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    Press Fittings (269 Posts)

  • N/A @ 10:08 PM

    copper tube OD

    Steve, There are variances in all copper tube. The specificatiosn give a minimum and a maximum. Some manufactures make to the minimum, some to the max, and some between the ranges. These are set by ASTM standards that all tube must meet. There is even a standard for PEX tube... and yes I have seen tube within spec that slid easily in CFin. Anyway, I regress. My point is that all fitting must be able to work on the minimum and the max OD and ID of the copper. With solder we fill in the joing so the solder fitting people have it relatively easy. The Oring people have their work cut out for them... but I have never seen a leaking Nibco or Sharkbite fitting.... but I am sure it will be coming :-) wheels
  • Don't forget

    the umlauts, Ken; spaetzle and Kaesekuchen. You can't really compare what they do in Europe to what we do here. They are 10 years ahead of us; a different mindset. They have hydronics in their blood and we are just infants with a new pacifier. Why else do you think our designers, engineers and tradesmen go to ISH in Frankfurt? We fumbled around with polybutylene while they never bothered with the stuff; we tried to make condensing boilers and have consistently failed; we tried to grasp outdoor reset and are just now getting the message.
  • Paul Pollets Paul Pollets @ 1:25 PM
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    Thanks for the Real Deal...

    More like 30 years ahead of the US. Ken's comments are Klassic Kurmudgeonly. I must ask, where are the US innovations in the hydronic heating industry, or HVAC air handlers over the past 20 years? Like variable speed pumps, variable speed motors for AHU's, outdoor reset, wall panel rads,TRV's, but to name a few. OK, maybe Honeywell had a primitive outdoor reset, but did not capture the market with the product, nor develop the line with microprocessors. We simply copy what's across the pond. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ken Ken @ 2:11 PM
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    You should be ready for another fishing trip

    by now! FYI, Heat Timer Corp., Barber-Coleman, General Electric and Universal Engineering were making programmable and outdoor resets before you were born; and that was back in the mid 1800's! I have no idea where you get such mis-information, but the obvious place is from the marketeers you so naievely support, the euros. The need for VSPumps was elimintaed by virtue of three way mixing valves, also before you were born. The euros were too busy killing each other when we invented this stuff. Hell, we've had modulating steam boilers since 1860. Throw more coal on, let it burn, throw more on... Wall panel rads? Check out Holohan's LAOSH. Around page three. Picture of an old lady next to her panel rad, dated late 1800's I think! I know you're just busting chops, but the thought thatyou could actually be almost serious scares the hell out of me. How could any one person be so ingnorant of history? I know: "Great marketing will overcome mediocre engineering every time; typically in a ratio of 2:1"
  • subcooler subcooler @ 11:32 PM
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    :-)

    I'm not sure what happened in Frankenfart, butt when you mentioned Outdoor reset, we had it here long before they did.
  • subcooler subcooler @ 11:29 PM
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    Frankfart

    I'm not sure what happened in Frankenfart. But when you mentioned Outdoor reset, we had it here long before they did.
  • Brad White Brad White @ 7:49 AM
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    Taking a Leak

    I read the denial of warranty from Viega... the statement that because glycol leaves a residue and that it is not indicative of a greater problem rings hollow with me. It is like saying, "only because you have glycol you see evidence of a leak; if you have only water, there will still be weeping but no evidence of it". (Save the mineral content that was mentioned in one post.) This kind of response is disturbing to me, the deflection being the least of it. We just finished phase one of a two-summer school project where we allowed the use of a press system (Nibco was the system, not Viega in this case). Most of this year's production was a coupling system for larger pipe (2-1/2" through 8"). Next year the runouts and risers will be done, 2" and under. And yes, the system will evenually be glycol when we change out the 35 year old boilers. The appeal of the press system in labor saving (avoiding hot work a bonus), was the biggest incentive. Not worth the risk, no way. I will be removing mention of press type fitting systems from my specifications because of this.
  • Dan Holohan Dan Holohan @ 11:00 AM
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    And yesterday,

    I sent an eBlast to our 5,000+ subscriber list, making them aware of this thread. Many have read it since.
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  • Ken Ken @ 10:25 AM
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    So,

    What you're saying is: The most highly engineered, and doubtless best boiler makers of europe, cannot afford or design a product they wish to market on this side of the pond.... The most modern technologically advanced boiler on earth, most finely crafted boiler on the planet... Can't afford to buy a 1" NPT tap to produce a boiler that will not leak when exported to the North America - without using an 1800's pipe thread compound we still call "hemp"? And we pour endeless praise on this manufacturer? Let me just remind you about what I now call, the KS-factor. "Great marketing will overcome mediocre engineering every day; and typically with a ratio of 2:1" Let's hear it for German Hemp! The greatest boiler maker on earth can't afford a 10-dollar NPT tap. Brilliant engineering at its euro-finest!
  • Paul Pollets Paul Pollets @ 8:18 PM
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    Ummmm...Hemp.....

    Sure tastes good, Ken Too bad we didn't go metric 20 years ago, like the rest of the world. Makes transition fittings a bitch. Let's blame the Euro's for that, too. Since most fittings are made in the far east, I'd rather start blaming them for the industry's problems. The Germans need a rest. Viessmann used to make an aluminum heat exchanger for their early wall-hungs. They scrapped it. Wonder why??? We need to sponsor a "Great Boiler/Burner Shootout". I can see it now... To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Bob Bona Bob Bona @ 10:27 AM
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    I'm gonna

    go polish up my vailant rabbit key chain after that Ken..wonder what it's worth? ;)
  • subcooler subcooler @ 10:55 PM
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    The old stand-by rule

  • charlie from mass charlie from mass @ 11:13 PM
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    What about the gas piping ?

    if the extruding oil bothers the orings what is happening with the gas piping they are trying to sell? I must say I am staying with solder, even that is not reliable at times just had to return half a case to Barnet adn tell them not to call with any more specials for me. It was silver bearing and it ran through joints like water. It makes me see how much trust we as contractors must have in those that supply us with our materials. Kind of makes you think.
  • Scott Scott @ 11:17 AM
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    O.K. I'll step up

    We have been using the Pro-Press system for about four years now. We do new installs, BUT alot of service. We do allmost ALL the service on jobs that we have installed. We live in a small town that has Alot of repeat customers. I belive we have had two failures from the system. One from an indirect we installed and someone ( ahem ) forgot to press the fitting. It held for six months untill someone purged the line. Second failure was sent to Viega and was returned with photographs showing a foriegn body, presumable a wood splinter, in the fitting. We now run our fingers in every joint before pressing. I am not sure what caused the leakage on the joints that started this thread BUT we have not had that experience. We have Thousands of these joints out there. Scott Milne Milne Plumbing And Heating Inc. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Robert O'Brien Robert O'Brien @ 11:42 AM
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    No Problems

    here either, 2 years,probably 2000 fittings. No leaks except those due to operator error. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ken Ken @ 3:00 PM
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    But...

    Have you been back to look at all those fittings after one year of use (or longer)? We're also not just talking about water dripping on the floor, we're talking about trace stains from water leaks small enough to go undetected for years, before it gets to be flood city; like the one posted at the top of this thread.
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 5:44 PM
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    I'm right behind you Scott

    We've used Propress about exclusively for the last 2+ years. I get back to nearly all of our jobs on a regular basis for service and routine maintenance. I noticed one job, running high temp (180*), that had the green creeping out of the fittings, Just about all of them had it. Interestly, this particular job is not connected to any makeup water. We used a glycol "pig" to feed makeup if needed utilizing a standard #30 sized expansion tank. I looked back in our records to see what the precharge in the tank was because I was curious to see if it was losing bodily fluid at a rate fast enough to be concerned about. The initial charge was 40# and the gauge read 37-38# after two years. To me, that's what you would normally encounter during that time via valve stems, threads and other seals in the system. Cerainly nothing to be alarmed about but the greenaround all the fittings caught me by surprise. I might add that this is a very small volume system of probably less than 15 gallons total and is filled with a 50/50 concentration of glycol. None of the fittings showed anything that you would call an actual leak. On another job that has been in service about a year, I noticed 2 out of probably over 100 fittings that were green. This job is medium to low temp (max <150*). It too is fed by a "pig" that showed only normal pressure drop on a system with probably over 120 gallons in it. I wonder if there is a correlation between the temperature and the seepage? At any rate, I don't have any plans of discontinuting the use of ProPress fittings. They look neat, they cut the time on even the most basic job by 1/2 and they are nearly idiot proof. (I personally need all the help I can get in that area, ask Ken) In addition, Viega as a company has invested a BUNCH of money here in the US and I feel they are here to stay and take care of business the way it should be. Give them a chance to figure out what's going on and present a solution.
  • subcooler subcooler @ 7:03 PM
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    It's an Oh-ring

    The correct application of an o-ring, think about it. They can hold back 4000psi in a hydraulic application, but leak at 12psi on a boiler system. Speculations of contamination of the pipe joint, the pipe itself, the tolerances of the crimp tool and the addition of glycol may have affected the integrity of this mechanical joint. What gives in this situation? They are all correct!!! If any one of these causes a break in the bond between the pipe, o-ring and fitting youíve got a leak. Not to scientific, just the laws of fluid dynamics 101. The mechanical strength of this fitting is quite robust, but all the sealing power falls back on that little o-ring. In a hydraulic application the o-ring sits flat on the sealing surface!!!! Not radial!!!! The o-ring is sandwiched flat between two heavy mating surfaces. Even on that hydraulic hose that has a threaded o-ring connection, the o-ring gets squeezed flat not radial. The electric water heater element is round, but the o-ring gets squeezed flat. If any o-ring on earth should leak, it should be the one in the water heater. It gets extreme temperature changes, its water quality (from a boiler standpoint) is as bad as it gets and corrosion is a given. But I still donít leak because I lie flat as I was made to. For my friends that lie radial, well to me that seems just a little radical. Think about it!
  • Ray Landry Ray Landry @ 7:14 PM
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    I'll chime in on this one. I posted a thread last week with the pics attached below in it. This job was a snow melt job with approximatley 180 gallons of fluid content and a 30% mix of glycol. No fresh water source, just a expansion tank changed to a glycol pig tank. This system is exactly one year old, no apparent leaks on the floor, but minor seepage through the joints 1/2 through 2". Not sure if maybe the press tool could be the issue? The tool was approximatley two years old at the time. I don't think it's the pipe because street fittings are showing seepage as well. I do installs and some service so I do still get to see past jobs and this is the only one I've seen an issue with so far.
  • H A Evans H A Evans @ 11:29 PM
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    leaking press fittings

    Would it be possible to see the other fitting leaks and their general relationship to the rest of the system? I have only seen a few of the leaks being talked about and it looks as if some of the problem could be expansion in different planes then what the original fitting was made. Possible thermal or vibration caused? I have not used any of press fit systems--but am interested in the technology as well as the pros and cons.
  • hr hr @ 7:19 PM
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    Glycool leaks (seeps) from

    plenty of o-ring seals. These pics are from a two year old snowmelt. Glycol was in good shape, ph wise. I have also removed a bunch of 15- 20 year old solar systems lately. The systems with glycol show solder joints with very little solder remaining. I'm surprised they even held pressure. I suspect bad (low ph glycol) went after the 50 50 solder. I now silver solder all my glycol solar installs. Cheap insurance. I noticed the systems filled with Dow Syltherm a silicone transfer fluid, have copper in a near new condition and no effect on the soft solder joints. hot rod To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • solver solder on solar

    Hot Rod, are you using silver solder that you have to braze or just silverbrite 100? Thanks, Bob Gagnon To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • hr hr @ 8:34 PM
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    Bob, I use

    that new, fairly new, JW Harris Blockade. Melts a few hundred degrees lower than any of the sil-phos rods. Easily solders up to 1" with a plain mapp torch. It flows and caps very nicely also. hot rod To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Robert O'Brien Robert O'Brien @ 3:18 PM
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    These have

    all been used in boiler replacements and we service most but not all and I have not seen any problem. Do you know how many leaking copper male sweat adaptors(particularly at tankless coils) I have changed in the last 27 years? This is turning into a Viega witch-hunt! Although they certainly haven't helped themselves in this matter at all! Hopefully they'll step up and resolve this. The response bothers me more than the leaks! To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • S Davis S Davis @ 10:04 PM
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    Your Kidding Right

    The response bothers me more than the leaks!
    So fittings that looked like these do would be ok for your systems and customers? this system has been running with glycol for less than a year and looks awful, it does not meet my standards or my customers expectations and the responce from Viega has been pitiful at best, I have a real hard time using a product that when there is a problem the manufacturer shoots out a letter saying it is normal and leaves you hanging with no support to deal with your customer. S Davis
  • hr hr @ 7:44 PM
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    In all fairness, Vaillant

    has maintained an office for warranty claims in N.J. 856-786-2000 As recent as 3 years ago they replaced a couple 220 blocks for me no charge, no hassle. They committed to maintaining an office to handle warranty claims and have stood by that. Unlike some US built boilers, may I mention the Glow... brand :) Also Vaillant seemed to hit the market, at least in the Intermountain West, when all radiant systems were being installed with non barrier tube. I know because the Vaillant rep was also the rubber tube rep in that area :) When they dropped V and went with a US brand failures continued until the barrier issue resolved. The same rep was the Grundfos rep. They, Grundfos,to suffered through the same non barrier corrosion issues. Weil and Burnham suffered, as did HB Smith through this also but to a lesser degree in that area. I know because I installed and warrantied plenty. hot rod To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ken Ken @ 8:32 AM
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    I am puzzled...

    As to what each fitting-maker and pressing-device tool manufacturer has written in their "use and operation manuals" with regatd to tubing prep requirements! They must provide guidance as to what must be done to the copper tubing, and the fitting itself - in order to assure a secure joint. Many have commented on what they do in the line of joint prep; ranging from nothing, to steel wooling, sand-cloth, deburring, and reaming, etc.; but, no one has bothered to tell us what the fitting and tool makers require. Surely these mandates/instructions are included in the manufacturer's "instructions for use manuals" that came with the tools and/or fittings? Remarkably, not one poster in a huge thread like this, bothered to quote the ultimate authority: The manufacturer. Anybody still have the tool and fitting instruction manual(s)?
  • subcooler subcooler @ 9:09 AM
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    Specs.

  • Leo G Leo G @ 9:49 PM
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    regarding saving of labour

    I take it that this system saves labour time as some have said in this thread. Today, as I was design/building the latest install, I got to wonder about this comment. I really paid attenion to what I was doing and what amount of time certain tasks seemed to take. It appeared to me, that the way I install these days, the actual "joining" of the tubing is one of the least consuming tasks. I tend to spend much more time measuring, leveling, measuring again, cutting, cleaning, reaming, cleaning again, again measuring, installing the uni strut, tightening, etc. After I have a goodly portion of tubing attached to the wall, I then pull out the turbo and solder. Different sizes of tubing all at once (no need to change heads!)! I can really understand the look of this system, for this is what temps me from time to time to purchase this system. But really, how much labour time does "pressing" really save over soldering? In my experience today, the actual joining of the tubing was about 5% of the consumed time. And if I botch a solder, I can always re-heat and have a chance to fix. I take it that with pressing, if you botch a joint, say have an elbow not quite square, you cut and chuck? Leo G
  • subcooler subcooler @ 9:18 AM
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    Specs.

  • subcooler subcooler @ 9:15 AM
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    Specs.

  • Ken Ken @ 9:45 AM
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    WOW! Thanks!

    So, this particular tool maker says no need to clean the tube at all, just wheel-cut (or hack saw), de-burr both O.D. and I.D. of the tubing, and make a few marks to assure full engagement... I wonder if the lubricant/coolant the tubing maker uses to draw the copper at the factory may be having a compatibility issue with the 'o'-rings? As an aside, let's also remember the only reason we would even consider this form of joint is about labor savings - period. Should the manufactuer's require more than just I.D., O.D. deburring, the pluses would quickly turn to a negative, e.g., "You must steel wool the deburred end to assure no oxides remain on the tubing, thereby assuring the removal of any surface contaminants that may be detrimental to the 'o'-ring properties and longevity." Or if they also suggested, "Wipe the pipe end with a clean rag with a detergent or solvent to assure any potentially present tube manufacturing residual trace contamination, is removed before pressing." I have no clue. It is purely a rhetorical question, for the moment, that is...
  • Woodman Woodman @ 9:56 AM
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    \"Leak proof\"

    Viega's own instructions posted above states a "leak proof permanent connection" after pressing. Seems that the warranty dept should consult with the instructions dept.
  • subcooler subcooler @ 10:41 AM
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    Question # 2 ?

