A flange is primarily used in plumbing as a connector fitting between pipes and a water holding tank, such as a hot water tank. Pipe flanges are also used to regulate air flow within the pipes that run from water tanks to the plumbing fixtures in question, and also make it possible to withdraw water from a tank without necessitating the operation of the tank itself. The three most popular types of pipe flanges are the Surrey flange, the York flange, and the Closet flange.
The purpose of a Surrey flange is to create an autonomous hot water supply, allowing for the withdrawal of water without disturbing the hot water tank, and to curtail air surging and water temperature variations. Additionally, Surrey flanges help reduce the operational noise level of a hot water tank.
The air vent of a Surrey flange prevents air from building up in the pipe from the hot water tank to the shower by purging the shower circuit of accumulated air.
A York Flange, like a Surrey flange, connects to a hot water tank, and creates a set-up that allows for the withdrawal of hot water without involving any operation of the tank. Like Surrey flanges, York flanges also possess air vents, which are used to regulate and maintain even air flow within the water pipes. The difference between a York flange and a Surrey flange is that the York flange has female adaptors, allowing them to fit onto a male tank, while Surrey flanges are built to connect to a female tank only.
Closet flanges, named after the water closets of yesteryear, are used in the installation of toilets. The purpose of the closet flange is dual; it not only connects the drain pipe to the toilet drain, but it also fixes the toilet to the floor and stabilises it. During installation, the toilet is secured to the closet flange, rather than the floor, with a wax ring placed between the toilet and flange, as a sort of large washer.