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    copper press fitting question (42 Posts)

  • clammy clammy @ 6:40 AM
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    copper press fitting question

    I see alot of press fittings being used on some service calls i do and most of the time it is being used on stuff i feel could have very eaisly been soldered but what ever but what i have noticed is on most the fitting and pipe looks to be completrly squared when pressed, just wonder how this would effect flow espically since most of these repairs where done on heating systems.On a side note does a green ring around the outside of the bell of the fitting constuite a leak .Just wondering ,i can understand the time savings but i basically i  think it looks like crap and is a nightmare when you have to do repairs or replacement of piping near this stuff ,i guess i just don,t see the advantage exsept for the speed thing and the extra costs between installation equiptment and materal just don.t add up but it seems to be very popular w the flat rate guys and there south american workers ,i guess the lower pay scale and higher hourly rate offsets the materal cost and call backs .Sorry for the rant but it gets sad cutting this crap out and tossing it just because you have to change a prv and backflow not bad scrap through.Peace and good luck clammy
  • hot rod hot rod @ 9:53 AM
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    good thing

    you didn't attend the ISH show :) The number of fitting choices on display was mind boggling! Crimp, press, compression, push grip, flare, heat fused, glue, solder, weld, grooved, etc.

    Press fittings are here to stay and their applications are expanding to steel pipe, gas piping, various tube materials, and larger sizes.

    I think the ells offer a little better flow path with a larger sweep, nice for hydronics.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, looking at the jobs that Viega showcases in their Viega Voice newsletter comfirms it can be a nice clean professional looking installation.

    Time savings, flameless safety, repairs to "wet" lines, are a few of then other nice features. Plus you get to collect more power tools.
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 10:08 AM
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    I'm a union man

    This shows the importance of putting in some pipe unions to make any replacements easier in the future.--NBC
  • TonyS TonyS @ 7:26 PM
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    I have noticed

    The jobs I have seen done with crimp fittings are also poorly piped. That would leave me to believe if the installer was not a fitter he probably couldn't solder either.
    The question I have is if you are going to use a crimp fitting, why not use a Shark Bite?
    They are removable, flameless and can be turned after install. An expensive tool is not needed.
  • Ironman Ironman @ 9:10 PM
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    ProPress, like any other method, does require some expertise to do it right.

    After 40 years of sweating and silfosing copper, I got a ProPress last year. No, it doesn't take much skill to pull the trigger, but to do it so that the pipes are "plumb" (as in plumbing) does require a little more.

    There is more "play" in the P.P. fitting's socket so there's a greater chance of getting things out of "plumb". Also, when you press a fitting, the tool will pull the pipe into socket in a manner that may cause the pipe to move from where you placed it.

    The solution is to anchor the piping as much as possible before pressing it. That way the pressing action can't draw the pipe into a different position than what you intended.

    As far as versatility goes, there are some definite advantages for the ProPress in some areas: As Hot Rod pointed out, you don't have to worry about water in the line like you do with sweating.

    The biggest thing that induced me to get the tool was a large solar job we had to do. It had 20 panels that were separated by sky lights, chimney, attic fan, etc. on a tongue and groove roof on a huge log house. Not attic beneath,everything had to be neatly pipied on the roof. 2 rows of panels on either side of a 12/12 slope. Buderus required that all of the copper fittings had to be silfosed. Try doing that on a 12/12 roof where it's all you can do to hang on with one arm!

    The ProPess was a wonderful solution. All we had to do was change the O rings in the fittings for ones that were rated at 320* and press away. Not a single leak and the piping looked great.

    As far as Sharkbites go, I see some use, but the expense is great and they allow the pipe to rotate which can be a nuisance.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    This post was edited by an admin on March 22, 2013 9:12 PM.
  • Paul Pollets Paul Pollets @ 1:39 PM
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    High temp fittings?

    Whose pro-press fittings are you using that have a rating of 320*?
  • R Mannino R Mannino @ 4:52 PM
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  • Paul Pollets Paul Pollets @ 12:47 PM
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    Temperature limits

    The chart on P25 shows a 250 degree limit, not 320.
  • R Mannino R Mannino @ 5:23 PM
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    The Chart is on Page 27

    Page 25
  • Ironman Ironman @ 7:59 PM
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    High Temp O Ring


    The chart says 284* constant with a capability of 356* spikes. Somewhere, I got another doc. from Viega that stated a 320* rating for solar. Buderus was fine with it.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • TonyS TonyS @ 6:16 PM
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    One question Ironman

    Why did they spec an O ring fitting with a lower temp rating than 50/50 solder and the newer silver bearing solders have a temp approaching 600. Just seems strange they would nix any soft solder in favor of silphos when all of these have a higher temp rating than the O ring fittings.
  • Ironman Ironman @ 10:08 PM
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    Good Question Tony...

