Branch Connections: A Guide to Choosing and Using Olet Style Connections


Olet type branch connections are an excellent alternative to reinforcement pads and ordinary pipe tees because they combine a self-reinforcing design with a variety of forms and sizes.

Different designs provide solutions for nearly every pipe size or form, as well as multiple connection choices and robust, long-lasting connections.

Before we get into the different types of olets and how they differ, it’s necessary to look at some common characteristics to get an understanding of how they operate.


Typically, when branching a pipe, you can use one of a few options:

  • A standard piping tee
  • A saddle type pipe connection with or without a reinforcement pad
  • An olet

Olets have the same branching functionality as a conventional tee, but they have a self-reinforcing design that needs less on-site fabrication. The majority of olet designs are intended for usage as a 90-degree branch connection. Specialty designs, on the other hand, are designed for use on elbow bends or to produce 45-degree connections. Welding is required for the appropriate installation of olets to a pipe, pressure tank, or other piping system components. They do, however, come with a variety of end connectors to accommodate varied purposes and connecting techniques. This is the most popular method of distinguishing between different olet types. Because of the way olets are constructed, they will only function when branching between equal or smaller pipes.


The characteristics of the majority of olet kinds are described directly in the name. This might remove the confusion out of narrowing your initial choices.

Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent forms of olets and their features.


Weldolets have a 37-degree bevelled end that is welded onto the outlet pipe. Because of its design, it is termed a butt-weld fitting and is one of the most common branch connectors available. This olet is utilized in high-temperature and high-pressure environments.


Instead of a beveled end, Sockolets use a socket with a bore that matches the outlet bore and a counterbore that is about the size of the outlet’s outer diameter. This forms a socket for the pipe, making welding and installation easier. Sockolets are socket fittings that are available in 3000#, 6000#, and 9000# classes.


Thredolets have a threaded end with a bore that matches the output bore, allowing for no welding connection. Thredolets are threaded fittings that are usually available in 3000# and 6000# classes.


Latrolets can include butt-weld, socket weld, or threaded connections to suit diverse applications, allowing for 45-degree lateral connections as opposed to the conventional 90-degree connection of other olet types. They are most typically available in 3000# or 6000# classes.


Elbolets give a 90-degree branch connection option for elbows and bent pipes, whereas conventional olets require a straight line of pipe for installation. They are often used for Thermowell and instrumentation installations and come in butt-weld, socket weld, and threaded forms to suit a variety of applications. While most often utilized with 90-degree long radius elbows, alternatives for short radius elbows are available.


Nipolets have an extended pipe body and are available in 90-degree branch connection configurations. They are available in a number of end types, including male socket (PE), butt-weld, and male threaded. Nipolets are commonly used in valve take-offs, drains, and vents and come in lengths ranging from 3.5 to 6.5 inches.


Sweepolets are generally utilized in large-size branch connections and are designed to facilitate a smooth flow transition from the run pipe to the branch pipe. To reduce stress intensification factors, this butt-weld branch connection is curved and integrally strengthened. This results in a low-stress, long-life solution. For applications that need radiography, ultrasonography, or other non-destructive inspection methods, the design enables simple methods.

Insert Weldolets

Insert Weldolets, which are contoured like Sweepolets and have a raised portion on the connecting end to help with the connection, providing easy-to-examine attachment welds in a design similar to Weldolets.

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