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Long Sweep 90 Vs Short Sweep

Do you intend to do the DWV plumbing in your home and are wondering where to start? Whether you will call in a professional plumber or it’s a DIY project doesn’t matter. This article will equip you with the necessary knowledge on selecting and using the short sweep or long sweep 90.

The direction of the water flow can significantly determine how you will choose your sweeps. This can either be horizontal to vertical or horizontal to horizontal.

What is a Plumping Sweep?

This refers to a uniform plumping system used to connect pipelines for easy wastewater flow. The pipelines are placed in a way that the wastewater only flows downwards.

What is a Long Sweep 90?

This sweep is called the long sweep elbow, sweep tee, or long radius elbow. The sweep is excellent for commercial or storied buildings for guiding the direction in which the water flows down to the major drain line.
The long sweep 90 has a bigger radius than the short sweep on the outside and inside. When the sweep is used for connecting a vertical or horizontal water pipe, it forms an angle of 90 degrees, which is the reason for its name.

Unlike the short sweep, the long sweep can also direct the water flow from horizontal to horizontal or vertical to horizontal. The sweep’s multipurpose functionality makes it a great drainage and vent system choice.

What is a Short Sweep?

This is also called a short sweep elbow, a bent pipe that connects various pipes in the plumping or drain vent system. The pipe has a short radius inside and outside.

Additionally, the short sweep works the same way as the long sweep by changing the water flow direction from horizontal to vertical.

Comparison Between a Long Sweep and a Short Sweep

It may be difficult for any newcomer to the plumping world to differentiate between the long sweep 90 and the short sweep. This is because they are both necessary for interconnecting the pipes of your drainage system.
Long sweep vs short sweep; use the below guidelines to help you figure out the type of sweep to use to connect pipes in your drainage system.


Using short or long sweep turns is paramount to allow convenient water flow through the plumping system. A short sweep releases pressure in the venting system for better airflow, allowing easy water flow and preventing clogging.

The long sweep 90 is great when the water passing through to the DW piping includes solid wastes. A short radius like the one for the short sweep reduces the wastewater flow speed by suspending all the solids.
In summary, the long sweep increases the pressure while the short sweep reduces the pressure of the water moving down the pipes.

Material used

Good plumping sweeps should be constructed from corrosion-resistant materials since they deal with water. The pipe fittings are made with either metal or strong PVC, which are heavy-duty and impact-resistant.


The short sweep fitting is usually positioned near the vertical pipe, while the long sweep 90 is placed just before the horizontal pipe. Placing the sweeps far away from their respective pipes reduces their efficiency.

The radius

You might notice that the short and long sweep 90 come with different Outside diameters (OD). The short sweep is obtainable in diameters of 2 to 6 inches, while the long sweep ranges between 2 to 7 inches.

And so the long sweep’s inner and outer diameters are usually larger than the short sweep’s. While the short sweep’s radius is relatively small, it’s easy for you to put two or three fingers into the long sweep flanges.

A short radius sweep allows the water to flow through the pipes at a sharper angle than a long radius sweep. This is very helpful in controlling leaks and clogs.

Hiding the Pipelines

The ordinary short sweep lets you hide the plumping pipes into the joist inlet. Hence, this sweep type is easy to install even when repairs are needed.

Contrarily, it is hard to hide the pipes in the bay if you are remodeling your house and not to make up a whole new drainage system. This is because of the many nominal joints: this will force you to adjust the former closet or lower the ceiling of the existing rooms to conceal the pipe.

Using the sweeps rightly

The long sweep isn’t efficient when doing short tee fittings, so you should use the short sweep when connecting your drainage pipelines. Also, long tee fittings perform better with the long sweep for increased efficiency.

Pipe direction

Horizontal to horizontal or vertical to horizontal piping system requires using the long sweep 90. However, a short sweep is vital for horizontal to vertical pipe connections. This means interchanging a short sweep with a long sweep to connect two horizontal pipes slows the water flow.

Sweep Sewer Cleanout

A cleanout is a capped-like pipe connecting your household plumping mechanism to the outside sewer line. For wastewater to flow out of your home efficiently, the pipe indoors should be smaller than the outdoor one. This reduces any chances of blockage in the pipes as the wastewater travels to the sewer lines.

In this case, long sweeps are used highly in cleanouts to short sweeps as it is excellent for use in an open space without being buried.

When Should You Use Long Sweep?

Tee fittings are great for connecting water pipes around the house. The long sweep fittings are usually made from copper, PVC, or stainless steel metals and help change the direction of water flow by 90 degrees.

Applications in Toilet

All the short sweep and long sweep 90 are suitable for use in the toilets’ plumbing system. Therefore, the short sweep should be positioned at horizontal and vertical piping for increased performance.

Great use of long sweep 90 and short sweep in the plumping system of your house is necessary for flawless water flow. A long sweep of 90 degrees can be anywhere on your wastewater, vent, or drainage system. The short sweep is great for the vent system to prompt easy airflow but may not work nicely with the waste and drainage system.