    What is going to oxidize quicker, the freshly sanded pipe or the pipe fresh of the shelf unsanded?
  • Harold Harold @ 1:16 PM
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    Floyd

    Risking further references to animal nether regions; I do not believe I am taking an unreasonable position. That post was also out of sequence, so perhaps reading more of the thread may have softened you point of view. Just a bit more info. My system was filled with glycol last fall to prevent freezing. The house is still not occupied. The boiler has not been run more than 3 or 4 times in the last year. And then probably not for more that 24 hours total. That would not be a whole lot of Viaga's expansion and contraction. The fittings were installed in accordance with manufacturers instructions. As I would have expected from my skilled and conscientious contractor. I have already voted with my wallet. I do not get to build a house again and try something else out. We die here. I had all of the water side plumbing done with solder instead of the matching ProPress they had planned. I get to do that. I do not want ProPress in the house. Period. I also get to do that. If my front door hardware with a 50 year warranty against corrosion started turning green, I would expect the manufacturer to replace it. Period. No response that it is only a little green would be acceptable. Nor that my air may be a bit more polluted and that all the hardware does that a bit. Should I accept a plumbing job with pinholes in the copper that are not leaking bad enough to cause a problem right now? I really can't think of many things for which I would accept that kind of response. This is my house. I have done a lot of the work myself. My wife and I are proud of the results. As noted, we will live here for the rest of our lives. I do not view mechanical rooms as a dark, ugly, dripping pits. I have not allowed any contractors working on the house to provide sloppy or esthetically displeasing results. I have used only excellent materials. Heating shall not be the exception. I was aware of the responses from Viega when I posted the message you took umbrage with, and had not been satisified with them. If they take this view of their product, why should I believe that things will not get worse in future years. There are no long term field installations. This would not be the first plumbing connectors that made life easier for installers and then failed catastrophically in the long term. I am not going to experiment.
  • Mark Hunt Mark Hunt @ 5:37 PM
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    Harold

    I think you are 100% justified and your last post was spot on. There is such a thing as psychological comfort and it is obvious that you will NEVER be comfortable with the ProPress system. We were at one time considering the ProPress, but after seeing how you have been treated by the company, we'll pass. I hope you get ALL that you ask for. Mark H To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ken Ken @ 7:39 PM
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    The logic of

    Harold's point is flawless. Then there's the law. It is not based on logic, but written laws, and our intpretation thereof. Mnaufacturer's, especially the euro-sourced, have lawyers who can produce 10-gigs of fine print on a warranty faster than I can say NY Mets. Typically they limit liability to product replacement - ONLY! No labor. No damages. But, if you have state Consumer Affairs areas of power, by all means call and see how far that venue can go. There will be excuses. There will be claims of everything from their "Full moon installation guide" to "The machine wasn't calibrated for true north" - like stuff. Let us know how it works out. I'm totally on your side on this one.
  • Dan Holohan Dan Holohan @ 8:04 PM
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    Well,

    I sent an eBlast to our subscribers on 10/15, giving them a heads-up about this thread, and so far, 2,652 of those subscribers have read what you've all be saying. I have no way of knowing how many random people clicked on this particular thread while visiting the site, but I do know that since the thread appeared on 10/11, 46,791 people have been reading the Wall.
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  • Perry Perry @ 10:29 PM
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    The issues you describe are related to heat treating

    I agree that their have been problems with heat treating from some of the mills. I used to buy tubing for a Heat Exchanger shop. to use the phrase above - Miles of it. Even a decade ago we had to be carefull of sorcing copper alloy tubing from certain overseas producers due to alloy and heat treating problems (most of the tubeing I purchased was Admiralty Brass, or 90/10 Copper-Nickle). But never a size issue. The same dies are used to make the different alloys in the same size. They might run Admiralty for a few days - then 90/10, then copper, etc. Unfortunatly, most US manufactures of copper alloy tubing have shut down (I do believe that Olin still makes it in the US, and perhaps Wolverine). There is also a mill in Canada (a branch of Wolverine) - but they had other problems a decade to 5 years ago(lots of nicks in the tubing). Perhaps they resolved that. The Mexican mill had a good reputation for high quality tubing. The spanish one was so so, China was horible - won't touch the stuff (and I know a few people who did - and were very sorry for it). I also do not doubt the problem of mixed shipments if you are buying from a 3rd party. Usually larger orders are purchased directly from the tube mill. I would be very surprised if a major tubing supplier was not buying directly from the tubing mills. Perry
  • Floyd Floyd @ 10:53 PM
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    I just can't understand this...

    What could have caused the problem on this job. Here is a pic of a snowmelt job that I finished last winter. The threads to the HX obviously have a leak. The propress fittings right above it are clean as the day I installed them. Checked on this job today and LOOKED hard for any sign of leakage... this was all I found. This job has hundreds of fittings in it and no they didn't all have glycol. I couldn't find a single PP leak, anywhere. How a job could have so many problems in one place just baffles me to no end.... Floyd
  • ALH ALH @ 11:35 PM
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    tolerances

    "There is even a standard for PEX tube... and yes I have seen tube within spec that slid easily in CFin." Yep, I measured a bunch of tube, different brands, different crosslinking methods, and came up with the fact that a couple thousandths of an inch make all the difference between a snap-fit and a loose fit. Perhaps this is a case like that. I am not particularly familiar with the manufacturing methods for copper tube, but the aluminum extrusion dies would wear as they were used. This was a difficult problem to overcome as the extruder was accustomed to cutting dies to account for wear, which was not acceptable when a few thousandths meant the difference between happy customers and unhappy ones. If the snap fit was a little tight that was ok, but it had to start out dead on, not a little loose. -Andrew
  • Contractor Contractor @ 11:21 AM
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    Rothenberger (spelling?)

    Dale, I actually saw that the other day, weighs alot less than the propress tool, but i wondered how many presses a gun that size can make before you have to change the battery (because it said it was cordless) and also how durable is it (what kind of warranty is with the tool). Because i do like that the preopress tool is made by a comapny that has a good reputation and offers a limited lifetime warranty on it.
  • Anna Conda Anna Conda @ 1:02 PM
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    The problem doesn't seem to be occuring with water systems so much as with glycol systems, glycol having a lower surface tension than water and leaks in places where water wouldn't. The biggest issue of concern is the company stating that this kind of seepage is normal and acceptable.
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 11:30 AM
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    In fairness to Viega...

    and this is not to say they did the right thing in this particular case, but I have thousands of joints done with the same system and the same fluids and have not seen any issues. Question for Stacy, how does your company handle its copper tube? Is it put into the top steel racks of vans and or pick up trucks? Can it be dragged off the racks thereby making miniature grooves in the surface of the copper? Are ou polishing the pipe ends prior to assembly (Rigid Pipe Prep tool)? What kind of indellible makers mark is on the copper tube?Surface etching or plastic raised letter labeling? I suspect there is more to the story than meets the eye. This is not the norm. ME
  • S Davis S Davis @ 12:51 PM
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    Copper Tube

    Mark, All our pipe is transported in ABS tubes mounted on our trucks, yes we prep the copper and do look out for the tags and bad spots in the copper pipe, another point is there are Viega street fittings into regular Viega fittings that are leaking as well so that kind of rules out the copper pipe. EDIT I understand that there are alot of people out in heating land that have had no problems with Viega fittings, and I would like to say that if I thought this was an installation issue I would be the first person to step forward and take responsibility as I believe my customers deserve no less, and I am sure if Viega could pin this issue on my company they would have. So with that being said could there have been a bad batch of O-rings? it could happen. My problem is with the way Viega has side steped the issue by offering to fix four fittings that were fixed months ago and are not leaking(on the threads anyway), I just have not cleaned them up yet pending the outcome of their inspection, and with the way they stand behind their product as I had alot of trouble with their threaded fittings and was told they would try and help me out some how with the lost labor, well that has not happened and when I asked about it I was told that because of this issue that was put on hold. So if anyone ever does have a problem with Viega fittings I would bet you are not going to get any support from them. S Davis
  • ALH ALH @ 1:16 PM
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    ...and

    if the pipe was suspected to be the problem, Viega would certainly have mentioned that in the letter. I have no idea why they would offer to pay fix leaks in threaded adapters, unless maybe they have had manufacturing problems with them in the past. Maybe it gives the owner something without Viega having to admit the Propress fittings leak? Why no straight explanation???
  • EBEBRATT-Ed EBEBRATT-Ed @ 12:56 PM
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    Mark has an excellant point. We have been propressing for about 5 years witn No Leaks (not even 1) up until about a year ago (see old thread with British Tubing). We heve had a few leaks this year. The ones I have cut apart showed scratches in the tubing from being dragged across the floor-off the truck etc. This is more prevaliant in the larger sizes of tubing (because it's heavy) I think cleaning and inspecting the tubing is in order and to discard or return to the supply house any damaged tubing.(easier said than done) This is not to let Viega off the hook. We need a better responce. Why didn't we have any leaks for 5 years--just lucky?? We are a 9 man shop with 4 propress machines. Ed
  • N/A @ 1:06 PM

    Good point about the copper

    The past year or so we've been geting batches of copper that are either oversized so much you have to hammer the fittings on , or undersized that the fitting slides on by gravity alone . Sizes 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 , with the biggest problem size being 1 inch . With the 1 1/4 inch M pipe you can see a clear ridge on the outside that runs all the way down the pipe . In 20 years of work , this is the first time I ever had problems with pipe diameters . Someone , somewhere relaxed the rules of tolerances on the copper we use . Has anyone checked the copper itself on this problem job ?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed EBEBRATT-Ed @ 12:58 PM
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    Good point Stacey, That says it all. ED
  • old oil man old oil man @ 1:52 PM
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    Expando

    Steve, We have used expando for years, great product. We can no longer find it locally. Any idea where it could be purchased? John Pughe
  • old oil man old oil man @ 1:53 PM
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    Expando

    Steve, We have used expando for years, great product. We can no longer find it locally. Any idea where it could be purchased? John Pughe
  • N/A @ 8:26 AM

    in stock

    here at my office
  • Leo G Leo G @ 10:35 PM
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    Mr. Joslin

    That should be Mr. Davis and Mr. Harrington. Please, no need to be rude. Leo G
  • S Davis S Davis @ 10:43 PM
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    more facts

    Mr. Joslin also states in his post that during their visit "There was evidence of Glycol residue on several non-threaded press fittings" I was at the site today and counted almost 40 fittings showing signs of glycol seeping past the sealing element, I would say that would qualify as more than just several. S Davis
  • Mark Hunt Mark Hunt @ 11:29 PM
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    So

    that's it then? Leaks are normal? Wait,,,,,,leaks are not leaks? And you are the ONLY guy on the face of this planet that ever had this happen? HAHAHAAHA!!!! Note to guys that have never had an issue..........when you DO have an issue, this is how you will be treated. Mark H To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • S Davis S Davis @ 12:13 PM
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    Lack of warrenty

    Well I tried to contact Viega about warrenty help on a few other jobs that had numerous threaded fitting leaks they said they were working on them, but now they will not get back to me so it appears they are not going to help with those issues either. Also it appears one of the local supply houses might stop selling Viega fittings because of this issue. S Davis
  • Ken Ken @ 8:32 AM
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    I heard from Harold,

    The customer who began this thread; a few days ago. I asked what he heard and he said, "Nothing." Given the promise from PP/Viega to respond in 30 days, and given the time now passed, Harold stated he would follow up this week and tell us what he can. The deafening silence means a few things. Among them: 1. If they had an answer that was not damning, they would have responded before this. 2. Their commitment to respond in a timely fashion can only be deemed a failure, regardless of the final "report." 3. They have made a decision to stonewall the issue, assuming it will go away if they remain silent long enough, and probably incorretly assumed The Wall was unworthy of a response, nor important enough to be concerned. 4. The ASHRAE chapter I belong to has been notified of the potential problems and many of the engineers have stopped specifying the fittings - until resolved. 5. We have refused work specifying the material and getting alternate methods approved. Not necessarily because the component has a demonstrated failure, but because of the silence of the manufacturer(s). 6. The lack and/or outrageous cost of "reducing"-fittings has forced re-consideration of the fittings/"system" alleged savings. Harold states his wife is concerned and has reminded him to approach PP/Viega once again. Harold suggested right after the holidays he would. President Ford's burial and yesterday's national observance may have given him one more day of pause. Based on his e-mail to me, this week will be the time he asks yet again for a formal response. I'm sure he will share this news with us as soon as he gets it.
  • Robert O'Brien Robert O'Brien @ 9:40 AM
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    If Viega

    had the chance to handle this situation again,how much easier would it have been to just eat the parts and labor on the leakers? To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • John Ruhnke John Ruhnke @ 10:46 AM
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    Largest thread on wall............

    Wow!!! Yikes!! This thread is a scary one. I read through it. From what I gathered this is my view. Sometimes when using Propress with antifreeze a green residue is left around the fittings. So far noone has discovered any leakage or signs of a liquid coming from the joints, just the green residue left over. People have had this green residue for years on there pipes. So far none of the joints have gotten worse or shown any signs of liquid comming from the joints. Guys, I don't think Viega can do anything about it. It is up to the lawyers now. To many projects have this same green residue. If they replace the fittings in one job then they are forced to replace the fittings in all of the jobs. This is a huge can of worms. The big question I have is any of these joints going to get worse and actually leak a liquid? I think some of this depends on how well maintaned the acidity is in the anti freeze solution. If the anti freeze is acidic it will eat and leak through anything, including the pipe itself. I don't think you could blame Viega for that. Is it going to leak in a well maintaned system? Only time will tell. So far none have leaked yet or we would have heard about it in this thread. Right now what I need is some proof that this seepage won't get worse. At least some positive reassurence. I have been using ProPress for a couple of years now. I like it alot. We have no green fittings and no leakage any where. I definately will not use ProPress on anti freeze systems until I get some positive reassurence that I believe. I might continue to use it on regular water systems. Again I have heard of no problems with regular water systems. As always I will first inform my clients of the seepage and let them make the decision for themselves. I never beleive in hiding anything. JR To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Tom R. Tom R. @ 9:06 AM
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    I....

    for one have seen enough pictures and heard enough "explanations" to decide to stay away from press fittings altogether. We began with photos of press fittings leaking, and after pressure from the Wall more than 3 months later the manufacturer finally agrees to replace some THREADED connections? Sounds like a weak defense of a bad idea. So as to be able to say they addressed a complaint without setting precedent in admitting their "system" doesn't work. If the leaks are due to glycol (straight or dilute), why don't they say this in their literature? Who installs radiant in a slab without it? And how many heating (and cooling) systems have glycol with sweat fittings that don't leak? The only "green stuff" I ever saw with glycol was at packing glands that needed tightening.....or a leak.
  • S Davis S Davis @ 1:58 PM
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    Fitting pictures

    Here you are. S Davis
  • Perry Perry @ 2:13 PM
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    Thanks

    It is my opinion that those pictures show leaks from the press fittings. Now lets look at Viaga's response and actions: They can now tell people that they did indeed find some leaks, and offered to pay for the cost of repairing them. The fact that they did not address the issue at all will not be apparent to anyone who ask. So, apparently Viaga does not believe that a leak is a leak. It all depends on the definintion of leak, now doesn't it. It has been a long time since I have read the entire thread - and I don't have much time this afternoon. Is Harold considering legal action? I belive that should these pictures be presented in a court of law to expert witnesses who normally deal with code related inspections - that the court could make an adequate ruling on if the fittings leak and if Viaga has some responsibility. Perry
  • S Davis S Davis @ 2:15 PM
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    More pictures

    And some more, these non leaks have gotten worse since these pictures were taken, some of these pictures are from another job that is having the same issue, there are at least three jobs at this point and I am setting up inspections with past customers to check their systems as well. sorry about the picture quality on some of these. S Davis
  • jp jp @ 2:11 PM
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    How about a test now?

    since everyone has came and gone, looking at the fititng, why not clean up all the areas and see if "these" leaks "re-appear"? off hand, the pictures don't really show what I would consider as an "on going" leak, all spots look dry.
  • ALH ALH @ 2:10 PM
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    Wait a minute

    All they are willing to admit is there are leaks at the treaded fittings? That does not even address the problems. I see something completely different in Stacy's photos. I guess Viega's official position is as Harold says...they are not leaking. I was hoping for a slightly more technical answer.
  • Steverino Steverino @ 12:33 PM
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    VIaga Answers

    Short answer - they are not leaks.
  • Steve Ebels Steve Ebels @ 2:08 PM
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    Harold

    The main question is of course, are you satisfied with the answer(s) you received from Viega. Do you consider the situation to be resolved?
  • Steverino Steverino @ 8:55 PM
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    Of course I am not. After months of discussions, rejections, inspections, unanswered phone calls, and rejections this is not at all either reasonable or acceptable. I feel insulted by the lack of promptness, the "explanations" I have received, and the offer. In point-of-fact, I talked with Stacey this morning and some of the "leaks" Viega showed are actually just dripping from somewhere else. There were issues with the threaded connections. I have been told that they are caused by poor tolerences on the threads. These leaks have been fixed some time ago. While the inspection was going on Viega verbally apprised me, as I recollect, of the fact that everyone in the industry knows that this happens and it is expected. They also defined a leak as creating a puddle. I responded that most people would consider it a leak if what was supposed to be inside was found outside. I am not sure what I will do next. I really do not feel comfortable with these fittings in my system. Certainly complaints with the FTC and consumer protection agencies seem reasonable. Possibly the agencies that certify these products as being acceptable to meet code and other regulations. It would be interesting to see what assorted agencies define as a leak. An ongoing concern to me is the possibility of oxygen entering the system through the fittings. I was told during the examination visit that this was not an issue. It was also noted that the antifreeze was a smaller molecule so even though glycol leaked out, oxygen infiltration would not be a problem. I chose not to argue the issue of molecular size versus surface tension at the time because other erronious statements about oxygen penetration had already been discussed. This (CH3CHOHCH2OH) is propylene glycol. You will note that there are more oxygen atoms in there than in plain O2. Plus a bunch of other stuff. Chemistry is a harsh mistress and molecular size adheres to some fairly rigid properties of atomic and sub-atomic interaction. Short analysis; a whole bunch of atoms makes a bigger clump than a few.
  • Singh Singh @ 1:20 PM
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    More ?? to short answer.

