Pressed Copper Fittings - Will this be the n hub - lead oakum replacement

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Chefwong

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Aside from the popular quick connect fittings that have populated the market (which IMO is not a replacement for soldered connections), aside from the prohibiting cost issue, are press fittings like the ProPress the next step of where plumbing is going as far as copper connections ?

I was in the local store the other day picking up some stuff and the guy at the counter was showing the Propress to another customer. Quite impressive to say the least......aside from the cost of the tool itself, fittings seemed reasonable. Stop valves were grossly expensive though..
 

hj

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The fittings are "bulky" so you cannot "stack" lines close to each other. It is a fast way to make repairs, and many companies are using it for large size piping, but I doubt that it will ever replace conventional means for extensive small size systems.
 

Jimbo

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My highly under-educated guess is that PEX and CPVC may come to dominate the residential market, rather than the propress
 

Chefwong

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Good point about the stacking....

The compression is the 1st seal and then the o-ring acts as a secondary ?

I was thinking in the application where you would pre-press a 90 degree onto a pipe and then put that in place flush to a corner, with no clearance to press the other end of that 90....
I see how that can be limiting in design or function of installation.

The rep was demoing this on 2 1/2 pipe
 

Chefwong

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I'll pass on the PEX and CPVC as much as I can......

In my brownstoner, in the same theory of keeping it all plaster.....I'm reusing as much brass piping as I can...Good old vice, threading, etc.
 

Inspektor Ludwig

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I don't trust anything that relies on a rubber O ring. Especially if it's hidden in a wall. You stated that you're reusing old brass for water pipe? Some of the old brass I've seen up here has quite a bit of lead in it on 3-5 second draw. Just something to be aware of.
 

Gsalet

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I have been told that they have been using a propress type fitting in Europe for 20 years, the only difference is the don't use o rings?? Just the crimp to make the seal.
What I do know for sure is that I repaired a section of 3" water pipe in the first floor ceiling of a 4 story building with the water still dribbling . Try to do that with solder <GRIN> The cost of the fitting where 5 times as much, the labor was 1/4
 

Chefwong

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I'm no pro but might I ask ...
If given the accessibility, walls open, etc - should a HO try to change out as much brass as he can to copper, given the lead statement ?

I still prefer cast iron and will use that as much I can for drainage...it's quieter.

The brass pipe.......I don't mind the time it takes for me to do things in pipe, but if copper is better, I'll start using copper from here on out if not replacing as much brass as I can with copper..

I just figured it's more green, the brass is thicker walled....and I'm keeping less out of the landfill.
BTW, local is NYC and our water is generally quite soft
 

hj

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As far as I know the "O" ring is sealed during the press operation is the entire seal. The original "ProPress" seals were not even "round" they made a somewhat angular surface deforming the entry of the fitting and the tubing at that point, which made it impossible to EVER rotate the fitting if a slight adjustment had to be made.
 

Chefwong

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For all you ProPress users, curiosity has gotten the best of me.
Do you TRUST a proppress joint as much as a soldered one...given the difference would be fitting costs and install time...
 

hj

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I have only used the press fittings once, on a job that could not be shut down for any length of time, and might not have drained completely even then. Renting the presser was expensive, as were the couplings to insert the made up copper portion, but I charged it the customer for it.
 

Hairyhosebib

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I really like the Viega Propress stuff. You have to have a lot of room to use it and the machine is heavy especially when working off a ladder. We did ruin one 3 inch male adapter by pulling a 500 LB sump pump out of a pit. As the pump was being raised by the pipe it started to tip because of the weight of the pump and the adapter started pulling apart. We had no idea that type of fitting was there. We are very lucky the pump did not fall off the pipe. The pump was in only a month and failed.
 

DirtyDen

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ProPress fittings

Some interesting questions on seal, strength, and longevity. As someone who has worked with this system (and the new ProPress Stainless) a great deal, i can make a few comments.
You can turn a fitting 1/2-2" and re-press it. The re-press is only needed to insure the pullout strength is not joepardized. The seal will remain intact even if you don't re-press it. With Viega, there is a grip ring in larger sizes that will not allow you to make changes once pressed (2 1/2, 3, and 4").
You do have to plan ahead in some areas (like stacking or bathroom groups) as you must be able to get the ring or jaw around the fitting. However, with the rings (both XL and mini) you can press right up to something like a floor penetration without issue.
The pullout strength has changed a bit with the newer copper fittings, but I can say that several years ago we swung a 14 story riser (4") from a roof top crane at Scottsdale Waterfront. I am pretty sure that was well over 500lbs on the top fittings. No issues! Those were the old style bronze fittings though.
The metal to metal "seal" is mainly a static seal for the "o" ring. After the press the "o" ring is no longer in the medium or path, so the EPDM does not break down like it does in fixtures. Anyway, they (Viega) have a 50 year warranty.
It is more expensive but you can realize well over 25% labor savings.
If you can get in with the reps., try and tour the factories. You'll be sold even if you have never pulled the trigger.
As with many products, propress has taken on a generic term for press technology. Truth is they are not the same. ProPress is a trademark of Viega, and there are several other manufactures out there (which are not of the same quality or construction). I only make that statement because I have seen and heard of issues with "propress" that turn out to be some other press.
 

DanM

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Sorry to bump a dead thread. I am getting a quote today from a plumber who is known for using ProPress fittings. It had been 5 years since the last post. Any new thoughts on them?
 
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