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A similar notion exists in the fire service, where a manifold is an appliance for combining or splitting water supply lines. A typical example of a fire service manifold would be an appliance with 3 2.5" threaded ports and a single 5" Storz port, which can be used to either merge multiple 2.5" or 3" supply lines into one 5" supply line, or to divide the flow from a 5" line up into multiple smaller lines.

Example: http://fireflowtechnology.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/100...




And on a smaller scale, ordinary water plumbing :-).




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