe?

There are a couple of ways you can connect two ends of galvanized pipe. With threaded pipes, you can simply screw them together. However, since the situation isn’t always this ideal, you might end up with two non-threaded galvanized pipe ends. The most common way to connect unthreaded pipes is by using a coupling.

How To Connect Two Unthreaded Pieces Of Galvanized Pipe

The process is a bit different with unthreaded galvanized pipe, as you’ll need to use a coupling to join the two ends. The following steps outline the process, but first, gather your materials:

  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Level or square
  • Pencil
  • Couplings
  • Rag and water-based degreaser
  • Power saw or hacksaw (as needed)
  • Metal sander (as needed)
  • Screwdriver
  • Torque wrench

Choose The Right Coupling

First, you’ll need to choose the correct couplings for the project. Follow the guidelines listed above to select the right option. Be sure to measure carefully (it doesn’t hurt to measure twice!) to ensure the couplings will fit the pipes you’re working with.

You can pick up couplings at your local home improvement store or hardware store, although stock may be limited based on your area. Buy as many as you need for the project.

Prepare Each Pipe

Once you gather the correct couplings to connect the pipes, it’s time to prep them for connection. You’ll need to level, sand, and clean each pipe end for a snug, secure fit. Check each pipe end to ensure it’s perfectly straight and square if you haven’t already. You can use a ruler or a level to check this.

If the pipe is angled, use a hacksaw or power saw to even things out. Use a metal sander to smooth out rough patches left behind after cutting. This will ensure the pipes can slide into place without catching due to metal bits sticking out.

Once you sand the end of the pipe, wipe down each end with a towel and degreaser. Use a water-based degreaser to remove any dirt and stains where the coupling will sit.

Test Your Materials

When your pipes are ready, it’s time to test them in the couplings. This helps avoid any hiccups later in the process, so don’t skip this step! Simply insert both pipe ends into the coupling, adjusting them as necessary to meet the center of the coupling.

If necessary, use a ruler or measuring tape to mark the correct center point on the coupling and where it hits on the pipes. Mark the right point on each coupling to represent how deep the pipe needs to go to meet in the middle. You want each pipe to sit squarely against the other inside the coupling, so measure multiple times as required.

Once you confirm they fit securely in the couplings, you can move to the following step. However, if there’s a bit of leeway or extra material inside the coupling, recalibrate and manipulate them until you get them to fit into the coupler.

Secure The Pieces

Last but not least, you need to secure each piece in the coupling. While you might be tempted to skip this step, especially if they’re snug in the coupler, this step is essential.

Use your measurements to ensure the pipes are correctly aligned in the coupling. They should meet in the middle and sit squarely. Make adjustments as necessary.

Remove the pipes from the coupler, then loosely tighten the fastening bolts with a screwdriver. Next, insert one of the pipes into the coupler, aligning it with the mark you made earlier. Insert the second pipe until it meets the correct depth.

Once the pipes are in place according to your measurements, use a screwdriver to tighten the bolts. As you tighten the bolts, they’ll secure the pipes into place inside the coupling. Use a torque wrench to finish tightening the bolts. Continue tightening until you hear the audible click from the wrench.

And tada, you’re done!

Tips For A Successful Installation

It can be tricky if this is your first time joining two unthreaded galvanized pipes. However, you’ll be just fine once you get the hang of it. Here are a few tips to help the process go smoothly:

  • Take your time: Don’t rush through this process, as it requires using power tools and making careful cuts. It doesn’t take too long, but take the time you need to do it right the first time! Who likes retracing to redo specific steps of a project? Not us!
  • Keep extra pipes on hand: Accidents happen – you might accidentally cut the pipe too much or sand it down too much. If that’s the case, you might need to switch to a different pipe. So, keep an extra pipe or two on hand.
  • Take as little off as possible: When you cut the pipe ends to square and level them, try to take off as little as possible. You can always take more off if you need to, but it’s not quite as easy to put it back on.
  • Pay attention to torque requirements: The coupler you use will have a different torque requirement, so take note of it as you join the pipes and tighten the bolts.
  • Prepare ahead of time: If you’re joining multiple pipes, prepare them all at once. This will save you the hassle of repeating the first steps each time you move to the next coupling. So, square, sand, and degrease all of the pipes before starting.

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