    And I don't have the answer. Buderus has always required silfos in order to maintain warranty coverage and they seem to feel that soft solder looses some of its strength at 300*+ . But you would have to ask them for specifics.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man Solid_Fuel_Man @ 9:21 AM
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    "O" rings

    After working in the automotive industry (master auto tech) I've seen too many failures of O rings.  In A/C systems (HBNR O rings), cooling systems EPDM (think GM) and many fuel systems (usually Nitrile).  Mind you all these systems are exposed to similar heat but also vibration.  In all cases the failed O rings had hardened and no longer could seal.  I think of the circulator square cut seals or the replacement full flange rubber we use, how many of those have you seen get hard and leak?  That's my take and thoughts on longevity.  I do use shark-bites as test caps and if I need to get something going quick where there is still water, all of those are temporary and are removed and the equivalent pex of copper sweat in place when the emergency has passed, I do not consider rubber of any type to be a permanent (50+ year) solution.  Soldering has proven itself and some of the dead men's work is still good so that's proof enough for me. 
    Plus every rubber seal in a system lets some small amount of oxygen in, in a closed system, with few ferrous components, I'd say we may see some high failure rates in the future of iron circulators with SS boilers and crimped copper, or large amounts of PEX, not much iron to oxidize.  Just my thoughts. 
    Always keep learning: observing what works, and what doesn't. Ask questions
  • Ron Jr. Ron Jr. @ 9:52 AM
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    Hey Clammy !

    How have you been ?

    Press fittings definitely have advantages over copper . Being able to connect a pipe with water in it is the biggest .

    I'd agree that pressing fittings can be faster than soldering . But not so much of a time savings that it's worth buying the tool and higher priced fittings . And if you have to constantly change the head to press different size pipe , I'll bet an experienced copper pipe fitter can get the job done with solder fittings just as fast .

    I also like the fact you can unsolder a fitting off a pipe and reconnect right at that spot . No way to do that after a press fitting crimps the pipe out of round .

    I also like that you can break a copper pipe in 2 easier than a properly cleaned and soldered fitting will break apart  . The press fittings have some leeway even after it's crimped on the pipe .
  • clammy clammy @ 3:06 PM
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    thanks for the inputs

    i guess all the press fittings are the future just sad that it seems that with all these new products alot of those who are using them did not posses the other skills i thought where required to be a better then average fitter .But being time is money and most of what we all do is hidden in cielings and walls who cares it won't be seen till it fails or leaks .I can say for myself that i highly doubt i will be affording to buy the required crimp tools unless i can pass the materal and tools cost directly to my custermers which in these times is extremely funny almost a extremely bad joke ha ha ,for the unseeable future i will be cleaning fluxing n soldering my jobs as i have for close to 30 years ,As for all the fitting and stuff avaiable for crimp stuff it s great but just like all the great hydronic stuff i saw in germany close to 20 years ago i am finally seeing here. to bad it s most of the old out dated crap from europe and for the larger part over priced and usually slightly hard to get and if a promblem occurs and  warranty needed, i just toss it buy another one out of pocket make the custermer happy and  theres progress for you  .The more i see this stuff installed the more i see what seems a unskilled work force tossing it in and a guy in the office racking in the cash while his 10 dollars an hour day worker tosses it in .With all the advancements in the heating and ac fields i would guess quality will always take the back seat to sales and profit plus most of this stuff don,t matter its what can be seen like paver drive ways and 200 grand kitchens not that stupid heating or cooling system.I think of this stuff as a advancement in one crawl and a step back for quality and skill set it does hang it self also  .Peace and good luck and by the way still vertical even though some would like it the other way   clammy
  • hot rod hot rod @ 11:27 PM
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    Don't fear the o-ring

    They are in your ball valves, stem packing, zone, fill, balancing valves, your pump seals and pump motor to volute connection, pretty much every wetted surface is sealed with an o ring.

    There are many different materials or blends that they can be manufactured from. Even rocket ships and the planes we fly in are dependent on o rings

    If you have chronic o-ring failures it may not be the right ring for the application.
  • JeffGuy JeffGuy @ 3:17 PM
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    There's a difference

    The examples you list in valves and pumps are all designed to fail and be easily replaced over time. Therefore different from the hundreds of feet of pipe that run all through the walls and floors.

