A Wrexham-based plumbing firm has used press fittings for the first time for a major church restoration project in Wales.

Speed, cost, and safety of installation are the leading priorities for any heating engineer or plumber, regardless of the job at hand. Delivering the highest standards in the shortest time maximises productivity, profit, and keeps the customer happy. For this reason, installers are increasingly on the lookout for methods that save on time, money, and labour without letting standards drop.

Timesaving is a key factor in why press-fitting has grown in popularity. While soldering or brazing requires the installer to wait for the flame to weld the joint together, press-fitting can be completed in mere seconds with the use of a specialist press-fit tool. When installers are working on projects with hundreds of joints, the time saved over the course of the whole job is substantial.

This was one of the key reasons that plumbing and heating specialists The Wright Plumbing chose Conex Bänninger >B< Press fittings on the £500,000 refurbishment of Cloddaith United Church in Llandudno, Wales.

The Wright Plumbing is based in Wrexham and has been servicing projects within North Wales and the Midlands for over 10 years. The company was subcontracted to carry out all the plumbing work for the project, which included 300 joints.

The work included the installation of two slave boilers, fan heaters, radiators and trench heating within the church kitchens, bathrooms, and toilets, meaning that over 300m of pipework had to be installed in total.

Guy Wright, plumbing and heating engineer at The Wright Plumbing, explained: “With the significant amount of work needed, we looked at alternative options to the usual braze method. After speaking to our contact at Conex Bänninger and visiting our local merchant to try out the >B< Press system, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to use press-fit fittings for the first time.

“We were not disappointed. The speed of installation was hugely beneficial in finishing the project in good time, and was a lot less hassle than soldering, not to mention having to secure the hot works licence for the premises too. We were also impressed with the quality of the joints. After testing through all 300 joints at the end of the project, only a couple needed further attention.”

Conex Bänninger’s >B< Profile three-point-press design works by making sure that the pipe is parallel to the fitting before contact is made with the O-ring, reducing the chance of damaging the O-ring during assembly.

The EPDM seal features a reduced section on two positions, which will cause leaks even at low pressures when it hasn’t been pressed correctly (from 0.1 to 0.5bar). When pressed correctly, the O-ring material compresses itself to form a secure leak-free joint. The major benefit with this method is that joints that have been incorrectly pressed can be quickly identified and corrected without the need to drain the system down or a risk having to return to fix joints that have leaked.

Guy concluded: “Speed is everything in this industry and we will definitely use the >B< Press system again. It’s easy to specify for a job and requires minimal tooling. I would recommend other heating engineers to consider looking at press-fit options.”