    I would not mind hearing the long answer. Such as, the glycol "leaks" on the other fittings posted, and Viega's official response to those. Thanks for posting the letter.
  • Perry Perry @ 1:15 PM
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    Do you have pictures of the other areas of concerns?

    It would help us if we could see pictures of the other areas that you are concerned about. While it is somewhat obvious from the pictures that there seem to be leaks on or adjacent to the treaded fittings - it is not so obvious that they are not from thread leakage (at least to me). If you could post other pictures of other areas then we could judge for ourselves. Afterall, it does depend on what the meaning of "is" is. Perry
  • ALH ALH @ 2:42 PM
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    glycol

    I see where Steve asked above, but this thread is so long it is hard to find the answer. What brand of glycol is in these systems? Are they the same?
  • S Davis S Davis @ 3:12 PM
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    Andrew, They have Cryotek 100AL and non AL in them depending on what boiler was used. S Davis
  • Ken Ken @ 11:30 AM
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    Perhaps...

    The C tube extruders, when drawing tube, use a sulphur or oil based coolant in the dies, the residue of which may be "eating" our EDPM 'o'-rings? Ever notice some tubing seems to have a trace "glaze" of something "slimy" on the surface? Perhaps a "protectant" film; perhaps a manufacturing process residual? Maybe we need to wipe off the penetrating end with acetone or steel wool, to assure the longevity of the EDPM seal ring; protecting it from being compromised from whatever is making this occur with alarming frequency? Perhaps the copound used for the EDPM needs to be tweaked? Since the whole press-fitting is euro-tech (even though we utilized this method to attach radiator hose in autos 50 years ago), perhaps we should have known from jump street it was suspect (;-o). Just look at how well "engineered" their boiler threads are for the American market they so desperately want to invade...
  • Tom R. Tom R. @ 7:34 PM
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    ProPress failures

    Why try to figure out why this system doesn't work. Let the people who make it do that. Until they can show the world they have no problem jobs, continue using solder and flux on a clean joint and sleep better. As for cost savings - how much is a call-back worth?
  • subcooler subcooler @ 4:28 PM
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    Normally

    Venison steak sandwich stuffed with cheese and mushrooms is the current house special. Then we usually sit around and take inventory (cheap pot shots) of the weeks most unusual job. The thing that is sad is that most jobs, quite frankly are quite bizzar and don't seem that unusual anymore. What scares the crappola (sounds like a German Furnace name) out of me is when I walk in on a nice, neat, and fully functional mechanical room, because we all know this is not normal.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed EBEBRATT-Ed @ 12:21 PM
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    I thought they have been using this for years in Europe. Don't they have glycol over there???????????? Ed
  • Ken Ken @ 2:29 PM
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    Something we seem to forget - all the time!

    Unfortunately, when we refer to europe, we really mean Germany, and Germany only; and only regions of Germany at that! In reality, very few in europe have used or even want to use what the Germans lay claim as somehow being "superior." In my travels to europe, I never see half the stuff the euro-lovers, who post here, claim is euro. It may be German, but hardly euro. The crap heating systems I have seen in the areas I have been in europe, including rural Germany, look like the U.S. As Dan once stated himself, the main reason German stuff is new and modern is more from the allies razing the buildings to the ground and them having to rebuild everything, and the financial where-with-all of doing so, not occuring until the early 60's, than some superior engineering talent. Necessity is the mother of invention. Cold homes is one of those "necessities." The motivation was NOT to be superior. The motivation was to get out of the cold. Unlike us Yanks, they had no choice. We still have 40 year old steam boilers working like clocks. When those steamers were installed, Germany was bankrupt and was split into two separate nations. Necessity was the creative force, not an M.E. degree from U of Berlin... The fact that Germany has no oil reserves also forces the government to invoke extremely restrictive energy standards. Which by the way, are allowed to be (actually encouraged) to be promulgated by the manufacturer's; like Viessmann! Talk about the fox watching the chicken coup! Of course, the manufacturer's stumble over each other trying to out "tech" each other and forcing absurd energy legislation which only their "superior" equipment can meet. It is like nothing we have here in north america, thankfully. In come the marketing wizards, and the rest is what we see now. We are so naieve.
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 9:51 PM
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    Perry

    I'm just repeating what I was told and this guys' company is a huge pipe and tubing distributor in Chicago. The sell miles of tube every day so I would assume he's noticed something or he wouldn't have said it. I can tell you from personal experience that there is a difference in copper tubing available today as opposed to even 4-5 years ago. The "soft" copper you get in an AC lineset for example is not nearly as mallable as it used to be. The "hard" copper seems to be more brittle, for lack of a better word. You can tell especially when using an abrasive or carbide toothed cutter. We were installing a new R410 AC system this past summer and were removing the old line set. Both my guys commented that the old 7/8" suction line was about as pliable as rubber hose yet after 15 years of service. The new 7/8" suction was like trying to bend an anaconda that wanted to go straight. Bend it one time and have fun trying to bend it again. There was a huge difference and I don't think they make tubing different for R22 vs R410. Like I said, just passing this along as information. Not making excuses for Viega/Nibco/Ridgid et-al
  • subcooler subcooler @ 3:01 PM
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    Preaching to the Choir

    Oh Ken, Ken , Ken , Ken. You'd fit right in with us on our Friday night dinners. I have said this before but isn't amazing that the great so called mechanical wizards of the day are defined by the equipment they install (or sell) and not by their own ability.
  • Ken Ken @ 3:16 PM
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    So,

    What are we having for dinner this coming Friday? Sauerbratten mit spetzle? Kassekuchin for dessert?
  • John V John V @ 10:44 AM
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    leaks question

    Wouldn't water leave a mineral residue?
  • Old School Plumbing

    Remember the thread a short while back from a young plumber who was suprised the old timer on the job didn't want to try anything new? It is because of problems like this. Unless a product is proven over time, problems are bound to pop up. Just wait a few years until the o-rings get old and cracked. In the past 30 years we have seen many new products and piping materials, and every one was going to be the best. Very few new products have been around for very long. I still use lead and oakum when using cast iorn, only black pipe on gas and steam boilers, and only copper on water pipe. I may go to pex for water pipe soon, because copper now cost so much more than pex, but I will only switch after years of thinking about it, and talking to other guys that are using it, I have been stung too many times. A phrase from one of Dan's books stuck with me, an old plumber says " I don't mind trying anything new, as long as my father and grandfather tried it before me." To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ken Ken @ 11:14 AM
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    Bob's right!

    Which makes me post my newest version of my caveat once again: "Great marketing will overcome inferior products every time; and in a ratio of roughly 2:1" Am I being overly repetitive? (;-o)
  • ALH ALH @ 1:57 PM
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    new and unimproved

    I never understood how you could press the fitting and pipe into a hexagon and expect a circular o-ring to seal. A lot of pipe is less than perfectly circular as well. Glycol is incredibly difficult to keep from leaking past any joint. But then I have never used a press fitting. And to be fair, I have been very impressed by the aging of EPDM. Another product that seems destined for this type of failure are the manifolds with every type of valve, fitting, air vent, ball valve, and anything else they can think of to put on them with an o-ring fitting. I see no reason to add those clear plastic flow meters to every loop just for fun. Most of those add-ons appear to have excellent leak potential. Foil under-slab insulation is a "shining" example of marketing overcoming an inferior product. I still wonder about aluminum boilers, particularly in systems with a lot of copper pipe. In addition to being susceptible to galvanic corrosion, they are pH sensitive. "Sensitive" is a bad word for any component of a heating system, because as we all know maintenance is generally performed after the failure. Having been closely involved with extruded plates, I can say that a lot of the output charts provided by manufacturers and proponents of other methods, (ie. staple-up, sheet metal "plates", suspended tube, etc) are exaggerated. It surprises me that they are willing to stick their necks out like that. I guess if a particular installation was inadequate they could always blame the contractor? That seems wrong to me. It made it difficult to market a product that was backed by somewhat conservative published output values, and was in general more expensive. For this to stop, it will obviously take critical thinking by the contractor installing the product, balanced with a mind open enough to embrace new technology. That really does ask a lot of contractors who have a lot more to worry about than whether the new product offered by their distributor will live up to the manufacturer's claims. As an engineer, It bothers me that the marketing department apparently trumps the engineering department, if in fact any engineering was involved. -Andrew
  • Tom R. Tom R. @ 10:53 PM
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    Crimped tubing

    Does anybody know what crimping a tube into anything but round does for the flow?
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 12:30 AM
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    One word solution to threaded leaks

    Hemp It works! Everytime!
  • Dan Foley Dan Foley @ 9:51 AM
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    Hemp

    I agree, Steve. We have used hemp (my Bosnian guys call it "Kuchina") to resolve these issues. My point is that the tolerances of the fittings should not be so loose that teflon and dope should not work. -DF To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 6:32 AM
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    Dan

    I think it's more an issue of the Euro cut threads having a different "interference" angle than a difference of actual diameter. I have checked diameters both at the land and the groove of the thread with a vernier caliper and found <.002" variation in all of the MPT fittings I've looked at. We've noticed that some MPT adapters will thread in nicely on some female fittings and not on others. The variation seems to be in the screwee instead of the screwer. (The female fitting) Different material female fittings, mallable iron, brass, copper, seem to accept the PP brass MPT fittings with different levels of success. One place we nearly always have issues with is when joining brass to brass. An example would be using a ProPress MPT fitting with a brass Viega pex manifold. You'd think that because both are made by the same company the "fit" would be right but that's not the case. Sometimes the male fitting will "get tight" with 4-5 threads showing and sometimes it will bottom out with almost no effort at all. Regardless of what Ken says, we have found the hemp/teflon paste combo to be nearly bulletproof. No issues with corrosion are evident on 2-3 year old jobs I have gone back to and examined.
  • N/A @ 9:33 AM

    Europe vs NPT

    Steve, Euro threads are straight, not tapered and are 1/2 a thread off per inch. Totally different contact area and your hemp and dope is the only solution... or you could use EXPANDO. We had one EU manufacture that tried to make a tapered EU thread.... to not much success (read LEAK$). Took a little bit of leakage to convince these guys that either you are NPT or not. wheels
  • old oil man old oil man @ 1:53 PM
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    Expando

    Steve, We have used expando for years, great product. We can no longer find it locally. Any idea where it could be purchased? John Pughe
  • Ken Ken @ 11:09 AM
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    Steve,

    Of some note, hemp is not a pipe sealant. It works like the cork in a wine barrel, almost. The hemp swells up, and slows a leak to "minimal." The minimal leak however allows the threads to be in contact with the atmosphere, thereby allowing rust to form along the entire thread. Want proof? Try and take apart a year-old nip and fitting doped with hemp, or hemp and paste pipe-dope (the alleged "solution" to the eternal weaping of just plain hemp alone; which, by the way, doesn't work either). The threads are totally corroded from the corrosive nature of the hemp's wicking capabilities, coupled with the O2 that gets into the hemped threads, and eats the steel pipe and fitting alike - rendering the joint as the potentail leak-city. If the fitting happens to be the c.i. boiler block, the use of hemp on threads is a potential death knell, IMHO.
  • subcooler subcooler @ 7:23 PM
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    That's the way to go.

    I spent a couple days in the field last week running some 2", 2 1/2" and 3" copper. I think the young guns were impressed that I could still sweat it together as fast as they could cut and fit it. But I am always humbled that at the end of a day and about 100 sweat joints later to have not a leaker in site. Mechanical fittings not here.
  • ALH ALH @ 5:31 PM
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    warranty

    It's good to know that you wouldn't know it was leaking if there wasn't green residue. I had no idea seepage was ok. I can't think of many customers who would be happy with that. Are you thinking of going back to soldered joints? -Andrew
  • S Davis S Davis @ 6:49 PM
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    Andrew, With the way Viega has dealt with the problems I have had I think I will be returning or using up the stock of fittings I currently have on hand, on non-glycol jobs of course and going back to soldered joints. S Davis
  • S Davis S Davis @ 10:45 PM
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    The whole system is showing leaks like this and we are being told it is normal, when this system was installed the tool was only two months old. S Davis
  • Weezbo Weezbo @ 10:51 PM
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    makes you feel like having their body parts nailed to

    the mantel piece.. thank you for sharing this minor technicality. its the small details or variables that are only recognised by experience....i am not digging at you i too have already had all the experience i care to with the pro press. 4" L is like 1000$ a stick BTW
  • S Davis S Davis @ 10:55 PM
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    Weezbo

    Yep I am getting there I have some very unhappy customers, I thought they had a 50 year warrenty against leakage and now to hear that leakage is normal. S Davis
  • S Davis S Davis @ 10:25 PM
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    Press Fittings

    Anyone ever see press fittings that looked like this? S Davis
  • J.C.A. J.C.A. @ 10:37 PM
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    Yep !

    Usually they are in systems containing glycol for some strange reason. We recently had a leaker in a tee. Scott and I went to the Viega open house and brought the sample with us. Our new rep. had it cut-away and they found it was a "piece of foriegn debris" on the O-ring. (I'm always telling the guys to leave the fittings in the darn bags until they're needed!) With so many fittings showing the same small leaks, I wonder if it's time for the press tool to be serviced ? I know that the yellow light is supposed to light up and warn you, but the tolerances are pretty specific and maybe it got dropped a few too many times. Send these photos to your local Viega rep. and see what they say. Chris
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 9:09 AM
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    Interesting conversation RE: this problem

    Had breakfast with the sales manager from a very large PP distributor and Jim French from Buderus this morning. I asked the sales manager if they had seen any issues with ProPress fittings and glycol and he said without any hesitation that they had. He went on to explain that in nearly all cases that he was aware of the problems originated with the CU tubing itself, not the pressing tool or the fittings. Seems that some US manufacturers of tubing are not holding tolerance and in some cases are buying tube from overseas and reselling it with their label on it. They've seen tubing with out of round conditions as well as variable OD issues. That's right, variable OD even on the same length of tubing. He went on to say that they have sold literally millions of PP fittings and have had virtually no problems with the fittings themselves. Some issues with tools and assembly techniques but nearly nothing with the fittings. Just passing this on as information. PS: Another interesting comment he made was how he referred to tubing that was imported. He said they sell tube that is "US or global". I asked what he meant by global and his response was that nowadays they frequently source tube from a single source overseas that may contain tube from different countries all on the same shipment. One time it may be China, the next may be Spain, Italy, Thailand or anywhere else you can think of. The world market is getting strange...........
  • Perry Perry @ 8:48 PM
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    I am very highly skepticle of this claim...

    Since I have toured tube mills, and have calipered potentially thousands of different tubes the claim of varying tolerences in tubeing as the culpret - and of tubing size changing in the same length - does not make any sense at all. The dies and rollers used to make tubing can only produce tubing of the size they are - usually within a a thousands of an inch from batch to batch (and often within a half a thousands of an inch from batch to batch). This is well within ANSI tolerences. The dies and rollers don't wear out fast either (some tubing mills are using dies and rollers that are decades old - and still holding tolerences). This claim makes no sense. Now the problems with quality problems from different mills does exist - and it is usually in the quality of the alloy, heat treatment, and in the case of seemed tubing - sometimes in the welding process. And yes, some of those mills in some countries have a bad reputation on these issues. But not on dimensional tolerences. Also, given that we are talking essentially pure copper tubing - the alloying and heat treatment problems are not likely to exist either. Of course - out of round tubing does exist - because someone crushed it (which is rarely the mill). I'd like to see examples of these out of tolerence tubes. Not just a claim that they exist. Given the equipment used - and the standard sizes on dies and rollers - I can't immagine how it is possible. As they say in Missouri - Show me. Perry
  • Floyd Floyd @ 9:10 PM
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    you know...