    I still have the 110 year old heating system pipes in my house. Yes, I have had to have some valve rings replaced, stems repacked, etc. - but that is easily done without disruption. When I needed to replace my boiler, I threw out any estimates that included press fittings or PEX; I just didn't trust it and went with old-school black steel and soldered copper. I'm guessing whoever owns the house 110 years from now will be glad.
  • TonyS TonyS @ 5:54 PM
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    Hot Rod you fogot to mention

    space shuttle remember the one that smoked on takeoff because of errrr... bad O rings.
  • R Mannino R Mannino @ 9:50 PM
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    That Was

    in 1986, times have changed since then. That 86' Ford Tempo my old man had wouldn't pass muster as an automobile today.
  • TonyS TonyS @ 11:31 PM
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    Are they using these fittings for

    ac refrigerant lines yet?
  • R Mannino R Mannino @ 7:14 AM
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    that I'm aware of. The pressures are much higher in that application.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 6:26 PM
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    refrigeration lines

    Viega was talking about those a couple years back, but I have not heard anything since.  Sure would be nice for commercial refrigeration... 
  • TonyS TonyS @ 10:35 PM
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    I agree

    no Purging, no brazing, no heat sinking the valves and txv. I would go for that!
  • spearko520 spearko520 @ 1:21 PM
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    know this is late

    know this is late, but i stumbled across this thread looking for something else today.  We have been using these for about seven years on ref systems with great success.  410a too.

    daikin was pushing it when they were expanding their VRV line, and i've even seen it spec'ed since then on some no weld jobs.
  • hot rod hot rod @ 3:19 PM
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    Your customer

    Pays for the tool, just as they do your truck, insurance, etc. some contractors add the tool cost into their bid on a large job, just as you would backhoe rental, or any other tool that helps speed the job and reduces labor cost to the customer. Keep in mind $200.00 per hours is not an unusual labor cost for professional services these days.
  • Robert O'Brien Robert O'Brien @ 5:50 PM
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    Same BS!

    Same BS was spouted when the shift was made from threaded pipe to copper and cast iron to PVC!
  • Charlie from wmass Charlie from wmass @ 2:57 PM
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    They were not wrong with the other changes

    There has been a constant downward spiral of tradesman like behavior as each step of progress comes and goes. PVC let many dolts plumb that would have been scared off by lead and oakum. Copper sweat let people cram in things that would have been done better in threaded brass. Propress is just another way for labourers to do the work of tradesmen. I use PEX because I can not compete with the cost of it otherwise. I will get certified for Aquatherm because I do not want to have to turn down work because it was installed with it by another and now they need it installed right and are calling me. Will I use it for steam? Heck no! Not until I see it 20 years old and holding strong. The progress in the trades is to make it so a few people make a lot of money from the sweat of the many.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • SWEI SWEI @ 3:24 PM
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    has a 35+ year track record outside of the US.  I find it far superior to PEX at larger pipe sizes, and much less of the "spaghetti droop" so common in suspended hot water PEX.  Good pipefitting skills are a must, and the tooling costs should preclude 99% of DIY and handyman use.

    At this point, copper is just too darn valuable to developing countries, thieves, and commodities traders.

    I am eying stainless ProPress, in part because the 304 costs less than copper.
  • Charlie from wmass Charlie from wmass @ 3:24 PM
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    never mind press fittings JUST A RUMOR

    Aquatherm has been approved for use in Mass and it is approved for low pressure steam. Plastic steam pipes just when I finally got a nice 6" gear head threader. Guess I will get some poses with it for the Museum of Ancient history. Why bother with copper when you can use plastic everywhere now?

    This is why I need to go direct to the source no matter how certain the salesman for the wholesaler is about a product.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    This post was edited by an admin on April 1, 2013 10:10 PM.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 3:57 PM
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    low pressure steam?

    Always figured that Climatherm would be ideal for steam.  Was that a MA approval?
  • Charlie from wmass Charlie from wmass @ 9:48 PM
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    It is Climatherm for steam

    I was using Aquatherm generically. Aquatherm is for potable water use. Guess I need to get familiar with the proper terms.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • SWEI SWEI @ 11:11 PM
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    Got a cite for that?

    Don't think I'd be comfortable directly connecting it to a boiler steam outlet, but I'd love to try it on some condensate lines.


