With the popularity of press and push fittings on the rise within the British plumbing industry, Bill Barlow looks at the installation benefits of both types of fitting and why they are, in many cases, preferable to the traditional braze fitting

Press fit

Quicker than braze
While traditional methods still have their place in the market, the rise of press has in part been driven by an improved installation time when compared to braze.

Press fittings can make completion of a job to three times faster than brazing. They can also reduce the amount of time that needs to be spent on site, as the site assessment and permits required when working with flame-based fittings are not required.

Improves site safety
Health and safety at work is paramount, whatever the industry. To undertake any welding works, the company installing must obtain a hot works permit in order to legally complete the job. When soldering, there is also a real risk that carbon deposits or flux may be left as a by-product of the installation

Peace of mind
One of the stand out benefits of press fittings, and particularly three point press variants, is that they offer an added layer of security and peace of mind for the installer, who is safe in the knowledge that the joint will be correctly sealed.

With traditional methods, there is a risk that the fitting could be left incomplete if the installer cannot get the solder to flow correctly around the joint, resulting in leaks.

Push fit

Time saving
Push fit technology has been designed to optimise time efficiency and to help ensure installers are able to work across jobs more effectively.

No tools needed for installation
Unlike press fit methods, push fit fittings require no additional tools for installation. Once cutting, measuring and deburring of the pipes has been undertaken, the actual jointing takes just seconds to complete.

Easily de-mountable
Another key benefit is that the fitting can be easily de-mounted if there has been an error in installation or removal is required. This is not as simple with press fittings, or where traditional methods are concerned.

Importantly, if removal is required, there is only minimal need for additional materials or new pipework; the installer need only remove the existing fitting with the appropriate release tool and replace with a new one providing the pipe is not damaged.

Perfect for working in confined spaces
Push-fit fittings are particularly suitable for use in tight spaces. When space is limited there may be a risk that the joint is not secure if the installer is unable to access the pipes properly for brazing or to use a Press Jaw, factors which could considerably affect the quality of the joint.

In addition to choosing the best jointing solution for the job, it is important to consider investing in the best possible fittings on the market. Copper and brass solutions are often desirable as their strength and durability cannot always be matched by plastic alternatives.

Bill Barlow is UK business unit director for Conex Bänninger