    I think you may have something.... never thought of not cleaning the pipe, guess it was always SOP for me so I have always done it with the PP without giving it a thought. Could be why some leak???? I usually use my 122 machine and it takes what 2 seconds to spin the pipe on the brush.....after hiting the reamer. Floyd
  • S Davis S Davis @ 12:36 PM
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    I found the denied Warranty Claim see attachment below. Edit: Sorry about the size of the attachment :-) S Davis
  • Jerry Jerry @ 2:51 PM
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    Now this is scary. Still waiting for Viega to weigh in. Looks like a melt=down in every sense of the wprd. Luckily I don't have to deal with glycol, but...
  • Jeff Matson Jeff Matson @ 1:31 PM
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    Still here, just really busy with the office move so I don't read here every day (wish I could!). We are working to figure out the glycol issue. Rest assured that it is not sealing elements being attacked by the fluid, and should not happen in non-glycol systems. I have some ideas but we need to do more testing before saying anything. Jeff
  • Tom R. Tom R. @ 3:58 PM
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    Material defects

    The only time I have encountered leaks from fittings involved sand holes in brass castings. Like you said, it is not a perfect world and all the fastening systems you mentioned have problems from time to time. But in almost every case, they can be traced to improper handling or poor workmanship, hardly ever to the device itself, and if so, not in the numbers seen here.
  • flush flush @ 11:32 AM
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    adaptors

    From my experience the european fitting threads are cut to the high end of tolerences, deep and most of the asian fittings are cut to the minimum tolerances, shallow so when you make your connections in mixed manufacturers you need to use additional tape or filler product to secure a positive seal.
  • Leo G Leo G @ 10:35 AM
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    just wrapping

    up my latest install, and this thought has been banging through my head since this thread started. not sure if it is the tubing or fittings, but once again, I ran into the most common problem with copper nowadays. sometimes the tubing and fittings fit properly. Sometimes they are loose, and sometimes they are a real b**** to get together. I am wondering what are the tolerances from the press fitting mans. about tubing diameter? If the tubing is too thin, does the seal have a good enough friction contact? If the tubing is too thick, maybe the o-rings get dislodged or knicked? Leo G
  • Ken Ken @ 9:34 AM
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    Perhaps we can all help!

    Some of us own very precise measuring tools, e.g., vernier calipers and micrometers. Using 3/4" copper tubing as the "standard," A few of us could run the following national test. The database could be as follows: 1) Tube manufacturer's name: 2) Type: (M, L, or K) 3) Maximum outside diameter on the information imprint. 4) Maximum outside diameter 90-degrees from the information imprint. 5) Minimum outside diameter on the information imprint. 6) Minimum outside diameter 90-degrees from the information imprint. Make sense? Let's do it! Steve's input suggests perhaps we should. There is a national standard either by ANSI or equally recognized authority in this country. Perhaps the acceptable variation of the U.S. tube is "outside" the euro-tool's ability to be absolute? Wouldn't THAT be a bitch?
  • subcooler subcooler @ 10:00 AM
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    Or you could

    use solder.
  • Supply House Rick Supply House Rick @ 11:24 AM
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    Devan

    No failures on Tectite(yet), the limitations are they only come in 1/2" - 3/4" & 1" (coming soon) and the fact they do not have years of field testing behind them. There has been leaks on every fitting ever made. And to answer your question "is this a leak"? Sure, it either held or failed... The initial investment to get started with ProPress is considerable and Viega's response that "leaks with glycol are to be expected" is the issue. Is that info in the Propress manual? What's the solution if you have an entire system done with ProPress and have glycol in system, based on the info provided by Viega. Do you have confidence in the product? Rick
  • Harold Harold @ 1:29 PM
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    Water too

    Actually, I think I mentioned this earlier, when the rep talked to me after looking at the system he said water does it too, but it evaporates and you don't see it. That is, I suppose, if you have mineral free water.
  • singh singh @ 5:06 PM
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    Yes

    I do have confidence in the product , to date. I'm waiting for much more info than what is posted here. Not saying anyone is to blame, but was it the tool,the pipe , the fittings, the glycol?? Let's wait, then we can decide for ourselves. OK, there seems to be majority that they are "leaking" and Viega's "leaks with glycol are to be expected" is an unacceptable response. I looked up their warranty info, they also state the fittings are not warrantied when "corrosive substances" are used. Does glycol count? Especially if PH not neutral? Hmmm.... if that's the case my confidence would totally dissipate, and I feel a stain (no pun intended) will be left on the industry and all involved. Yes I have made a considerable investment, I like many others here have a vested interest in the outcome. I feel it necessary to look at all sides. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • singh singh @ 7:59 AM
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    Valid points

    But I have a few questions and observations. 1- Did "Bob" the homeowner pay extra for a propress system? 2- We all seen the same thing happen with standard copper fittings, adapts, valves with glycol. Has anyone ever contacted Nibco or whomever for warranty claim? No, we say "this is normal" 3-What if Viega agrees to pay for a re-pipe with whatever fittings the contractor and homeowner wants to use (which by the way I think is the only way for them out of this at this point) sometimes you got to know when to fold.We've all been there. They will still sell thousands of fittings after, it is a good system. What if the "new" system with glycol starts to weep, and it will,what then? 4- Was the water tested and ph before glycol added, Did I understand it was AL rated antifreeze.? 5-What ever happen to insulation, would this have been an issue ,if no one saw? I'm not looking for any one to answer one way or the other, I'm just voicing my thoughts out loud. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Supply House Rick Supply House Rick @ 8:31 AM
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    Devan

    I know you are a ProPress user, have you had any trouble with the system? It was my understanding that the fluid passing through fittings never actually come anywhere close to the O-Ring. Maybe I'm wrong... I agree with everybody who says "one leak is too many" Thanks, Rick
  • singh singh @ 8:59 AM
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    Rick

    No, no problems yet, other than my own fault. Like not pressing or improper press fo fitting. Who told you that? The EPDM o-ring and fluid as far as I know is what is doing the sealing. The inner and outer hex crimps are the secondaries and prevent the fitting from turning . Only one job with AL glycol , never been back yet so I don't know. Most of my stuff has no antifreeze, I stay away if possible, and now more so. The real question here Rick, is Does this scenario qualify as a leak? You agree this can happen with any fitting ,black, copper , brand and glycol, I know in your 28 years you seen it. Do you still beleive in Tectite :) How's that going by the way? To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • EBEBRATT-Ed EBEBRATT-Ed @ 9:22 PM
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    Had a propres leak today 1 1/2" copper brand new american made tubing and a male adapter leaking at the press joint. only 10 psi on the system. Re crimped it 4- 5 times---what did I have to loose????? Wouldn't stop dripping. It took 4 hours to get a shot glass full of water. Fitting?? tubing?? machine or jaws?? operator error?? Going to cut it apart and look at it. ED
  • Mark Wolff Mark Wolff @ 7:13 PM
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    OXYGEN

    I don't have the complete answer for you, however I can say from experience that 100 PSI air pressure testing of a hydronics system for 24 hours did not show leaks, but glycol at 20 psi did leak. That is why we now exceed the Army Corps of Engineers requirements and add an air and water mix to the sytem and charge it to 150 psi for testing ( copper sweat fittings only), so the idea that glycol and air are the same in their leak finding properties is not valid.
  • paul zeszotarski paul zeszotarski @ 1:14 PM
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    good idea

    I have seen this type of product at the trade show but never used it. it saves time in assemly but what i remember costs much more then a normal fitting. if used properly in the install and the heat source is maintained it should last a long time.
  • Luke Lefever Luke Lefever @ 8:25 AM
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    Yes- we have used ProPress G for natural gas in Indiana.
  • Harold Harold @ 10:48 PM
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    I have been following this thread with intrest. As a civilian involved in this, I would like to again provide my input. Some of you may not have seen this problem; but I have it in spades. Pipes contain liquids. No junctions shall release the contents of the pipe. Period. If a valve leaks, I have it fixed. If a joint fails, I have it fixed. This has been my policy for 50 years. I have paid a large amount of money for a premium piping system. I consider the appearance of the system to be an important component of the finished system. I must be able to bring tour groups (e.g., my friends who want to see the new house) through the utility room and not have them say "what are those ugly/green stains around the joints. I have had a request from a regional publication to do an article on the house. The heating system is a significant issue in the uniqueness of the house. The ProPress connections are unacceptable to my wife and I. There are also issues with connections where the thread/pipe tolerences are not sufficient to prevent contained fluids from escaping. I have seen very very few sweated joints over the years that have problems. I have always had them fixed. They are broken. I have, what I believe to be, a showcase house. ProPress is not compatible with this vision or reasonable consumer expectations. My personal opinion at this point is that Viega should pay for the removal of the current installation and provide a replacement using soldered connections installed by the original contractor. This would include all materials, labor, chemical cleaning/purging of the newly installed system, disposal of existing fluids, replacement glycol, and compensation for the disruption, aggravation, and inconvience of the homeowners as well as denying the peaceful enjoyment of their home. In short - complete replacement with no cost to the owner and compensation for the grief. I believe Viaga is selling their products under false pretenses, using false advertising, abrogating their warranty, and not meeting a consumers resonable expectations of performance. This includes discussions of weeping not being a leak vs what an average consumer would expect. I should not have to pay a penalty for using a well promoted and gauranteed system of piping.
  • HAROLD HAROLD @ 8:50 PM
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    Propress leaks

    After reading all of this I may have lost something. Does the system leak? We have used propress for years since it first came out. Most was used for process cooling (chilled water 45deg.)with anti-freeze. No leaks. Many hot water heating systems No leaks. I find the lack of response from the rep. to be alarming Is this enough to cause us to stop using it not yet, but the more feedback we all get the better we will be. Harold
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 12:28 PM
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    pro-press for steam

    Viega also touts that their fittings (with a different o-ring material) can handle up to 15 psi steam. Hmmmm. Having just seen their salesman double-talk about glycol, I am having doubts and regrets about buying and using their stuff for anything, much less steam. At least I bought it on e-Bay at a discount. I suspect after this, much more pro-press stuff is going to appear on e-Bay! ;-) I am glad I didn't use it for fuel gas. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • mtfallsmikey mtfallsmikey @ 12:10 PM
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    Stupid question of the day

    Ken has a good point, hence my question: Does anyone clean the copper with sandpaper on plumber's cloth or steel wool before using these fittings (which I have never used!) If I HAVE to use compression fittings on copper, I sand it, just like I would do with soldering. Little or no problems with leaks that way.
  • heatboy heatboy @ 1:32 PM
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    Not stupid at all...........

    With new copper, I just ream it and press. If your cutting wheel is sharp, there is no worry about deburring the outside of the pipe. On old work, depending on the condition of the copper, I might clean the outside, but as with new, always ream the tubing, which is done regardless of connection style. I have at least 2500 press fittings in use. Old copper, new copper, glycol (50/50 mix) and have even pressed fintube together (a no-no, I am told). I cannot see ever going back to soldering with the speed of ProPress and it's huge labor savings. hb
    heatboy

    The Radiant Whisperer


    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • jim lockard jim lockard @ 9:17 PM
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    Hey Viega

    your up, alot of guys here have major investments in your products. Let's have the truth about whats going on. J.Lockard
  • Ken Ken @ 4:57 PM
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    Jeff

    Do you do service? Or just installs? If the latter, which you told me once is all you do, you wouldn't have occassion to witness your own crimps, a few years after installations. Or did you not say that? Hell, I can't remember what I had for lunch a few hours ago, never mind what you had to say last time we wrote/spoke. Which BTW was about the guy in Nazereth and the hydro-air job you never responded to me about even after I left two or three messages on your phone and many e-mails you never bothered to respond to.
  • Steve Ebels Steve Ebels @ 2:04 PM
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    Wheels

    The threads I was refering to are the ones "they" try to cut to NPT standards not the typical Euro BSP non tapered. I've encountered this on a lot of imported fittings from all over the world, not chust the Fatherland. Seems especially pronounced on brass fittings, valves and other piping accoutrements for some reason.
  • Matt Undy Matt Undy @ 3:53 PM
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    Perhaps this has to do with the reduction of lead in brass. Brass has or used to have some lead added to it to act as a lubricant in machining. Without the lead, the finish will be rougher, especially in a plant that isn't so closely maintained, such as in china or mexico. Were brass-brass or brass-steel or brass-copper always rather leak prone, or is this a recent problem. BTW, i'd be concerned about "normal seepage" causing corrosion under the seal and making an increasingly larger leak. In case someone hasn't mentioned it yet..havent' made it through the whole thread yet. Matt
  • subcooler subcooler @ 10:58 PM
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    The old stand-by rule

    You can only choose two. Choose wisely. Time, cost or quality
  • Ken Ken @ 10:09 AM
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    They also claimed

    to be first with radiant; even though we invented it in the 1940's. They also claimed to be first with PE plastic tubing, and then found the need for O2 barriers because all the boilers installed with same, rotted out after a week "in service." Had the government not stepped in and banned plain jane PE, They'd probably still be rotting boilers out in weeks! They are great at things we don't need. Hot air is verboten. No one makes a decent steam boiler. Most things are priced uncompetitively. This is NOT becasue of superior engineering costing more. It because their labor problems are so severe and labor costs bordering on obscene. The cost of shipping is an added cost. They can't make a condensing oil boiler, they can't design a reasonable condensor with gas that will vent at "normal" lengths, and parts are anything but "readily available." Then there was the legendery Vallaint debacle. Huge market assualt aimed at the U.S., marketing that rivals Viessmann's and all of a sudden, POOF! They left town in the middle of the night, holding all contractors, wholesalers and reps holding a rather substantial "bag." Does anyone remember that? Have any idea how big Vallaint is compared to Viessmann? It's the debacle no one from the other side of the pond wants to talk about; brush it under the rug. The reason? If we remember the commitment of Vallaint to penetrate the U.S. boiler market, and the marketing blitz and budget they deployed to succeed; and after jumping through all the legal and code issues to comply with our standards, they ultimately failed rather miserably; we might hold back on being so "supportive" of yet another euro maker onslaught. Should fears of a Viessmann/Vallaint parallel be contemplated, the rumor alone would make us all think twice about any euro-boiler. Having a euro boiler myself, I'd hate to see that happen. And thanks Alan for cleaning up my Deutsch spelling(;-o)
  • EBEBRATT-Ed EBEBRATT-Ed @ 11:37 PM
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    This is not the news I wanted to here. So far the leaks we have had have been because of scratches in the tubing (dragging it across the floor), leaks where the manufacturers name is embossed in the tubing or defective tubing ( we had some tubing made in great britian that caused us problems) now this. Ed
  • Jerry Jerry @ 8:02 PM
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    Disturbing to be sure. I love my pro-press, but I do find that since it always works so perfectly, I get a little lazy when the heat is on. Since the brain trust is weighing in, how do they feel about wiping the o-ring inside with some teflon paste. When I'm tying on to anything questionable I do it as a belt and suspenders move. I don't think it qualifies as a lubricant, which is a no-no. I wouldn't use blue glue or rectum seal, but I think this is the right stuff. Had great success, never a leak, and I think a little squishy, slippery stuff goes a long way.
  • Jerry Jerry @ 8:22 PM
    Contact this user

    PS I took the time to look at your great pics, and not one piece of pipe showed any signs of having been cleaned in any way. Some are showing longitudinal lines. I'm having to pay more attention to this kind of stuff now. I think the teflon is a great fix/tool across the board. What say ye, Viega?
  • terry terry @ 11:48 PM
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    I need to check out my old jobs for leaks!
  • S Davis S Davis @ 11:50 PM
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    These systems have Glycol so as long as you don't you should be ok. S Davis
  • Constantin Constantin @ 10:01 AM
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    Are the fittings similar?

    Different? Can a Propress G fitting be used in a hydronic system? I wonder because the gas service fittings may have a tighter tolerance re: leakage, but the seal materials may not be compatible with the liquids found in hydronic systems (glycol in particular).
  • Viega's on stie visit of material

    Viega QA Department. Viega believes firmly in the quality of the ProPress product. We are looking into this matter and have scheduled a site visit for the last week of November. C. Joslin
  • Constantin Constantin @ 10:00 AM
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    Thanks for the reply!

    We are all looking forward to hearing both sides of the story.
  • Dan Holohan Dan Holohan @ 10:17 AM
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    Thanks for stopping by.

    Always good to hear from you.
    Site Administrator
    dan@heatinghelp.com













    Hug your kids.
  • Weezbo Weezbo @ 10:41 PM
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    so....Pro press 301...

    thank the man upstairs i didnt take That course...201 on the 4" was sufficent for me.
  • Ken Ken @ 8:18 PM
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    Suggesting 100 pounds

    of air didn't "read" leakage on a gage is bogus. If you lost 3 ozs. of air you couldn't read the drop in a 100# gage anyhow! If you lost 3 ozs. of 100# compressed air, which is over 7 atmospheres, and converted that to visible, leaking glycol at 20#, the floor would be soaked! I get your point, but not the impossibility of the example you use a "validation" suggesting 100# of air doesn't leak, yet 20# on glycol will. BOTH will leak if a joint is "bad." You just can't measure 3 ounces of air on a 100# gage. Fact is, you'd likely use a 150# gage to measure 100# of pressure. Put the air test on for a week! I doubt you could see a one pound drop, which would waste a gallon of glycol using your example. Leaks are leaks. The rate of leakage is dependent on the integrity of the joint, the material and pressure being contained, and temperature of the components. Having said the obvious, the substance is not the causative factor, the amount escaping is everything - especially with regard to detection!
  • Murph' Murph' @ 12:47 PM
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    K K K Ken

    I have gauges to measure air loss at 100#s, and would definatly show you a three oz. loss, actually shows through volume rather than pressure drop. Required to test gas lines. Murph' To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Press fittings.