    Edit: Climatherm is just SDR11 Faser.  The DHW stuff (SDR 7.4 Faser) is a bit tougher (but has reduced capacity thanks to its smaller ID.)  I have trouble seeing why the SDR11 is approved for 200F heating and yet not approved for DHW  (other than the fact that the SDR 7.4 sells for more.)
    This post was edited by an admin on March 28, 2013 11:16 PM.
  • Charlie from wmass Charlie from wmass @ 8:30 AM
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    here is the MA reps page

    they have many links.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Solid_Fuel_Man Solid_Fuel_Man @ 9:13 AM
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    I still stand by my statement

    Space shuttles and all do not have to last 50+ years, as we expect pipes and fittings buried in walls to last.  Valves etc. use Teflon or polyethylene not rubber o rings, and cartridge circulators have no pump seal, just a SS can that houses the rotor.  My point in the automotive industry was that a car that is expected to last 10+ years is completely different than plumbing.  Quick and easy does not necessarily mean longevity.  Longevity can only be proven in the field, and we will see.  PEX has been proven in the hydronic field in Europe since the 60s, other materials have not.  Think of PB tubing, it was great at the time, or the Entran debacle form Good Year, all of these products were "moving beyond old tech".
    Time will tell, learn from the past.
    Always keep learning: observing what works, and what doesn't. Ask questions
  • hot rod hot rod @ 6:15 PM
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    in fact

    most all pump seals are installed with o-rings, most wet rotor pumps assemble with o-rings, this Watts ball valve assembles with o-rings. The teflon is the wear surface and seat for the ball, the o-ring keeps it all fluid, gas or air tight.

    I've never replaced an o-ring on a Taco pump due to a leak, have you? I know they have been out there over 50 years in operation.

    Over 10 million B&G Series 100 circs have been manufactured with o-rings at the bearing assembly connection and at the shaft seal assembly. Usually pump seals fail (leak) at the ceramic wear surface, not the o-ring

    Plenty of planes in the skies, tractors in the field, vehicles on the road, well pumps, and faucets on our sinks with 50 year old o-rings.

    Not going to talk anyone that is un-comfortable with the word o-ring into using press fittings, but they can and will last 50 years or more.

    I'd wager that the o-ring will outlast the copper tube it is crimped around, in many cases where aggressive water or bad hydraulics are employed. I've seen copper tube pin hole in a few years time in some cases.

    I recently visited a castle in Heidelberg, Germany circ 1214 AD. It had copper press fittings installed in a number of places :)
  • TonyS TonyS @ 11:16 PM
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    Post some pics

    I would like to see some of the work being done with these fittings.
    Post some pictures of jobs using these things.
  • Dan Foley Dan Foley @ 6:37 AM
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    Here are a few:

    - DF
  • SWEI SWEI @ 11:11 AM
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    nice work

    on both jobs.  I'm curious what supports you're using on the Climatherm?
  • Dan Foley Dan Foley @ 11:32 AM
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    For the Climatherm, we use a combination of Hilti strut and trapeze hangers.  The pipe is fairly stiff but will require more support than copper or steel. 

    - DF
  • SWEI SWEI @ 11:43 AM
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    Aquatherm support


    I had to special order a bunch of cushion clamps to get the right sizes.  Here's a chart which should work for any metric OD-controlled pipe:

    Cushion clamps (Anvil part numbers):

    pkg    p/n         OD    Pipe    OD

    25    AS 014P     0.84"    20mm    0.79"
    25    AS 016OD    1.00"    25mm    0.98"
    20    AS 020OD    1.25"    32mm    1.26"
    20    AS 026ODN    1.62"    40mm    1.57"
    10    AS 032OD    2.00"    50mm    1.97"
    10    AS 040OD    2.50"    63mm    2.48"
    5    AS 048OD    3.00"    75mm    2.95"
    5    AS 056ODP    3.50"    90mm    3.54"
  • Dan Foley Dan Foley @ 7:21 AM
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    Here are some Pro-Press fittings on a snow/ice melt system Brian piped this week:

    - DF
  • Charlie from wmass Charlie from wmass @ 8:35 AM
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    Dan you are one of the exceptions

    You and your company carry the pride in workmanship forward as the system parts change. How do you like the Aquatherm? I know the tooling is not cheap but the labor does seem like it would drop. I am also thinking 8" Aquatherm would be a lot easier to deal with then iron. The fused tees look promising too.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
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