Skip to content
Home >> Plumbing >> Pipes >> Fittings >> Long Sweep Vs Short Sweep: Understanding the Differences in Plumbing Fittings

Long Sweep Vs Short Sweep: Understanding the Differences in Plumbing Fittings

A practical and well-designed drainage system is essential when it comes to plumbing. Understanding the distinctions between various fittings is crucial for successful installations. The long sweep 90 and short sweep are two fittings that are often used in plumbing systems.

So long sweep vs short sweep, what’s the difference?

The short sweep is much more resistant to wastewater than the long sweep going through the pipe. Despite their initial similarities, they have distinct variances that make them ideal for particular uses.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key differences between the long sweep and short sweep fittings. We shall investigate their uses, functions, and directional characteristics. So let’s dive into it!

Table: Long Sweep vs Short Sweep

Here is a table summarizing the differences between long sweep and short sweep fittings:

AspectLong Sweep FittingsShort Sweep Fittings
Flow of WastewaterAllows unrestricted flow without resistanceCauses intentional resistance to regulated flow
DirectionPoints horizontal pipe at vertical sewer main pipelinePositions nearer vertical pipes, rerouting the flow
UsesSuitable for big fixtures and wastewater with particlesUsed in smaller fixtures and for joining after turns
Concealing PipelinesDifficult to hide due to size and designEasy to conceal due to the small size
Suitable Tee FittingsJoins drainage pipes too long tee fittingsJoins drainage pipes too short tee fittings

Understanding the Differences: Long Sweep vs Short Sweep

Plumbing fixtures are made to make it easier for wastewater to flow smoothly through a drainage system.

  • The main distinction between long sweep and short sweep fittings is how they handle the flow of wastewater via pipes.
  • The long sweep 90 fitting is perfect for some applications because it enables wastewater to flow freely without encountering resistance.
  • The short sweep fitting, on the other hand, purposefully causes resistance with its small radius to regulate the flow of wastewater. Their unique features and particular use cases are based on this functional difference.
fitting for chnages in direction
Image Source:

Knowing this essential difference can help you choose a fitting that precisely matches your plumbing needs.

Thus, understanding the distinctions between them is essential for a good plumbing installation, regardless of whether you need unrestricted flow or regulated movement of wastewater.


Another essential distinction between long sweep and short sweep fittings is the direction in which the fittings direct the flow of wastewater.

  • The horizontal pipe is generally pointed at the vertical sewer main pipeline using the long sweep fittings. This arrangement makes it perfect for joining substantial fixtures in a drainage system.
  • In contrast, the short sweep fitting is positioned nearer the vertical pipes inside the drainage system, rerouting the flow towards the horizontal pipeline. Due to its shape, it is more suited for tiny fixture connections and easy handling curves.


Depending on their qualities, long sweep, and short sweep fittings serve different applications and purposes.

  • The long sweep fitting is essential for big drainage system fixtures because it is frequently used to manage wastewater that contains particles. Its layout allows for the effective removal of trash and promotes continuous flow.
  • The short sweep fitting, however, has a different use. It is mostly used in smaller fixtures and is especially useful for joining pipe fittings after turns.

However, it also aids in an efficient drainage system. The system is put under less strain and a seamless transition is ensured thanks to its smaller radius.

Hiding the Pipelines

For homeowners and builders, the plumbing installation’s aesthetics are frequently taken into account. The ability to hide pipes may significantly improve a space’s overall look. Here, the distinctions between fits with long sweeps and those with short sweeps are clear.

  • Due to its size and design, the long sweep fitting may make it difficult to conceal the pipes. It might be challenging to conceal the pipes within the joist bay or ceiling space due to their existence.

In certain instances, lowering the ceiling or other structural modifications may be necessary to suit its size.

  • The standard short sweep fitting, on the other hand, gives you more freedom when it comes to hiding the pipes. Its small size makes installation within the joist bay simple.

And this ensures that the pipes are covered without requiring considerable alterations to the nearby structures.

Using at the Right Place

For a plumbing system to function well, long sweep and short sweep fittings must be used in the right locations. For the fitting to perform at its best, it must match the appropriate tee fittings.

  • The long sweep fitting should be used to join drainage pipes to long tee fittings. Because of its wider radius and other design elements, the connection is made more easily, reducing the chance of problems and assuring effective wastewater flow.
  • On the other hand, the short sweep fitting is suggested for using short tee fittings. The lower fixture size and this fitting’s narrower radius combine to create a connection that is smooth and secure without sacrificing performance.


Here are some relevant FAQs you might find interesting:

Q: What is a long sweep used for?

In commercial, corporate, and residential structures with many levels, a long sweep—often with a cleanout feature—serves various functions. Its main function in a building is to move wastewater from higher levels to the ground floor.

Q: Do I need a long sweep for the toilet?

Yes, for effectively diverting toilet wastewater, a long sweep fitting is advised. To ensure adequate flow and avoid waste overflowing into the toilet, the longer sweep fitting’s larger radius is crucial.

Q: Can I use a 90-degree elbow instead?

Yes, you can use a 90-degree elbow in plumbing installations to direct wastewater vertically. But it’s essential to add two 45-degree fittings, as well as a brief section of straight pipe, in between the sweep fittings.

With this setup, the pipeline will efficiently direct wastewater without creating any hiccups.


For each plumbing job, it is essential to comprehend the unique characteristics between long sweep and short sweep fittings. You may choose wisely if you understand how they differ in terms of wastewater flow, direction, usage, concealing potential, and acceptable applications.

With this information, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional plumber, you can choose the appropriate fitting for every given case. Remember that selecting the fitting that best serves the desired purpose will provide optimal functioning and lifespan and ensure the success of your plumbing project.