    To Whom It May Concern: Recent blog postings from Stacey Davis, a hydronic radiant heating contractor and H. Harrington, a homeowner, have erroneously characterized Viega as unresponsive to a warranty claim. Their allegations simply are not true. Davis installed a hydronic system at Harringtonís home more than two years ago. The home still is not occupied. The system, under pressure for that entire time, has exhibited minor stains in the system control area. Viega did not abandon an effort to evaluate the claim and sent three trained factory personnel at its expense to the homesite to inspect the piping system. That inspection confirmed there was visible, glycol residue at 4 threaded connections in the control area and evidence of residue on several non-threaded press fittings. Evidence of glycol residue in either copper press, threaded or solder fittings is not uncommon, given glycolís characteristics. There was no evidence of dripping or puddles at the connections which exhibited glycol residue and there was no moisture showing during the inspection. Per normal warranty procedures, Davis was requested several times by Viega to remove the representative fittings and return them for examination. In October 2006, Davis offered to remove and return the fittings for a sum of $2,695. That offer was rejected by Viega as unreasonable. The request to remove and replace the representative fittings would have confirmed whether they had been properly installed at the outset or whether the parts were defective. Viega has made a reasonable and responsible effort to respond to the claims made by Davis and Harrington. Viega continues to be willing to examine the four adapters further under its normal warranty claims procedure and to provide four replacement adapters in order to allow the removal. Viega does not intend to further discuss this particular claim in this public forum, but, given the postings by others, feels the need to clarify the facts.
  • Ken Ken @ 4:51 PM
    Contact this user

    Dear Viega,

    With or without your permission (since this is a public forum), your response shall be included in the white paper ASHRAE will publish in the near future. Should you wish to provide further input for the issues and resolution you have determined to date, please notify us as soon as possible. Since I am authoring the ASHRAE white paper, my address is ken.secor@wildblue.com. Should you wish to supply further iformation, it will be as confidential as you wish it to be, within reason of course.
  • ALH ALH @ 4:55 PM
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    Ken

    Is your email .net or .com? I notice it is .net in the author line of your posts. Just want to make sure you get any input Viega sends.
  • S Davis S Davis @ 12:21 AM
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    Get the facts straight

    Chris, You need to get some of your facts straight, this heating system has been installed for one year and three months and has had glycol in it for about one year, also it has only been used for teporary heat for a total of maybe two or three weeks during this period, This is about an 8000sqft home and it is not uncommon for construction to take longer than one year, also Raulf Bauman had me include lost time I had from fixing MIP adapters that were leaking on other jobs in that estimate to you. If I was to take out the fittings in question I would be removing almost the entire system as I would estimate about 90% of the fittings are leaking glycol, this would leave Harold without a heating system. Also of the four adapters you offered to fix only two had been leaking and the other two had just been driped on, I fixed those a month before you came to the site so you have offered to fix two of the few fittings that are not leaking in the system, great warrenty program you have. I have two other jobs that are showing the same glycol leaking past the sealing element, I am in the process of talking to the customers about obtaining fitting samples and sending them to a independent testing lab for analysis, and I will also be forwarding samples, and the findings to ASME as well as others. And incase anyone forgot what they look like here are some more pictures, by the way they have gotten worse since these were taken. S Davis
  • S Davis S Davis @ 12:35 AM
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    System Pictures

    This is what the system looked like before it started leaking. S Davis
  • Anna Conda Anna Conda @ 1:03 PM
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    Don't anybody step on my jaw... it fell on the floor somewhere. I'm really dismayed that this company seems to be raising the bar on quality standards. We've never considered such seepage to be acceptable with soldering or any other kind of connection; why should it be deemed acceptable with this product? Yet that's exactly what this company seems to be saying. "Sure, it looks like sloppy hackmanship, but that's okay" - is that going to become our new modern standard of quality? No wonder pride in craftsmanship is going down the tubes.
  • Ray Landry Ray Landry @ 9:44 AM
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    Stacy, it is sad that this is the answer you have recieved from Viega regarding the warranty claim. Like every other response from them so far, it leaves much to be desired and I'm sure is forcing many others to put down their pro press machine for awhile. I know that I have. I had a very similar situation to yours and was promised a follow up visit from viega engineers and never got any response other than 'the pictures sent do not include any evidence of leakage, the glycol's charecteristics cause it to seep from o ring seals..' GREAT! I would also say your labor price is not ridiculous at all considering all the phone tag it seems you've been playing, as well as the new glycol I would assume you would need to buy.
  • Dirty Hands Dale Dirty Hands Dale @ 6:31 PM
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    Harold by not giving them a fitting I can see that bieng used agianst you. It is something they could hold over your head. I am positive you could hide a solder joint somewhere, I do understand you home is higher end home and you want even the mechanical features to be appealing. I still think you should stand your ground but how can they get an understanding of what happened by just looking at the outside of a fitting? I always cut pro-press leakers in half to see what is going on, just to educate myself.
  • Steverino Steverino @ 7:42 PM
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    They went to the contractor and told him to cut samples. I believe they had already refused to take any responsibility for his time spent fixing the threaded leakers on my system and others. My understanding was that they did not offer to compensate him for his time and materials for cutting and repairing samples. Parts of the system would have to be drained and the fluid removed from the site, antifreeze replenished, and air removed from the system again. I saw no reason for Stacey to eat anything more on this. In addition I was not happy about cutting up my system with no assurance of an overall repair. The subject was not reopened during the visit from the Viega people. Please remember - their position is that the green places on the pipe ARE NOT leaks. As an outside observer, cutting some connections apart to see why it is not leaking would seem like a bad move legaly. And do keep in mind the published instructions for using the propress system. I suspect much of the delay in this process has been because their lawyers were running about. Given disclosures supplied in writing by Viega I would guess the lawyers were also unhappy. They may have all the samples they want if they take out the system and solder a new one in.
  • heatboy heatboy @ 8:15 AM
    Contact this user

    Have you or Steve.................

    ..........tried cleaning up the fittings with steel wool or something? If you did, does the "leak" return? If it doesn't reappear................ To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    heatboy

    The Radiant Whisperer


    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Timco Timco @ 9:30 PM
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    200!!

    Sorry...just wanted to be # 200! Tim
    Working on steam and hot-water systems isn't rocket science....it's actually much harder.
  • Luke Lefever Luke Lefever @ 10:23 PM
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    I don't like this public \"outing\".

    I belong to another Bulletin Board for Toyota LandCruisers. I've seen a scenario become pretty common there, that seems to be occuring here too. Goes something like this. Poster #1: "I agreed to buy an umptefratz from "Bill", I paid him for it, he cashed my check and hasn't sent it. He won't respond to my emails, I lost his phone number, does anyone know how to get ahold of Bill? Poster #2: "That Bill is a schmuck, I say we post his home phone number, as well as his work phone number and where his kids go to school" Poster #3: Yeah, lets do it. etc. etc. etc. This goes on until finally Bill posts up that he got laid off or whatever and he's sorry for the trouble and would people stop calling his house at all hours of the day with threatening messages. The parallels between the above scenario and this thread are bothersome to me. It seems that Harold and his contractor may have a legitimate concern, and that we, are interested third parties. But it lends no clarity to the situation to be lobbing around accusations and threats. Viega is a large company. They are not immune from making mistakes. I trust that they have their best people trying to figure out what is happening in the mentioned system, but to have people "spouting off" doesn't help. We bought a ProPress machine last year, we don't use it much, we haven't used it at all with Glycol, we have used it a little with Natural Gas. I will be watching the outcome of this situation because I believe we all will know more, and be better contractors for the knowlege to be gained here. Bottom like, could we act a little more like adults and not just jump on the "Kill Viega" bandwagon when we don't have many (any) of the facts? Luke Lefever, Lefever Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
  • Mark Hunt Mark Hunt @ 11:26 PM
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    Kill Viega??????

    No one said that. I see no comparison to the analogy you used. "Bill" disappeared. Viega said that the leaks were normal. It's in writing. Go look. So here is an analogy that more closely represents what is going on here. Customer Bob buys a system that he believes is the best and hires a contractor that he also believes is the best. Contractor Ed installs a system that he has experience with and has never had reason to doubt the performance of that system. All of a sudden, there are "issues". Ed calls the rep, the rep calls the manufacturer. Ed sends pics of the "issues" and the manufacturer says it's no big deal. Happens all the time. It's to be expected. Well Customer Bob is quite upset. He doesn't want green spots on his copper piping. He wants what he bought, the best. NO LEAKS. Bob's pipes are leaking. Bob doesn't care if they are leaking "a little or a lot", THEY ARE LEAKING. Bob paid EXTRA for NO LEAKS. None. Nada. Sans leaks, even little ones. Now here is where it gets interesting. Customer Bob would be DOA right now if it wasn't for this forum. If this was YOUR job Luke, you would be left holding the bag if it was your job. The REAL STORY here is that "Leaks are normal". Not in my world. And for those of you that think this should have been kept "off line", I expect to see all of you jumping in when another manufacturer is getting a good beating here. I have a good memory for these things. Mark H To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Luke Lefever Luke Lefever @ 11:38 PM
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    Mark- I have no problem with your analogy. It may more closely reflect this situation. My problem is with all the "bandwagon jumpers" (I wish I had a better descriptor for them) that come out and bash whichever company is mentioned. I'm just saying, be patient. The facts will come out. People will either be satisfied or dissatisfied with the answers. To rant and rave about it now seems foolish. Respectfully, Luke
  • Mark Hunt Mark Hunt @ 11:56 PM
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    I know Luke

    and I agree. But in all honesty, without this forum , this thread, what chance would this "issue" have had to be considered? The issue was considered closed by the manufacturer. They rejected the warranty claim. The manufacturer started this by stating that "leaks are normal with glycol". Well apparantly leaks are NOT normal according to a few that have replied to this thread. So who is wrong here?? The manufacturer that says "leaks are normal", or the other installers that say, "No leaks here"????? Mark H To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Floyd Floyd @ 12:13 AM
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    Mark,

    Your both right.... What you are saying is correct and what Luke is saying is correct also. They are two different issuses!!! Luke is saying exactly what I have been saying, semms some people don't understand that veiwpoint. Can't wait for the real story to come out. I may be surprised, maybe not....we'll see. Meanwhile I just pressured up a large header today for three Ultra 310's. Had 1 leak... a 2" M adapter in the bottom of the 3" air eliminator, seems my son don't have enough lead in his butt yet.. :-) Now when I get on there with that 36 incher... Wish we could all lighten up a bit here and wait for the facts... I've been assured by MY Propress rep. that the facts will be forthcoming... no timetable... sent him the link, the day this thread started. Of course I'm concerned... Floyd
  • Tom R. Tom R. @ 9:18 AM
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    \"normal\" abnormal conditions

    Mark, you are correct. Any leak is unacceptable. We would not agree that glycol leaks (ethylene or propylene) in an automive system were normal. And this in a system that goes from -20* to 210* in minutes, subject to constant vibration and put together with clamps and rubber hose. Even the smell of antifreeze would trigger a trip to the mechanic for investigation. From the American Heritage dictionary - "Leak: to permit the escape, entry or passage of something through a breach or flaw" Or from Dictionary.com: "An unintended hole or crack through which liquid, gas, light, etc. enters or escapes." The words "breach, flaw, unintended" pretty much say it all.
  • singh singh @ 9:35 AM
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    Tom

    You have seen "leaks"in systems with glycol on black,copper, valves,adapts before. Was the manufacturer of these fittings involved? I don't think anyone here is a big fan of glycol. Don't get me wrong, at this point . I believe Viega should agree to pay up for a repipe on this job, labor and materials, even if its all black pipe. Just to show they are a class act, then amend their instruction manuals :) At that point, it becomes a question of the future of propress and its popularity. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • ALH ALH @ 1:09 AM
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    In this world

    Quiet gets you nothing and nowhere. That warranty refusal letter says it all. What recourse does one have once the manufacturer says failure is normal? This thread is a lot easier on everyone than a lawsuit, and may quite possibly be more effective. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I have absolutely nothing against Viega or any other company. I like to feel I judge products on their merit, and not on their color. I certainly have not gotten the feeling that anyone here is out to get the manufacturer. A little explanation of possibilities and the history of failures of this type would go a long way. This cannot be the first time they have seen a failure of this type. if nothing else, maybe a revision to the installation instructions or compatible materials will result. Mark's right, how else do you get a manufacturer to notice once they have denied your warranty claim? -Andrew
  • N/A @ 8:18 PM

    Tolerances ?

    How out-of-round can the copper pipe be and still have a good press seal ? The copper we've been getting is all over the chart - one day it slips in the fittings loose , the next day your're hammering them in . On the 1 inch and 1 1/4 inch you can actually see the seam protruding on the pipe . How much slack can the press seals take up ?
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 10:03 PM
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    I would guess

    The ProPress fittings are probably quite forgiving of out of round tube. It gets pressed into a slight hexagon during the process anyhow. My gut tells me the the issue with out of round tube is going to be cutting or nicking the o-ring during assembly.
  • subcooler subcooler @ 7:38 PM
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    Thanks Ken

    I am glad I didn't have to reply on that one. By the way, the digital reset controls that everyone installs today are all modeled after the pneumatic controls that were installed in the 1940's and 1950's here in the US and not there.
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 10:06 PM
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    Mr Davis

    Do you have a record of the brand of glycol that was used in the system? I'm curious as to whether it may be a common denominator in some of these cases.
  • Ray Landry Ray Landry @ 6:38 PM
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    poll

    How many people actually clean NEW copper tube when using propress?
  • singh singh @ 6:53 PM
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    Good point Ray

    Reading this post has made me think twice about how I install PP fittings. I will never go back to 100% soldering, but now I will take more care pressing fittings, including a little grit paper to the pipe before slipping the fitting on. I still believe PP is a great innovation, in such a short period of time it has caught on well, even greater acceptance than PEX , IMO. What is scary are the knock off products, and these push to fit fittings. Disasters waiting to happen. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Harold Harold @ 7:14 PM
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    It would seem to me that since the seal is from an O ring pressing against the pipe, you would want the pipe surface to be very smooth and would need very fine cleaning abrasive.
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 10:01 PM
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    Ray

    Our procedure is to cut witha good sharp wheel in the cutter, deburr inside and out with Ridge's own copper deburring tool, then polish up a bit with some open mesh, run your bare hand around inside and out to check for burrs, fit and press. Takes less time to actually do it than to read this reply. The job we did that I noticed the seepage on, was done before we started the practice of hitting the tube with the open mesh cloth.
  • mtfallsmikey mtfallsmikey @ 1:19 PM
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    Let me clarify..gotta be kidding!

    Especially for you, Ken. Yes, I am more than familiar with Arcoliners, G.E. counterflow boilers using a compressor instead of a conventinal burner,Harvey Whipples,Iron Fireman, the Winkler low-pressure burner, yada,yada,yada. I've worked on them all,bro! I touched my first oil boiler in 1965. And yes there were swing out doors before, but U.S. manufacturers did not go BACK to them until Vaillant hit the market! Did any U.S. mfr. use them during the frantic re-engineering days of the early 70's and the Arab oil embargo? How many early 70's to late 80's W/M oil boilers did you have the "pleasure' to service? Was their design reason the Soot Saw came on the market? Do you think a triple-pass boiler would have worked with the Gen 1 flame retention burners that sooted so badly? I'm not anti-U.S. tech. bashing, just sharing what I've seen in my 40 years or so of experience. Look at autos, especially Honda, and their proven reliability and longevity, and technical innovations vs. what the big 3 are offering..especially DIAMLER-Chrysler!
  • Ken Ken @ 1:56 PM
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    Loved your reponse...

    But it wasn't needed. You merely mentioned Vaillant had a clean out door, was euro, and no one else did. I disagreed, cited some rather obvious evidence; now, somehow, its about something else? Your rant is interesting, but soot saws and W/M's offerings are hardly on point. Or did I miss something? You wanted to somehow defend Vaillant's sudden departure and failure to compete in the U.S. I stated, Vaillant did NOT "invent" an HX service access point, American know how and ingenuity did! How else could you keep the coal dust down on those surfaces (;-o)
  • Ken Ken @ 3:19 PM
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    In about three weeks,

    the time to address this thread should be forthcoming by the manufacturer; at least that's what the post above implies: "End of November."
  • Mark Wolff Mark Wolff @ 7:16 PM
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    Cause

    The cause of these leaks appears to be installer error (including bad equipment) or improperly mixed glycol. The manufacturer would not be liable in either case (there goes your deep pockets dreams!) but the contractor does need to address this issue adequately and quickly.
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 8:26 PM
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    Mark

    Where did you get that info from? Has Viega done a jobsite visit? I'd like to know how in particular the equipment was faulty.
  • Harold Harold @ 9:17 PM
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    I would really like to know the answer to that as well. I also take offense at your deep pockets crack and the implication. I would also be interested in how antifreeze could be mixed so as to cause the problem? The sense of immediacy in your comment about contractor repairs suggests to me that you have not really absorbed the rest of the thread.
  • Bernie Riddle Bernie Riddle @ 4:42 PM
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    Guaranteed these guy Harold is looking for a free system at the expense of the manufacturer. complain complain complain untill its free. i couldn't imagine going Thu life as a scammer like he's doing
  • Steverino Steverino @ 5:27 PM
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    Interesting point of view. I have already paid for the system. I won't do it again. Replacement causes me grief and all I would get is back to where I was supposed to be , but without leaks and potential oxygen infiltration. Perhaps you could expound on your idea of "free", how this is defined as a "scam", and why you don't post at the end of the thread where people will be more likely to see it.
  • Ken Ken @ 1:11 PM
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    In about 2 weeks from now...

