Fittings made in China

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Engine1, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Engine1

    Engine1 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New England
    Had a plumbing project done professionally and they used Chinese "M" brand fittings on the gas line. The pipe was made in the good 'ol USA.

    Any problem with using imported fittings - are they as good as the USA made Ward brand etc since they carry similar approvals?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,316
    Location:
    New England
    The testing agencies only test a sample, not every one. This is true of any fitting (unless it is going into something like the space station or a satellite). The variation of quality seems to be greater on stuff from China, but it's hard to say if you'd ever have a problem or not. On some of those I've seen, the variation in thread quality can be great...they tend to not sharpen their taps and dies often enough resulting in torn threads, or incorrect tapers or depths making it possible to bottom out a fitting before it gets tight or to get a good seal. If it was all installed and tested without leaks, you're probably okay. It's a major pain to build up a threaded system and when testing or in use find a fitting that has a pin-hole leak or a crack in it. Sometimes, I wonder about the economy of the parts used verses the labor and liability involved if there's a problem.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,396
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The mainland Chinese are learning that for them to compete in the World Market, they have to produce better quality products. Now, there is no doubt that they still have a way to go, but many of their products today are decent quality. The trick is to know which ones are good and which ones are not. For those of use old enough to remember post WWII, we can recall that the Japanese products were mostly pretty low quality...junk. Taiwan also had a quality issue at first. West Germany put some pretty low quality goods out as well. All of these countries quickly realized the need for producing goods that were high quality. No, China isn't there yet in all things, but it is improving.
  4. Engine1

    Engine1 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New England
    Yes, the 40' line was tested for leaks with bubble mix; not pressure.

    I've observed that the Chinese fittings have specks of rust on them from the mix and that the few Ward brand fittings that were used do not. If it wasn't for that rust, I probably wouldn't be questioning their quality.

    A part of me wants to replace them, but since they're not leaking it's just as well to leave them in place?
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,396
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Doubt that is is "rust" you are seeing. Copper does not rust.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    He was talking about iron fittings with the "brand name" of M, not type M copper!
  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You have a real crapshoot with chinese fittings. Especially brass. When the copper starts coming in, we are really screwed. I find the thread dies to be all over the place as to depth, taper and size.

    Remember these are the same guys that produced sheetrock full of hydrogen sulphide that are making people tear their houses down and move out from sickness, and all of the copper wires oxidizing. Mostly florida area - have a look online - then wonder about the "ethics" of the pipe factories.
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