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The Advantages of Press Fittings Over Hot Welding in Plumbing Systems

In the world of plumbing, the choice between press fittings and hot welding has been a subject of much debate.

Both methods are widely used for joining pipes and fittings, each with its unique set of advantages and drawbacks. In recent years, press fittings have gained increasing popularity, challenging the traditional dominance of hot welding. As well as the obvious health and safety aspect, press/push fit systems can be more suitable in certain circumstances.

This article aims to provide the benefits of press fittings over hot welding in plumbing systems, examining how this innovative technique is reshaping the landscape of pipe connection methods.

Radiator piping

Time and Efficiency

One of the primary advantages of press fittings is their remarkable efficiency in terms of time and labour. Unlike hot welding, which involves meticulous preparation, welding, and cooling times, press fittings offer a faster alternative.

With press fittings, a properly trained plumber can secure and leak-proof connection within minutes, significantly reducing installation time. This efficiency is particularly advantageous in large-scale plumbing projects where time is of the essence.

The lighter material makes carrying up stairs etc. easier also, versus heavier carbon steel.

Cost-Effectiveness

Press fittings contribute to cost-effectiveness through various channels.  Reduced labour time clearly translates into lower installation costs.

Additionally, press fittings eliminate the need for specialised welding equipment and skilled welders, leading to a reduction in overall project expenses. Although the initial investment in press fitting tools may be higher, the long-term cost savings and increased productivity often outweigh these upfront costs.

Specialist plumbers merchants such as Collister & Glover, based in Deeside, North Wales, offer free training with press fit suppliers for new or apprentice plumbers.

We offer in house training in our special training room, and Pegler Yorkshire or M Press will explain how to use the system and tools. At the end the participants receive a certificate of competency.

Ian Chester, Branch Manager at Collister & Glover

Versatility and Adaptability

Press fittings showcase remarkable versatility in accommodating various types of pipes and materials.

They can be used with copper, stainless steel, PEX, and other materials, offering flexibility in plumbing system design. This adaptability is a significant advantage over hot welding, which may be limited by the compatibility of materials.

The ability to work with diverse materials enhances the applicability of press fittings across a wide range of plumbing applications.

Reduced Risk of Errors

Hot welding demands precision and expertise, and even a small error in the welding process may lead to leaks or structural issues in the plumbing system.

Press fittings, on the other hand, reduce the risk of errors associated with human factors. The technology behind press fittings includes visual indicators that confirm a proper connection, minimising the chance of faulty installations. Again, training is critical to avoid errors.

Since press fittings are so reliable, they reduce the need for any rework. However, leaving water in a carbon press fit system is a no-no, and can leads to system failure. Only use licensed plumbers who have proper press fit training.

Cold-Working Advantage

Press fittings are considered a cold-working process, meaning there is no need for open flames or extreme heat during installation.

This is particularly advantageous in environments where hot welding may pose safety concerns, such as in occupied buildings such as hospitals or schools, or areas with flammable materials.

Rory Woodhouse, owner of Woodhouse Plumbing & Heating, based in Cheshire, states:

We use press fit in most schools and hospital jobs that we work on. It is a system that is easy to work with, all our plumbers are trained and comfortable using the materials and tools, and work is completed quicker leading to a happier client experience.

The cold-working nature of press fittings increases workplace safety, making them the preferred choice in a many construction and renovation projects.

Conclusion

While hot welding is advised in pressure systems such as boiler rooms, in the ongoing debate between press fittings and hot welding in plumbing systems, more plumbers are seeing the advantages of press fittings.

From time and cost efficiency to versatility and reduced risk of errors, press fittings offer a compelling alternative to traditional hot welding methods.

As technology continues to advance, it is likely that press fittings will continue to gain traction in the plumbing industry, reshaping the way pipes and fittings are joined in construction projects worldwide.

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