    We will have the manufacturer's report, as promised!
  • N/A @ 1:22 PM

    they meant to say Monday

    just not which monday ;-)
  • Constantin Constantin @ 10:17 PM
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    I wonder...

    Has anyone tried using a dye + water to pressure test systems? We used dye to great effect in a hydraulic system I worked on, it really helps with finding leaks. Pressure-testing a system with water at 100 psi and a soluable dye would expose weeping joints pretty effectively I would think. Even if the water evaporates, the dye remains behind to show problem joints before the sheet rock goes up. Just run your finger around a joint and see if it changes color!
  • Mark Wolff Mark Wolff @ 3:24 AM
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    answer

    I should have said (including POTENTIALLY bad equipment) which is still to a large extent the responsiblity of the installer to recognize and correct. Whether it was faulty equipment, faulty materials (factory caused or installer caused) or faulty glycol, my point was that blaming a manufacturer for something that so obviously is a job specific problem is irresponsible and should be unacceptable to us heating professionals. Granted the thread has been led by a homeowner, however the careless comments made by a few "professionals" is disheartening to say the least. As to Viega, I have no knowledge of whether they did a sight visit. Was their excuse for no warranty valid? No. In fact it seemed quite pathetic. But like I said, the true issue looks to be site specific, which would in most cases rule out negligence or incompetence on Viega's part. Show me a project with 5-10 leaks in sweat copper and tell me it's all the fault of the fitting maker, or the flux manufacturer, or the solder maker. No, the problem lies in the installers lap. I would have to say the same may hold true in this instance. I don't mean to be rude, however, apprentice or journeyman, that many leaks cannot be passed off on a fitting.
  • Harold Harold @ 11:45 AM
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    Thank you for your response about deep pockets. A couple of points buried in the thread. It is a new install using only pex and press fit connections. Viaga did inspect on site and is returning at the end of the month with more technical people. After the initial visit they said in writing that the leaks are normal and not covered by warranty. This response caused me to change from press fit to solder for the domestic water system. I am not in a position to experiment. The pros have a lot invested in parts, equipment, and customer satisfaction. They are concerned with impacting their livelyhood. They have a much wider risk/benifit evaluation to make. They need to know the cause. I just need non-ugly joints that cannot let oxygen in on this one system. I believe everyone, certainly me, are awaiting the results of the next visit.
  • Dirty Hands Dale Dirty Hands Dale @ 10:52 PM
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    propress

    I am an apprentice, of 2 years, weeks away from finishing my schooling hours. I never have had to solder joints on a regular baisis. I have used propress exclusively, and the only fittings that I have seen cause trouble were operator error. Other than one fitting I cut in half myself, the fitting was in all the way and the gasket looked good, but weeped and would not recrimp. But I have been to jobs with PP that are atleast 5 years old and the have NO indication of leaks. I have used glycol in PP systems for heat, winterizing and sno-melt systems, and never saw residue left behind, but I will be on the look out for those leaks. I think the PP is good stuff, there is a reason that the whole system failed. On a side note has anyone seen the Rothenberger press/crimp tool yet? I got to use it for a couple of days. Its 12 volt and has a 9 sec crimp cycle, as well as shaped somewhat odd. The tool looks more like a REMS gun than PP gun, it also has four rubber pads for triggers. It uses the same jaws and fittings as the PP. I din't really care for it.
  • Mark Wolff Mark Wolff @ 3:42 AM
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    answer 2

    I apologize for the deep pockets statement if it offended you. Over 90% of the people that would come to this site, making such large accusations so specifically as Harold H, Ken and others did, are looking for fodder for the lawsuit they want to file or an excuse to pass the proverbial buck. Apparently this is in the other 10% so if it offended you I am sorry, that was not my intent, I probably should have re-phrased that. As for the glycol mix issue... This is an older home that has been renovated so... A. The system may not have been thoroughly purged of old fluids, thus leaving an acidic mixture of glycol and who knows what to attack the joints in the system. B. The system may have been correctly purged and by using tri sodium phosphate to clean the system the contractor... 1. left it in too long, causing the breakdown of the seals in the press fittings, or 2. left residual amounts of it in after a fairly thorough flushing, and that MIX of fresh glycol and TSP has begun to attack the fittings, thus causing the breakdown of the seals. Either way, just looking at the statements made on this thread it appears that a lot of people are using this thread to vent their displeasure with a manufacturer, instead of looking at the amazing odds that one project could be so unlucky as to have, what 5... 10... 20...fittings leaking (The definition of leak aside!) due to a manufacturers defect or negligence.
  • Cosmo Cosmo @ 9:41 PM
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    ha ha

    you brat
    Cosmo
  • Ken Ken @ 9:45 AM
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    The promised \"by the end of this month...\"

    has come... And gone. Still no response. I fear the worst and yet hope for the best, but the evidence and commitments seem woefully lacking. Does anyone know what's going on?
  • Perry Perry @ 9:11 PM
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    I think a more fundamental question is the durability of 0-rings

    I live in a house that is well over 50 years old - and the original solder joints have no issues. I know of older houses with soldered copper tubing with no problems. I have spent almost all of my adult life working in industrial plants (usually power plants) were O-rings are used for a lot of stuff... (and some of those plants had equipment in it that was 100 years old - and still in service). I can't think of a single application where we have old (30+ year) O-rings or other similar seals installed that is stil genearlly holding (we may accept leakage in some systems). I specifically note that this is not just because all the old O-rings were EPDM or some of the other older forms of rubber compounds. In many systems the O-rings and seals were of better materials because the durability of the lessor materials was well known even back then (and in some cases special material O-rings were needed due to non-flamible hydralic oils, etc). So, lets assume that propress and similar fittings do in fact hold initially. What is a homeowner or commercial building owner going to do 20, 30, 40, 80 years from now.... when the O-rings start to leak. Who is responsible then... Perry
  • Perry Perry @ 11:33 PM
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    To clarify

    In industrial plant equipement O-rings are a easily replacable item; although in some cases we toss a smaller item (say a solenoid valve) and just replace the whole component. The O-ring in the propress fittings are not designed to be replaced. Unless the fitting is in the basement or boiler room - a wall or floor would also have to be cut into to fix a leak (not to mention what may have been damaged by the leak). Replacing fittings will not be an easy or cheap thing to do (like replacing a solenoid valve often is). So, who's going to be responsible for this... I'll bet the propress warranty does not cover this. Is the installing vendor. Heck, is any of them going to even exist then. Fundamentally - why use a temporary - unrepairable joint design in an application that is normally expected to last 50, 75, and even 100 years (and O-rings are not expected to last for these amounts of time in any industrial application that I know of - many of which are just as mild - or milder than hot water). Perry
  • Steverino Steverino @ 1:45 PM
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    Four people from VIaga did indeed visit the site to examine the system. Took a lot of pictures. They flew in to one of the worst bouts of weather the Pacific NW has had in a while. Snow, 50+ mph wind, ice, sleet, temps in the teens. There was really nothing they could say at that time.
  • jp jp @ 5:08 PM
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    what can be said?

    they need to take apart a couple of joints to 'see' whats going wrong. 1.) chemical attack on o-ring or copper(not likely) 2.) inner pipe colapsing 3.) outer pipe over crimped/out of alignment 4.) wrong o-ring size not much more i see could be wrong?
  • N/A @ 10:29 PM

    propress

    What's the latest?
  • Scott Scott @ 7:08 AM
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  • Brad White Brad White @ 9:57 AM
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    I took a call just yesterday from Viega

    It felt like a survey, them asking "do I specify Viega Pro-Press fittings?" I answered, "Not any more, not until you get this glycol leaking business resolved." I went on to explain my bona fides and Wall participation (he already knew, God Bless Him :), plus that we have a project in the field making use of this type of system which will is operating on water now but will be filled with glycol eventually. He took my volunteered e-mail address, thanked me for my time and ended the call. If I hear back I will post it. Brad
  • jp jp @ 11:30 AM
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    the big mistery???

    i don;t really get it? why not just take a sample of the systems fluid, put in it a pan with a pro press o-ring and see what happens? for that matter take several different type of heat system gycols and see wht happeneds?
  • Brad White Brad White @ 2:02 PM
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    Maybe their jaws were frozen? :)

    Hang in there, Harold.
  • Constantin Constantin @ 12:11 PM
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    Give them the benefit of the doubt...

    ... they have called Brad, presumably, they have called others as well. IMO, that means that they are aware of the problem, have assigned resources to hunt down the cause, and are working towards avoiding more "leakers". Presumably, they have testing underway. Having worked with external testing labs myself, I can assure you that just getting the contract hammered out can take a month. Never mind getting a slot in the testing cycle, etc.
  • jp jp @ 12:31 PM
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    remember the shuttle accident,

    Richard Feynman took a simple styrofoam cup, put in ice water and an o-ring from the shuttle engine, it was then apparent to him why the shuttle exploded, no fancy lab needed..... :) sometimes a little common sense and a simple idea goes a long way.
  • Tom Speed Tom Speed @ 10:32 PM
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    Propress & anti-freeze \"leaks\"

    I have been using hydronic antifreeze since the mid 70's through 1999 in conventional soldered joints with 50/50 and lead free. I had leaks through Spirovents, threaded joints, air vents, other openings including soldered joints. Purchased Propress tool in 1999, with no copper connected, (Propress) joint leaks, but leaks in Spirovents, threaded joints, air vents, etc. I was told over 20 years ago by a so-called expert that molecules of anti-freeze are smaller than water and can leak. I have yet to see water leak through the "leaking" joints that I experienced, only the appearance of the tacky anti-freze substance. Just one man's opinion.....and experience.
  • Steverino Steverino @ 10:51 AM
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    Viega did want to cut out pieces. With no offer/gaurantee of even paying for the repairs created by this action, I said no. The system is rather squeezed for space and difficult to repair for most joints, especially using propress. I would have soldered the repairs and that would look unacceptable to me. There was no further request for samples after the visit. When one is simply going to state they are not leaks under the definition of the company, what is the point of cutting up my system for me.
  • Luke Lefever Luke Lefever @ 10:44 AM
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    I think the only difference between water and gas fittings is the composition of the O ring. The gas fittings (I think) use a higher temperature, yellow O ring that is more resistant to melting in a fire. To my knowlege, the copper portions of the fitting are identical between the water and gas.
  • deltat deltat @ 1:38 PM
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    Why were there no samples taken?? I believe that it is standard operating procedure for companies to cut out a faulty fitting and examine the tubing as well as the fitting. Was this done?
  • S Davis S Davis @ 9:49 PM
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    > Why were there no samples taken?? I believe that
    > it is standard operating procedure for companies
    > to cut out a faulty fitting and examine the
    > tubing as well as the fitting. Was this done?

    deltat, No Viega never asked me or the homeowner that I know of for samples, it is my opinion they already knew what they would find, and there were Viega street fittings into regular Viega fittings so it has to be a fitting and or o-ring issue. Edit: I meant at the time of their Inspection of the system they did not ask for samples of the pipe or fittings. S Davis
  • Scott Scott @ 6:29 AM
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    As have many,

    I have been following this thread with great interest. My company has two machines and have been thinking about a third. I had not seen this problem on our jobs, BUT thanks to this thread having been checking VERY closely. I have seen a few small "weeps" with Anti-freeze. IS THIS a new problem with fittings ? Manufacturing ? I also am not pleased with the outcome but at the same time ONE QUESTION comes up. How Prevelant is this in the industry ?? How many Wallies have had this problem ?? I say we ALL check our jobs and report back here. Scott To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ken Ken @ 5:17 PM
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    I am aware of two \"white papers...\"

    One from the PHCC, the other, from ASHRAE. Both will be damning.
  • N/A @ 2:53 AM

    as a civilian:,,,,

    it's a bit cloudy butt, Viega needs to stand up phere. Where are the Viegans? My Pressing experience has been a good one. . Note I've been using the REMS pressing tool (Akku-Press) tool as opposed to what Emmerson recomends.
  • Bill Pidgeon Bill Pidgeon @ 12:32 AM
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    The Bomb!

    The last time I brought this up, there was a defeaning silence, but I'll try one more time. I'll bet glycol molecules are a lot bigger than oxygen molecules. How many of you really believe a joint that allows slight amounts of glycol to escape, is a joint that will prevent oxygen from migrating into your systems? I'm a homeowner, so I may not be aware of data that shows that Propress joints prevent oxygen from migrating into the systems. But I raised this issue once before, and no one responded. If the data does not exist, glycol seepage may be the least of your worries regarding these fittings. Sorry about throwing more fuel on the fire, but the sooner the oxygen issue gets answered, the better for everyone. And, I really do hope there is a good-for-everyone answer. Bill
  • Constantin Constantin @ 4:19 PM
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    Hmmm...

    Could this be a question of degrees? That is, oxygen molecules could also be migrating via valve packing, vents, and other potential open areas. How about PEX tubing whose barrier layer has been damaged during installation or production. How about copper castings with pinholes too small to let water through but large enough to let Oxygen through? My guess is that some minute degree of oxygen migration in radiant systems is acceptable. And if you have a CI boiler, there is a lot of Fe to bind to before attacking the pumps and other Fe-based components like iron headers and other black pipe. In systems with a stainless HX, PEX, and little other Fe-based componentry, I suppose the iron pump housings and iron manifolds would be the prime targets. The areas with the hottest water and/or thinnest sections would probably be the first to go. I most certainly do not want to belittle your concern, indeed it is a good one. It's yet another question that manufacturers of press-fit questions should have thought of and have an answer for. Is there any online data?
  • Bill Pidgeon Bill Pidgeon @ 9:38 PM
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    Oxygen and Press Fittings

    Constantin, Since I don't know if my concern is really a problem, I have no basis to take issue with your response. The pros here are a special group who are committed to craftsmanship and committed to greater use of hydronic heating. Their attitude and passion is remarkable given the "good enough" attitude that I often encounter. So, this is one of my favorite places to lurk - their passion is motivating, and I learn a lot. I grew up in a house with hydronic radiant heat, but my current house has a forced air furnace. So, I know first hand that hydronic radiant heat is great and I will be converting to it. But I also know that most of my parent's neighbors gave up on radiant floor heat and switched to baseboards, because of leaks in the copper tubing in the concrete slabs. How many of those homeowners can be convinced that radiant heat is something they'd risk their money on? So, I find it surprising that there is no demand for data on the migration rate of O2 through press fittings. That of course assumes there is no data, and I may be wrong - the pros may already know that oxygen is not a problem with these fittings. However, if there is a problem, it could set back hydronic heating big time. All of the examples you mention are additive. So, adding a bunch of press fittings that (I ASSUME) allow O2 migration, and the problem multiplies. In fact, because it was a problem, there is the DIN 4726 standard that limits O2 migration to maximum of "0.1 milligrams per liter of tubing water content" according to Siegenthaler. Many here raised the concern of getting lawyers involved in problems. Well one way to avoid lawyers is to be proactive and get answers before the $4000 boiler installation starts leaking well before its expected liftime. Level and plumb become trivial if a new boiler is required seven years later. In summary, I do not know that oxygen migration is a problem with press fittings - I've not seen any data that says O2 migration is a problem with press fittings. But I believe logic indicates that if it is normal for press fittings to allow glycol and plain water to migrate out, then it is very likely that oxygen migrates into boiler systems. So, there is no way I will allow press fittings on a future boiler system in my house until until I see data that shows it is not a problem. For domestic water plumbing, I'm more open to it. Bill
  • Constantin Constantin @ 12:02 AM
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    Excellent points all around...

    As I indicated above, I don't have the answers either. It is a interesting problem though! I see that the "Profi-Press" system is approved for use with NG and propane, which would imply a degree of gas-tightness, even for oxygen. Those fittings feature a "leak detector" strip and yellow O-rings. Are they available in the US?
  • Harold Harold @ 12:34 AM
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    I rather question the labor savings also

    Since I have been sensitized to the issue I spent some time watching the plumber install my water infrastructure this week. It is moderatly complicated. Lots of pipes, valves, connections. I am sure you all have experience with what I am about to say, and have your own conclusions. It would be interesting to hear what you have to say. If it turns out that ProPress actually requires the same materials prep as soldering (rather than what their instructions say), I really can not see any appreciable difference in labor. Deburring should be done in either case in my mind. With a large propane torch it was bang. bang, done. Once the general area was hot there was very little time spent for each successive joint. Maybe a bit more time for a single joint. I have also watched the ProPress process. I have soldered pipe off and on over the years as an amateur and this was my feeling for this before watching. With no prep I can see some time advantage, but not huge. Most time seemed to be spent in making sure the pieces were the right size, things were aligned, and making sure the finished assembly would be professional. One advantage of solder would seem to be the ease of seeing which joints were done at a glance. When I discussed ProPress with the president of the plumbing company he felt that there was not a huge cost difference between the solder and crimping. The higher cost of parts mostly negated the labor. I can't tell myself. No data. Just my take. I am not a pro at this stuff. I am not part of some nefarious plot. I do not wear tinfoil on my head (a little wool from time to time). I just want a functional, attractive, non-leaking heating system that I feel I can comfortablly depend upon for the rest of my life (probably noteably shorter that the manufacturers warranty, even without the aggrevation).
  • Ken Ken @ 11:54 AM
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    Say What?

