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What type of fitting is used to attach a pipe to a flat surface such as a barrel or other container?

The reason I ask is because I have built a tray out of sheet metal that is intended to contain plants. I now need to tap a drainage pipe into the bottom of it for the excess water.

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A picture, or simple drawing might help folks understand better what you're trying to do. –  Tester101 Aug 14 '12 at 12:31
    
What is the thickness of the sheet metal? Could you weld on a threaded nipple, or possibly drill and tap a hole to allow a drain line to be screwed into place? –  Tester101 Aug 14 '12 at 12:34
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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I haven't seen one for a small diameter pipe, but what you're looking for is some type of drain flange:

drain flange

The top is wider to hold it in the opening, the rubber washer is below to seal the connection, and then you use a metal washer and a nut to tighten it to the surface.

With a small diameter pipe, you can improvise this with a threaded pipe and a second nut (pardon the ascii art, this is a cross section view):

                        |     |
                nut  ===|     |===
      rubber washer ....|     |....
  surface --------------|     |--------------
       metal washer ....|     |....
                nut  ===|     |===
                        |drain|
                        |     |

The downside of the improvised version is the nut and threaded pipe will sit up a bit from the bottom, so this doesn't work as well if you need it to drain completely to the bottom.

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These fittings are commonly called Bulkhead Flanges and can be found in all sizes and materials. –  pdd Aug 14 '12 at 20:34
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I am not entirely sure what you would like to do but you can attach almost anything with steal putty or epoxy resin.

Steal putty

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Epoxy Glue

enter image description here

Both of which require to mix two parts into a single part (usually in equal parts) and they are non-toxic (but check the package before use)

You can either mould over or around the pipe glueing it to the surface or sealing it water tight.

Some examples

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You could attach a flange to the outside of the tray under the hole. flange

(The flange shown would be turned upside down for this use, with the flat side pointing up)

The flange can be attached using bolts with the heads on the inside of the tray and nuts under the flange. Seal the flange with silicon sealant. This does require a threaded pipe, but these are generally available at home centers.

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A rubber gasket between the flange and the tray might help prevent leaks, rubber washers for the bolts might not be a bad idea either (if you care about preventing leaks). –  Tester101 Aug 14 '12 at 15:53
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