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5 Advantages for Using Cast Iron Starter Fittings

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Throughout the 20th century, the rapid development of high-rise structures in cities across the country demanded an effective plumbing solution. From there, the value of vertical cast iron starter fittings became clear.

As the name suggests, cast iron starter fittings are the starting point from which a larger network of pipe and fittings come together, primarily in multi-story high-rises. At its core, the effectiveness of starter fittings lies in their capacity to combine several components into a unified whole — ensuring faster, simplified installations.

While they’re not as commonly used outside of large metropolitan markets, it’s useful to explore how starter fittings help simplify otherwise complex plumbing installations.

"At its core, the effectiveness of starter fittings lies in their capacity to combine several components into a unified whole — ensuring faster, simplified installations."

Common Application Types

Cast iron starter fittings are best suited for multi-story construction projects where identical bathroom groups repeat floor after floor, such as in condominiums, apartments, hotels, and hospitals. Regardless of whether the structure is four stories or 74 stories tall, cast iron starter fittings offer consistent benefits throughout.

When it comes to applying starter fittings in multi-story construction projects, there are three main types of water closet configurations:

  • Floor mounted, back outlet

  • Floor mounted, bottom outlet

  • Wall hung, back outlet

Cast iron starter fittings are engineered to accommodate any of the three types of water closet setups requiring connection points positioned under, in, and above the floor. Supporting tub and shower combinations, these fittings offer adaptability, utility, and effectiveness.

Starter fittings reduce the number of joints, minimize the complexity of distributing fittings on a job site, fit better within confined plumbing walls, and improve the overall quality of a job.

Regional Considerations

Installation requirements for starter fittings vary based on project, market, and application type. Recognizing the substantial differences in installation criteria from one region to another is vital and should be followed accordingly to ensure the integrity of the application.

Contractors servicing major metropolitan hubs — including New York, Miami, and Chicago — have become accustomed to using cast iron starter fittings. Nevertheless, the advantages they offer can be tapped in any region.

5 Advantages for Improving the Quality and Efficiency of a Job

1. Saves labor costs

Starter fittings help avoid added labor costs by enabling fabrication before the system is installed. With less labor required, less time is spent on the jobsite. In addition, with separate fittings and couplings crafted into one, there are fewer joints to make, further cutting down time requirements and labor needs.

2. Uses post-consumer recycled material

For contractors striving to make a more sustainable impact, a major advantage of cast iron is that it’s a green product. At Charlotte Pipe, cast iron starter fittings are manufactured from 96% post-consumer recycled material. The production of these fittings extends the company’s goal of recycling nearly 150,000 tons of scrap iron annually.

3. Consolidates the need for space with more compact sizing

Coupled with time and labor savings, multi-story cast iron starter fittings streamline the amount of materials needed on the job. Starter fittings provide the functionality of conventional plumbing but in a compact design that uses less space between walls or in the slab. These fittings, once installed, are much more compact than if all of the separate fixtures were to be combined.

4. Reduces the opportunity for leaks

Without starter fittings, leaks pose a greater threat for contractors, requiring them to track down the problem and fix it quickly. With fewer joints and connection points in starter fittings, there are less opportunities for leaks to occur and less risk for the system to fail.

5. Extends Charlotte Pipe’s American-made commitment

Cast iron starter fittings, along with Charlotte Pipe’s full product portfolio, are proudly made in the USA to the highest quality standards. They’re specifiable and quality-assured to deliver results for multi-story construction.

Charlotte Pipe has been manufacturing its cast iron pipe and fittings for more than a century, bringing an unprecedented level of insight and understanding of the industry and the ability to tackle versatile project needs.

Need support for your next plumbing project? Browse cast iron multi-story resources and literature on Charlotte Pipe’s technical hub.

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