    Lets see... Harold buys a product that has failed in service. Documentation of the failure is provided, by way of a digital photograph. The photogaph shows the fitting has stains on the tube-to-fitting joint. Not one observer has suggested the fitting is NOT leaking. One or two have suggested "trace weeping" is "acceptable." Harold's system has been in service for a year and shows evidence the problem is more than just one or two fittings. At that time of year when the heating system is desireable, if not essential (perhaps for D/H/W and/or cool climate) Scott and Jim think Harold should: 1. Drain his heating system. 2. Cut out a small section of fitting and pipe to allow the defective component to be analyzed by the fitting maker and/or tool maker whose product was used to "press" the fitting when installed. 3. After an unknown period of time (days, weeks?), Harold will be informed as to whether or not the fitting, tool used to press it, the installer, or the tube itself is the culprit. This assumes the installer, tool or fitting even agree the weep even is a "leak" as defined by them. 4. Harold, not knowing how this will ultimately all pan out, must then install replacement fittings, test that one for leaks, refill the system. Bleed it. And sit back and wait for a call from someone who may or may not ever arrive at any conclusion. 5. Then, we expect Harold to foot the bill for the time, labor and parts involved, out of his own pocket? Here's what I think should happen: A. The manufacturer of the fittings and/or machine used to press it (probably one in the same) should have someone stop by Harold's, examine the entire system, take digital photos, take a system water sample, make an educated guess as to what's going on and report back to someone in authority. B. Should further evaluation be required, the expense of such work should be born contractually by either party. Once culpability as to fault or defect is determined, that party should should be liable for any testing, dismantling, and all labor and materials required for testing purposes. C. Since the manufacturer has requested a sample. The means, manner and labor associated with providing a sample, should be directed and borne by the requester, not the system owner. D. The possibility of the manufacturer wanting more, less, or different sampling, testing or evaluations could be iminimal, or very extensive; therefore, the entire invetigative process should be controlled by the primary responsible party; that being the manufacturer. The level and intensity of determining the actual problem could be costly. The homeowner should not be expected to pay for the testing of a manufactuer's product, nor the effort necessary to make that happen. E. The homeowner should be aware that specific problems outside the control of the manufacturer and/or installer, or with respect to the written warranty and claims and laws of the state the in which he resides, could make him responsible for all costs and expenses as described in every process to determine the cause and fault, if any can be ascribed - and premit the manufacturer to recover any and all costs associated with all labor and services required, other than an initial cursory evalulation, which may already have been met by virtue of photos, written documentation, etc - should they and/or the installer be found not at fault.
  • Weezbo Weezbo @ 11:23 PM
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    Harold, i am listening and you are comming in quite clear...

    i am a bit further back in the room than the Viega tech reps however i distinctly heard you say you have been maintaining a certain level of craftsmanship and quality in your choice of materials within your home. That should be sufficient information from which to draw the conclusion that you have considered the information that you were handed to be in keeping with that general idea.The fact that indeed there seems to be some degree of discrepancy as to what you first had in mind and what you got should suggest to them that some ways and means to remedy these minor technicalities should be forthcoming. It doesn't particularly sound like that is the current sentiment however, so, feel free to clarify to your hearts content. what you have said so far doesn't come off as Swahili to me. and i dont think you are comming off as a King Sniveler either.
  • heatboy heatboy @ 8:13 AM
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    So now that 2,652........

    .....have read about ONE incident, I wonder how many potential customers (lost) will not allow me to use press fittings?
    heatboy

    The Radiant Whisperer


    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • S Davis S Davis @ 11:41 AM
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    hb, But you must also believe that if other people have had this same problem (and I can't believe I am the only one) after getting the warrenty denial they would give up or maybe not know of the power of the wall in getting the word out to people and putting presure on the manufacturer to solve the problem. If it was on one of your installs I think you might feel differently, It could be someone had a bad day on the assembly line and this is an isolated incident, it might not, but we will never know unless we get the manufacturer to find out. My major problem with this whole thing is the responce I received from them, everyone has problems from time to time and what differentiates the amaterurs from the pro's is how we deal with them to solve the problem. I want to find out what the issue is, was it something I did, was it the fitting was it the pipe, at this point I don't know, I did follow the instructions so if it is in some way my process of assembly maybe they need to be rewritten, my ultimate goal is to make sure nobody else ends up in the possition I find myself at this time, and get this solved for my customer. I like to think of myself as a professional and as such think it is my responcibility to do this.JMHO S Davis
  • D Murphy D Murphy @ 12:20 PM
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    good point, however...

    You brought up a good point! True you may lose the opportunity to use Pro-Press fittings in the future, as a homeowner may be aware of these problems. However an "informed" homeowner will also know that this alternate system leaks and will require you to use the standard method of piping (i.e solder). I can understand where your coming from yet as a homeowner I would want the installing contractor to use a system that works! Hopefully in your proposal you give an alternate (reduced) price to use "pressed" fittings on their projects. That would seem fair to the homeowner, don't you think? I can see the responses already on the Wall hehe. "Should I give alternate pricing for everything I install, boilers, pumps..etc..." In my opinion, Yes.... This will allow the homeowner to really see the differences in price of these systems. This has been said here before many times, informed homeowners are the best customers...
  • heatboy heatboy @ 12:35 PM
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    Time Is Money.

    While the cost of the press fittings is higher, the labor cost at $100.00 per hour to clean, flux, solder and clean up is substantially more. I see no sense in going backwards. If I have faith in what it is I'm doing, you should also. BTW, It would be fair to me to be compensated for all of my time involved in designing and bidding, don't you think?
    heatboy

    The Radiant Whisperer


    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • ALH ALH @ 12:59 PM
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    $

    There could easily be a simple explanation for what has happened in the instances mentioned above. However, as a contractor, are you not disturbed by the manufacturer's response or lack thereof? As with any product you recommend and install, do you not hope that the manufacturer will back you up if something goes wrong, particularly with something as critical as fittings? If a zone valve is inferior, it can be replaced with an improved model. Fittings, on the other hand, cannot easily be replaced in many instances, and the sheer number of fittings in a heating system would make that a daunting and extremely expensive task. I would like to see some engineering data and testing that verifies the theoretical leak proof connection. In my opinion, the burden of proof is Viega's. -Andrew
  • N/A @ 1:00 PM

    REFUSED JOBS?

    Probably as many as ran away from brass faucets when, besides web sites, it hit national news that the lead was leeching from these faucets and was causing a HUGE danger to all people of the world. I think if you added the number that ran away from brass faucets you would find it was limited to a handful of tree huggers in California. BTW - the sky is falling too. OOPS, that's just rain. skw
  • Harold Harold @ 10:09 PM
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    Continued in Press Fittings Part 2 thread
  • N/A @ 1:14 AM

    BANNED FROM TRHE WALL!

  • Ken Ken @ 1:43 PM
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    This thread is entirely too important

    and has so many unresolved issues; as well as "Part 2" offering somewhat anciliary, yet not "on-point" comments, I'd like to see any manufacturer offer comment, other than, "We are looking at the matter." Based on the warranty rejection form, the "matter" began almost three months ago! And yes. It does take a long time to "load" a thread as long as this... and yes; it is a pain: but the magnitude of our industry-wide involvement - and how it is resolved, is far more important than a 20 second load time! Let's continue to discuss, debate and learn. Hopefully, the manufacturing groups involved will come forth and make sense of it all. But until they do..... BUMP!
  • S Davis S Davis @ 6:35 PM
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    Viega

    Ok here is an update I was contacted by Viega late last week, the Rep said this thread had gotten the attention of the Management at Viega and they are now at least saying they want to look into it, so that is a little different from "it is normal", when I recieved the warrenty denial saying it was normal this lead me to believe this was a larger issue than just on my job, I believe if it was an isolated incident it would not be "normal" and they would want to know what caused it, so I have a hard time thinking they do not know what is going on. I will keep everyone up to date on what happens. S Davis
  • Ken Ken @ 5:07 PM
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    Always a good sign

    But, now it's THIS week... BUMP!
  • Dan Holohan Dan Holohan @ 8:53 AM
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    Who can tell?

    Site Administrator
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  • Floyd Floyd @ 10:56 PM
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    AS I said before....

    If I were you I would get some concrete answers FIRST.... then make the judgement call as to whether or not you really wanted to make a big public to do about this. I would think that this co. when have legal recourse if it is found that they are not responsible and that maybe someone else was, you have already tried and hanged them!!!! where is the part of innocent until PROVEN guilty at here???? Sorry, but I smell a skunk in the wood pile here... not sure what it is, but I'm not sure that the dog is barking up the right tree.... just my opinion, but that is my right also...it could take a while to get the facts, but until then it seems it would be wise to watch where the fingers are pointing, much unintended and undeserved, harm can be done. If propress is ultimately found to be at fault here, then throw stones.... Floyd
  • D Murphy D Murphy @ 1:54 PM
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    ..
  • D Murphy D Murphy @ 1:54 PM
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    I agree....you should be compensated for all your time in designing and bidding. I've been visiting this wall for several years and this is a war cry of a lot of contractors that post here. That wasn't what I was talking about though. (showing tone and inflection in speaking is very difficult in the "typed" word. I don't want to come across as negative towards contractors) I am troubled with your statement about having faith. Faith has several definitions: 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing. 2. belief that is not based on proof. In your ability I have faith however there is proof in front of you that proves this system leaks therefore i have no faith in the "pro-press" system. This is all predicated on Viega coming forth and investigating this "leaking" issue. Hey Viega, ignorance is bliss!
  • Harold Harold @ 12:38 PM
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    Thanks Ken

    Very nice response. Pretty much what I summed up in "no way in hell". Also note that there was a Viega rep out at the house to inspect the joints. He is the one that called me after a couple of weeks. Stacey has gone through the process established by Viega to fix such a problem. That was why the rep showed up. I am in a position where I really can not view this as an abstract industry problem. I got it - I don't want it. So far I interpret Viega's responses to mean they know about the issue and consider it normal. They have aparantly failed to disclose this feature to purchasers so that they may decide on an individual basis if the product is suitable for the purchaser's intended use. I am a little confused, given Viega's responses, why they need the connectors. I am willing to cooperate as much as possible if it will help in general, but this is not a lab; it is my house and I am trying real hard to get an occupancy permit. The heating system functions; and I need that for occupancy. As Ken so nicely put it, it will cost time and money to drain a section, cut, patch, refill with glycol, remove air. The resulting patchwork will look even worse than the leaking joints. The system also has fairly little excess copper runs where extra connections can be sweated in. The room turned out to be a bit tight on space. Some joints are easy; some not. As my contractor mentioned somehwere in this thread, the also seems to be an issue with the threaded adapters. That one is a direct problem because it is causing a little puddle of glycol on top of the boiler. I believe Viega views that one as user error rather than an issue of thread tolerences. My contractor can expand on that topic if he wishes.
  • Dan Holohan Dan Holohan @ 12:44 PM
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    Yesterday,

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  • S Davis S Davis @ 10:43 PM
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    Copper Tube

    Just a side note, the job that started this thread has Viega street fittings installed into Viega male adapters and other fittings that are showing signs of leakage, also the copper pipe is fron two different manufacturers one US and one in Mexico and both show signs of leakage. S Davis
  • mtfallsmikey mtfallsmikey @ 6:29 AM
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    hot rod makes a good point with Vaillant

    I jumped on the bandwagon early with them, sold a bunch. Never had any block issues, just the target wall (or cone,or whatever) would crumble, just replaced the second one on a boiler I installed for a friend some years ago that I still service. We can all thank Vaillant for the concept of a swing door on the front that allowed full access to the chamber, and all the others following suit.
  • Ken Ken @ 9:49 AM
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    Gotta be kidding...

    Swing out and wing-nutted HX clean-outs were on 1940's Arcoliners and Peerless boilers before we were born. Like radiant, high-efficency boilers and burners, we wrote the books. G.E. was making condensing oil boilers in 1936. The euros simply followed our leads, over and over again. They have however taken marketing to levels we never achieved, from which we have yet to learn the lesson.
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 11:35 AM
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    So

    How come nearly all the stuff made here in the US since the boilers you mentioned digressed as far as ease of service and type of construction? Only recently have we seen more US makers step up to the plate and provide swing out doors, three pass designs etc, etc. I am not anti US or trying to bash our US boiler companies in any way. They just got behind a little and are now catching up. The MPO from Burnham is a shining example of what US makers can and should be doing. I'd like to see all of our US makers drop there base model product and raise the bar across the board. Go head to head with the best they can find anywhere, not just Germany.
  • Floyd Floyd @ 11:12 PM
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    UUUHHHHH... Harold......

    Don't you think you should reserve judgement here till you know what the full story is???? Just because Viega has not responded yet, do you think for one minute that they are not taking a discussion like this a the #1 forum for heating on the internet seriously????? Get real man...... I can understand that your upset, but don't let that impare your better judgement!!!! What if it was a simple thing like that fact that your contracter failed to clean the pipe and fittings properly?? You are trashing the good reputaion of a company and making you self look like a horse's arse..... Maybe not.... but why take the chance???? JMHO Floyd
  • Ken Ken @ 9:56 AM
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    Flloyd...

    How much longer do you think Harold should wait? How many more suspect fittings should he wait for? The problem, based on what I read, is longstanding, somewhat isolated and sadly, simply unnoticed because there were no visible puddles on the floor. That, in and of itself is requires we all re-think the real issue, e.g., Just because we don't see water on the floor - does not suggest there are and/or were no leaks !!! I also suggest, we are NOT trashing any single maker of the tool; or the fittings.
  • Harold Harold @ 10:54 PM
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    Civilian view of the situation

    This duplicates a post near the top of the thread that I tried to do to get back to the left margin. I have been following this thread with intrest. As a civilian involved in this, I would like to again provide my input. Some of you may not have seen this problem; but I have it in spades. Pipes contain liquids. No junctions shall release the contents of the pipe. Period. If a valve leaks, I have it fixed. If a joint fails, I have it fixed. This has been my policy for 50 years. I have paid a large amount of money for a premium piping system. I consider the appearance of the system to be an important component of the finished system. I must be able to bring tour groups (e.g., my friends who want to see the new house) through the utility room and not have them say "what are those ugly/green stains around the joints. I have had a request from a regional publication to do an article on the house. The heating system is a significant issue in the uniqueness of the house. The ProPress connections are unacceptable to my wife and I. There are also issues with connections where the thread/pipe tolerences are not sufficient to prevent contained fluids from escaping. I have seen very very few sweated joints over the years that have problems. I have always had them fixed. They are broken. I have, what I believe to be, a showcase house. ProPress is not compatible with this vision or reasonable consumer expectations. My personal opinion at this point is that Viega should pay for the removal of the current installation and provide a replacement using soldered connections installed by the original contractor. This would include all materials, labor, chemical cleaning/purging of the newly installed system, disposal of existing fluids, replacement glycol, and compensation for the disruption, aggravation, and inconvience of the homeowners as well as denying the peaceful enjoyment of their home. In short - complete replacement with no cost to the owner and compensation for the grief. I believe Viaga is selling their products under false pretenses, using false advertising, abrogating their warranty, and not meeting a consumers resonable expectations of performance. This includes discussions of weeping not being a leak vs what an average consumer would expect. I should not have to pay a penalty for using a well promoted and gauranteed system of piping.
  • swanmech swanmech @ 4:54 PM
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    No leaks.

