Posted on: 8 June 2020Share
Copper press fittings are a good option for many different plumbing jobs. The variety of fitting sizes and configurations can save a lot of time when assembling or repairing a plumbing line. The press fittings do require a press to secure the fittings, but for a plumber working with press fittings regularly, the investment in the tools may be worth it.
Copper Press Fittings
A copper press fitting is not that much different from solder fittings in some ways. The copper fittings both slide onto the pipe they are joining, but with standard fittings, you need to heat the pipe and solder the joint with plumbing solder. If the joint is not entirely soldered, it can leak, and if it does leak, getting the fitting out of the pipe to repair the joint is almost a requirement.
With copper press fittings, the fitting slides in place, and a press is used to secure the fitting to the pipe. The press applies smooth, even pressure around the entire fitting so that the crimp is made and the fitting is secure. If the joint does leak, you can repress the fitting, sealing the leak without draining back the pipe or system.
The efficiency that comes with press fittings can speed up a job and reduce the amount of training time the plumber needs. Smaller plumbing companies may benefit from the reduction in manpower required on a job when using this system.
The connection made with press fittings might surprise you. If you take the time to prepare the connection as recommend by the press manufacturer, the tool will create a connection that is stronger than soldering in many cases,
There are many different companies making presses for copper press fittings, so it is crucial that you read and understand the guidelines for your press. They all produce strong joints, but each press may work a little differently, and the way you use it could affect the strength of the connection.
While copper press fittings are the most common, there are fittings made from steel and stainless steel as well. These fittings are intended for steel or stainless steel pipe runs. All of the fittings can be used for liquid runs or gas lines and are strong enough to stand up under pressure in most cases.
Check with a press fittings supplier if you need a fitter for a particular need. The supplier can help you select the right fittings and give you the required press specs to ensure that the fitting is secure.