Research has shown there are many reasons which can influence an installer’s preferred method of installation. These range from education and tradition to time and cost saving. Yet what is now clear is that most modern systems are utilising either push, press or a combination of both fitting methods.
Restrictions in the use of naked flames on site and difficulties in acquiring hot works permits for public building projects in particular has resulted in heat free jointing methods being the preferred system of choice.
Press-fit has a reputation for being a high performing solution. Since its inception in the late 1950’s its popularity has been paramount to the success of many projects. Because there is no need to use heat and solder its is a very clean and fast jointing method. It does not leave behind carbon deposits or flux so there is less risk of corrosion and time required to flush the system.
On the other hand push-fit is relatively new in comparison – introduced back in the 1980’s it was originally classified as a light domestic solution used in conjunction with plastic piping. The technological improvements of push-fit fittings means they are now compatible with a variety of pipe materials and their range can easily dovetail with a wide choice from plastic to flexible metal, copper and even carbon steel.
Push-fit offers similar advantages to that of press-fit. As there is no heat required to seal the joint there is no need for a hot works permit which significantly reduces costs associated such as administration and insurance premiums. Labour time saving is another distinct advantage, the process is faster and there is no longer a requirement to stay on site for up to two hours following the use of heat as a precautionary measure to guard against fire.
Another reason as to why these two alternative methods of jointing have been preferred choice is the issue of working in confined spaces. It can be almost impossible to ensure that a joint is made correctly, when using traditional techniques, if access to it is restricted. If the blowtorch, for example, cannot be passed around the fitting completely there is a risk that jointing is incomplete and a corresponding risk of leakage.
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