    > your up, alot of guys here have major investments
    > in your products. Let's have the truth about
    > whats going on. J.Lockard

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  • Harold Harold @ 8:01 PM
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    legal stuff

    I agree that the weasel is likely to have included many words. I am not a lawyer, but I believe there is a concept in law about fitness of merchantability. I believe that generally means the product must perform the basic function for which it is sold. Otherwise it is fraud. This system is sold to contain water; it demonstrably doesn't. I believe this would trump warranty details.
  • Brad White Brad White @ 7:20 AM
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    Warranty of Merchantability

    Exactly, Harold. When all else comes to rest, that it the most universally accepted principle. When this goes forward, the photos, the warranty denial, the installation instructions, the "a little is ok" and then, oh, yeah, Warranty of Merchantability, seems, well, airtight? Tighter than the fittings at least, FWIW. You sound entirely reasonable and understanding as a homeowner, you appreciate good craftsmanship and are focussed very reasonably on the problem.
  • Josh Josh @ 5:41 PM
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    Two thoughts: 1) I am glad I enjoy soldering.. Which is why I haven't switched. 2) Why isn't Viega saying ANYTHING here? Do they have any idea how many customers they might possibly be losing right now? Step up to the plate guys!
  • swanmech swanmech @ 4:59 PM
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    Been waiting to more

    > Risking further references to animal nether
    > regions; I do not believe I am taking an
    > unreasonable position. That post was also out of
    > sequence, so perhaps reading more of the thread
    > may have softened you point of view.
    >
    > Just a
    > bit more info. My system was filled with glycol
    > last fall to prevent freezing. The house is
    > still not occupied. The boiler has not been run
    > more than 3 or 4 times in the last year. And then
    > probably not for more that 24 hours total. That
    > would not be a whole lot of Viaga's expansion and
    > contraction.
    >
    > The fittings were installed in
    > accordance with manufacturers instructions. As I
    > would have expected from my skilled and
    > conscientious contractor.
    >
    > I have already voted
    > with my wallet. I do not get to build a house
    > again and try something else out. We die here. I
    > had all of the water side plumbing done with
    > solder instead of the matching ProPress they had
    > planned. I get to do that. I do not want
    > ProPress in the house. Period. I also get to do
    > that.
    >
    > If my front door hardware with a 50 year
    > warranty against corrosion started turning green,
    > I would expect the manufacturer to replace it.
    > Period. No response that it is only a little
    > green would be acceptable. Nor that my air may be
    > a bit more polluted and that all the hardware
    > does that a bit. Should I accept a plumbing job
    > with pinholes in the copper that are not leaking
    > bad enough to cause a problem right now? I really
    > can't think of many things for which I would
    > accept that kind of response.
    >
    > This is my
    > house. I have done a lot of the work myself. My
    > wife and I are proud of the results. As noted, we
    > will live here for the rest of our lives. I do
    > not view mechanical rooms as a dark, ugly,
    > dripping pits. I have not allowed any contractors
    > working on the house to provide sloppy or
    > esthetically displeasing results. I have used
    > only excellent materials. Heating shall not be
    > the exception.
    >
    > I was aware of the responses
    > from Viega when I posted the message you took
    > umbrage with, and had not been satisified with
    > them. If they take this view of their product,
    > why should I believe that things will not get
    > worse in future years. There are no long term
    > field installations. This would not be the first
    > plumbing connectors that made life easier for
    > installers and then failed catastrophically in
    > the long term. I am not going to experiment.

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  • TJ TJ @ 8:40 PM
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    testing

    How long has the system been in operation? What is the mixture of glycol? Has anyone checked the acidity level of the glycol? I have thousands of fittings installed with glycol over the last 6 years, since the ProPress system came on the market. The only issue I have had or seen were when the glycol mixture was 100%. This was an accident and it was corrected and we have had no additional issues. We also do service on all of our installed equipment and test the acidity level on an annual basis. As far as a 100% glycol mix - there are only special situations that require it and if you don't prepare properly, you will not be able to deliver the BTUs required. I may be wrong but I thought the manufacturer's instructions stated that you can only use up to 50% glycol mix. I would be very suprised if after testing the glycol in these systems that the level is 50% or less with no acidity. Let me know if anyone needs help testing the glycol.
  • singh singh @ 6:27 AM
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    Glycol

    Same happens with sweat joints and screw pipe with glycol. But it does make one wonder,and worry. Does any one know where I can service my Rems Akku-press tool. No fancy lights to tell me when. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Plumdog Plumdog @ 9:25 AM
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    sure about that?

    A perfect sweat joint won't show signs of Glycol leakage; but a perfect joint is not that easy to achieve. If there is a leak so small as to be undetectable with air pressure, soap bubbles, even hydrostatic with water; it will soon show up with glycol. You can look at a ten year old system of sweated copper joints and see which joints have molecular-level leaks and which ones were perfect (or nearly so). Threaded joints are tough too; but it CAN be done! The pipes could hold 100 lbs air pressure for a week, but after a year at 12lbs of glycol-green fuzz.
  • Constantin Constantin @ 10:39 AM
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    Hmmm...

    It's amazing what joints will and won't hold. After the plumbing company here discovered that the basement toilet was hooked up to the hot water supply (steaming toilet) the apprentice took a shortcut and used a slip coupling... which held pressure until about 5 months later. Due to good fortune, we caught the leak early and before it was able to cause significant damage... and that slip coupling covered one of the pipes only 2mm, with 60psi of working pressure and an unlimited supply of water behind it. The master plumber was less than amused. Furious! Perhaps these propress leaks are simply tiny amounts of fluid evaporating/transpiring via/past the seals. Sort of like wine bottle corks allowing water from inside the bottle to evaporate out, particularly if the bottle is stored upright and in a dry environment. This process is called ullage, if memory serves me correctly and is the reason that big-name chateaus will always hang on to batches of prior vintages, offering top-ups and recorking (for a friendly fee, I imagine). So anyone have some fine glycol from the 2001 harvest? :-P
  • Floyd Floyd @ 11:07 PM
    Contact this user

    > I have been following this thread with intrest.
    > As a civilian involved in this, I would like to
    > again provide my input. Some of you may not have
    > seen this problem; but I have it in
    > spades.
    >
    > Pipes contain liquids. No junctions
    > shall release the contents of the pipe. Period.
    > If a valve leaks, I have it fixed. If a joint
    > fails, I have it fixed. This has been my policy
    > for 50 years.
    >
    > I have paid a large amount of
    > money for a premium piping system. I consider the
    > appearance of the system to be an important
    > component of the finished system. I must be able
    > to bring tour groups (e.g., my friends who want
    > to see the new house) through the utility room
    > and not have them say "what are those ugly/green
    > stains around the joints. I have had a request
    > from a regional publication to do an article on
    > the house. The heating system is a significant
    > issue in the uniqueness of the house.
    >
    > The
    > ProPress connections are unacceptable to my wife
    > and I. There are also issues with connections
    > where the thread/pipe tolerences are not
    > sufficient to prevent contained fluids from
    > escaping. I have seen very very few sweated
    > joints over the years that have problems. I have
    > always had them fixed. They are broken.
    >
    > I
    > have, what I believe to be, a showcase house.
    > ProPress is not compatible with this vision or
    > reasonable consumer expectations.
    >
    > My
    > personal opinion at this point is that Viega
    > should pay for the removal of the current
    > installation and provide a replacement using
    > soldered connections installed by the original
    > contractor. This would include all materials,
    > labor, chemical cleaning/purging of the newly
    > installed system, disposal of existing fluids,
    > replacement glycol, and compensation for the
    > disruption, aggravation, and inconvience of the
    > homeowners as well as denying the peaceful
    > enjoyment of their home. In short - complete
    > replacement with no cost to the owner and
    > compensation for the grief. I believe Viaga is
    > selling their products under false pretenses,
    > using false advertising, abrogating their
    > warranty, and not meeting a consumers resonable
    > expectations of performance. This includes
    > discussions of weeping not being a leak vs what
    > an average consumer would expect. I should not
    > have to pay a penalty for using a well promoted
    > and gauranteed system of piping.

  • Floyd Floyd @ 11:02 PM
    Contact this user

    Here again....

    there is no evidence of the pipe being sanded clean at the joints. Just a thought, but is it posible that good copper joining pratices are also very important with the propress just as it is in soldering???? Are we getting too lazy, and trying to push the envelope to the point where we just cut a slap together a system without following good cleanlines practices and then go blaming propres for our apparent lack of attention to details that we would normally follow if we were soldering??? I have used to propress for over a year now, with great results, but have always been very careful to clean every joint before assembly and crimping, just as I would for soldering. Lately I have noticed my son getting sloppy in the cleaning....the propress joints just never leak......so we get sloppy in our workmanship..... I think it's time to pay attention to the details again.. with that 122 cutting machine it takes all of a couple of seconds to run the pipe on the wire wheel... could be a life (money) saving couple of seconds..... Not ready yet to throw the baby out with the bath water.... I'm loving the time I save with my PP..... Floyd
  • swanmech swanmech @ 5:12 PM
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    Been waiting to hear more

    Been waiting to hear more from VIEGA on this problem. I have been using the propress fittings for about 3 years know with no problems (yet), but they are 100% water. I will be at their NA Ed Facility this coming week and this will be brought up. As a contractors that purchased the Propress tools and fittings to improve the quality appearance of my systems, this must be takin care of! To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Jeff Matson Jeff Matson @ 5:48 PM
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    Looking into it

    Viega believes firmly in the quality of the ProPress product. We are looking into this situation in detail to find the determining factors. We are working with this contractor to resolve the issue. Jeff
  • S Ebels S Ebels @ 7:51 PM
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    Hey Dan

    Do you have any way to tabulate how many hits or views this particular thread has seen? .......Be mighty interesting to know.
  • Harold Harold @ 8:05 PM
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    Manufacturer response

    The last I have heard is that they want me to cut out a few connectors from my heating system and send it to them. Does the phrase "no way in hell" seem about right? They have also excluded me from the loop. This is my system. It belongs to neither the contractor nor vendor.
  • Scott Scott @ 5:45 AM
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    Harold

    If the joints are leaking your going to replace them anyway .. Correct ? Why not allow one of them to sent back for testing. I don't under stand this logic. Your upset about the quality but refuse to allow the manufacture to try and find out what went wrong ?? Scott To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • jim lockard jim lockard @ 6:33 AM
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    agree

    You can not fix the problem, if you can't see or understand the problem. Send them back Harold you will be helping everyone including yourself. J.Lockard
  • S Davis S Davis @ 2:33 PM
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    Warrenty Claim

    Jeff, I have a warrenty claim that was denied, I was sent a responce saying this is normal with glycol systems and will happen with soldered fittings as well, I have been installing systems full time since 1993 and none of my soldered systems with glycol look like this, once in a while you will have a threaded fitting leak or a valve but not 30 to 40 fittings, If you want I can scan in the denied warrenty claim and the responce letter. Here is the letter I recieved from you guy's. S Davis
  • Harold Harold @ 10:01 PM
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    I am the Apex customer that made the complaint about glycol seeping out of the pipes. Stacey made what I consider to be a showcase installation. He really is good at this. I was seriously thinking of cleaning. polishing, and protecting the copper when I get moved in and have time to fool with it. I expect the tour groups (the male parts anyway) to really like the utility room. The leaking goes a long way toward ruining the professional look of the system. Silly me, but I have always believed that pipes must contain the liquids inside of them. All of these liquids; not just most of them. If I see some part of a piping system that does not do this; I fix it. Nothing else is acceptable. As I recollect, my conversation with the manufacturer's rep that called after looking at the system went something like this. Rep: The seepage you see is normal. It happens because of the expansion and contraction when the system heats and cools. Glyco makes it worse because you can see the residue. Water evaporates. Me: Then you should warn users not to use your system with glycol. Rep: We actually recommend it for glycol. Me: That would be false advertising. Rep: Not happy and we finished the call. This really, really annoys me. I have used other phrases in private. I called the plumbers who are finishing my rather complicated internal water system. They had proposed Viega components, and I told them not to use any Viaga components. Solder only. The person at the plumbing company expressed concern because they had many Viega parts in stock and were using them in systems. Somehow thoughts of polybutyline (sp) connectors keeps wandering about the fringes of my mind. This performance is simply not right.
  • SVDW SVDW @ 8:29 AM
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    Wondering

    In view of this paragraph from the warranty letter: "This very small amount of Glycol and water mixture along with the ProPressís silicone lubricated that is used on our sealing element can be forced out between the sealing element and the copper tubing by expansion and contraction of the copper tubing. This can result in signs of green residue left behind when the Glycol evaporates." Would it hold true you would see this residue on non-glycol heating systems as well? The lubricant w/glycol is still present. Has anyone seen this on non-glycol systems? Not trying to rile things up but this will be the first question from our contractors if they have a problem.
  • mtfallsmikey mtfallsmikey @ 6:35 AM
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    Is there some kind of reaction with the glycol

    and the O rings in the fitting? My tenants have extensive glycol piping to their equipment, and are planning to add more soon, probably using Pro-Press. Don't need the grief of leaks in my buildings!
  • Bob Bob @ 7:56 AM
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    O-rings

    Probably need to replace the Buna-N o-rings with Viton when used with the glycol. There are several types of flouroelastomers (Viton) to choose from. All exhibit a substantial range of temp uses (below zero to over 390+ degrees) and high resistance to petroleum products and solvents. Bob
  • Jeff Matson Jeff Matson @ 12:45 PM
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    Viega ProPress sealing elements & glycol

    The standard sealing element in ProPress fittings is EPDM. This is perfectly suitable for water and glycol solutions (up to 100% glycol), up to a 200 psi working pressure at 250 deg F. Viega ProPress systems do carry a 50 year warranty, and the company will stand behind that. Viega has been around for over 100 years and we got there with quality products and support, and these values are still in place today. This is not a common scenario, and if further resolution is necessary you should pursue it with our quality assurance department. It is evident from the photos that something is not right with this installation, and I suggest that you touch base with your Viega Regional Manager. Hopefully this information clarifies any concerns you may have. Jeff Matson, Senior Product Development Engineer, Viega North America
  • S Davis S Davis @ 1:09 PM
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    Propress

    Jeff, You still there? We could use some more input on this issue, as you can see I have tried to deal with my local rep and have not gotten anywhere, I have had problems with 1" MIP adapters as well with alot of call backs for leaks and was working with my rep to get help with some of my lost labor, but have found out that the claims for these other jobs have been put on hold because of the issues with the glycol, these other jobs have nothing to do with glycol, so it seems to me Viega does not stand behind it's product, I asked my rep if you(Viega)are going to put out a warning to heating contractors about the problem with glycol leaking and was told no,"We will continue to recommend Propress for glycol systems" wich upsets me a little as I would not want other heating contractors to be in the same spot I am in with my customers. Stacey Davis
  • Floyd Floyd @ 7:31 PM
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    Quite baffled by this....

    I have had nothing but amazing results from my propress... I have a couple of jobs that have glycol and haven't seen the problem occur except for the time when the fitting was rotated after it was crimped.... we recrimped it and it seemed tight but, I have noticed the residue at the joint. I will be going up on that roof next week, and I will definetly check it out. This job is actually a chilled water cooling system for a Liebert computer room A/C. Talk about temp change... these pipes get the hot sun in the summer and the -20 or so with wind in the winter... I'll try to remember to take pics... just want to prove that a good glycol job can be had with this tool. Got another 100+ gals of antifreeze waiting at a veal barn to go in a propress job next week, I will be watching that closely....got some black iron mixed in there... wanna bet which one has green at the joint first???? Floyd
  • ALH ALH @ 10:16 PM
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    leakage

    I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "leak" is. Personally any signs of what is inside the pipe showing up on the outside of the pipe qualifies as a leak in my opinion. If a leak doesn't drip is it still a leak? -Andrew
  • Ken Ken @ 10:57 AM
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    Totally agree!

    Playing games with what is a leak and what isn't is the semantics game at its worst. We thought long and hard about switching from soldering vs. pressing. The time savings is substantial enough to warrnt very close evaluation. The costs of the fittings and virtual lack of reducing fittings like a 2x1x1 tee, is disconcerting at best. The fittings, since copper has gone "wild," price-wise has been added incentive for manufacturer and wholesale price gouging, the likes of which were never seen before. Copper goes up 3X. press fittings go up 4X. I'm glad we have only a few jobs from a borrowed tool and minimal fittings installed. Both of which BTW, show no leaks... yet!
  • lund lund @ 4:15 AM
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    Stacey, You are not alone. The MIP adapters are sloppy. Tape the piss out of them. Lund
  • Dan Foley Dan Foley @ 6:34 PM
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    MIP

    We stopped using the MIP fittings whenever possible. We had problems with all sizes but especially the 1". They would bottom out when tightening into the fitting and still be loose. We contacted the rep, which at the time was Ridgid, and were told "maybe you don't know how to properly make up a threaded fitting". Nice!!! Oh yeah, they had never heard of the problem and we were the only one having it. Every manufacturer has problems and everyone makes mistakes - we make plenty! All we ask is for the manufacturer to own up to their problem equip./materials and offer a viable solution. -DF To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • mp1969 mp1969 @ 10:35 PM
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    Viton or Teflon

    Bob, I discussed this problem with a chemist today and he suggested the very same material as you "Viton".Without consulting his resources he also felt "Teflon" would work. EDPM O rings have a tendency to bubble in a glycol environment causing an inconsistant seal that will result in seepage or eventually leaks. The glycol seems to be the culprit if the wrong sealing material is used. MP 1969
  • Ken Ken @ 9:52 AM
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    Harold,

    We must all remember something. Some of us are design/build contractors. Some of us do installs only. Some do service work only - or, as well. Only those who do service would be privvy to press fitting leaks occurring months or years after the install. When a guy is an installer (not doing service work) all he can report is what happenned the first few days of an install, how wonderful and fast this method is, not what happenned two years later. I fear the many posters who do service work may be viewed as an insignificant voice, despite them in fact being the ONLY voice that should speak to this serious issue! If posters could identify the basis of what their experiences have been, it would remove the short vs. long term (the latter of which, is the only observation that really matters) basis of their - and therefor our - evaluations.
  • Dan Holohan Dan Holohan @ 10:16 AM
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    Excellent point,

    and well made.
    Site Administrator
    dan@heatinghelp.com













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