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7 Common Mistakes in Installing Press Fittings

In the world of industrial plumbing, the installation of press fittings has gained significant popularity for its efficiency and time-saving advantages. However, as with any plumbing system, errors in installation can lead to costly consequences, affecting both safety and functionality.

The following article aims to shed light on common mistakes made during the installation of press fittings in industrial plumbing across the UK.

Plumber with tools

Lack of Proper Training

One of the most prevalent mistakes made during the installation of press fittings is a lack of proper training.

Press fitting systems require specific skills and knowledge, and operators must be well-versed in the techniques involved. In many instances, installation teams may not have undergone adequate training, leading to errors that compromise the integrity of the plumbing system.

To mitigate this issue, it is crucial for plumbing professionals to invest time and resources in comprehensive training programs. Certification courses that cover the intricacies of press fitting installation can significantly reduce the likelihood of errors and ensure that installations adhere to industry standards.

Did you know that we offer a free training service with one of our providers? Contact sales@colglo.co.uk for more info.

Incorrect Pipe Preparation

Proper pipe preparation is fundamental to the success of press fitting installations.

Common mistakes include inadequate cleaning of pipes, uneven cuts, or improper deburring. Neglecting these essential steps can result in imperfect connections, leading to leaks and reduced system efficiency.

To avoid this, installers should stick to manufacturer guidelines for pipe preparation. Thoroughly cleaning the pipe ends, making precise cuts, and removing burrs are critical steps that should not be overlooked.

These practices ensure optimal contact between the pipe and the press fitting, promoting a secure and leak-free connection.

Inadequate Calibration of Press Tools

Press fittings require specialised tools for installation, such as press machines and jaws.

A mistake frequently made is the inadequate calibration of these tools. Improper calibration can result in insufficient force being applied during the pressing process, leading to incomplete connections and potential leaks.

Regular calibration checks on press tools are essential to guarantee their accuracy. Manufacturers typically provide guidelines on calibration intervals, and plumbing professionals must adhere to these recommendations to maintain the reliability of their equipment.

I arrange REMS and other gun supplier calibration to ensure equipment is reliable and fit to use. Every week we have guns going out for servicing on behalf of our clients.

Phil Riley, Collister & Glover

Want to learn more about this service? Call 01244 288000 for further information.

Misapplication of Fittings

Selecting the correct press fitting for the specific application is paramount to a successful installation.

However, misapplication of fittings is a common mistake in industrial plumbing. This can occur when installers use fittings that are not suitable for the intended purpose or fail to consider factors such as pipe material, size, and system pressure.

To prevent misapplication, installers should carefully review project specifications and consult with manufacturers or suppliers if necessary. Utilising the appropriate fittings for each unique scenario ensures the longevity and reliability of the plumbing system.

Ignoring Environmental Factors

Environmental factors play a crucial role in the performance of press fittings.

Exposure to corrosive substances, extreme temperatures, or harsh chemicals can compromise the integrity of the fittings over time. Ignoring these environmental considerations is a common mistake in industrial plumbing installations.

Installers should conduct a thorough assessment of the environment where press fittings will be used. This includes analysing the chemical composition of the fluids being transported, assessing temperature fluctuations, and considering the potential for external corrosion.

Choosing press fittings with suitable material compositions and protective coatings can help mitigate the impact of harsh environmental conditions. Again, plumbers merchants or manufacturers can provide advice here.

We always ask our clients about the environment they are working in. They should have a clean working environment at all times.

Mike Ford, M-Press Fittings

Overlooking Quality Assurance

In the rush to complete projects quickly, some installers may overlook quality assurance measures.

This can involve neglecting to conduct pressure tests after installation or failing to inspect fittings for manufacturing defects. Overlooking these crucial steps can result in undetected leaks and compromise the overall reliability of the plumbing system.

Quality assurance should be an integral part of the installation process. Regular inspections, pressure tests, and adherence to industry standards contribute to the long-term success of press fitting installations.

Prioritising quality over speed can prevent costly rework and ensure that the plumbing system meets the required safety and performance standards.

Failure to Follow Manufacturer Guidelines

The biggest suppliers of press fittings in the UK are Xpress (Pegler), George Fischer and M-Press Fittings. Each press fitting manufacturer provides specific guidelines for installation, including recommended procedures, tools, and maintenance practices.

A common mistake made by installers is disregarding or deviating from these guidelines. This can lead to suboptimal installations and void warranties, leaving the system vulnerable to issues in the future.

Installers must diligently follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure the proper installation of press fittings. These guidelines are designed to optimise the performance and longevity of the fittings and should be considered as non-negotiable for a successful installation.

Conclusion

While press fittings offer numerous advantages in industrial plumbing installations, avoiding common mistakes is crucial to ensuring the longevity, safety, and efficiency of the system.

By addressing these key areas, plumbing professionals can mitigate risks and contribute to the overall success of industrial plumbing projects.

For more information please contact Nigel Cunniffe, Director at Arran Pipeline Supplies Ltd or email sales@colglo.co.uk.

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