With some projects requiring you to work in confined spaces, John Guest Speedfit have given some tips on how plastic plumbing products can help you out of a tight space.
You can leave the plumbing tools at home
A plumber’s van can be very low on storage space when copper is favoured over plastic fittings.
Not only do they need to store fittings and pipes, but all of the tools required to connect and install these as well. Specialist cutting tools are required, and blow torches must be carried around to make connections, not to mention the various sealing agents that plumbers need to have access to.
Lighten the load with plastic pipes
Further reducing the volume of products that a plumber needs to take onto a site, plastic pipes can often cover more ground than copper alternatives. Single plastic pipes can be installed over longer distances than copper pipes, which is often only available in maximum lengths. In contrast, it is possible to have a 300m coil of plastic pipe which you can stretch across a floor for an underfloor heating installation. Longer pipes mean fewer connections are required, which ultimately means that a plumber needs to transport fewer fittings to a job.
Greater flexibility with Speedfit fittings
When faced with a tight working space, it is important to ensure that you have as much flexibility as possible when performing an install. This can be difficult to achieve with pipes and fittings that are not manufactured from plastic. Plastic is a flexible and versatile material and can be easily threaded through joists and small spaces where copper pipes cannot.
It’s not uncommon with modern buildings to have one installer threading a plastic pipe from one floor, down to a colleague on the floor below. Likewise, lots of modern pipework is now installed inside airing cupboards, where pipes need to be threaded down to floors.
Larger choice means for more effective plumbing projects
It is widely acknowledged in the industry that there is much greater choice afforded to plumbers when they choose to work with plastic pipes and fittings, than if they select copper products. Furthermore, plastic fittings become even more versatile when you start to introduce reducers.
These allow for a change in pipe size to meet the specific hydraulic flow requirements of a plumbing system, whilst also enabling plumbers to adapt fittings to existing piping of a different size. When you add this versatility to a range of pipes and fittings that are already vast, you can always find the right products for each individual job.
You can make connections with your eyes closed
There are some instances when working in tight spaces where you may not be able to physically see the pipes you are connecting.
This can make soldering copper pipes together something of an impossibility, but with plastic, it’s not a problem. Whilst it is important to perform a visual check to ensure that there is no insertion gap when connecting pipes, this is not always possible.
With plastic push-fits, you can be assured that 99.9% of the time, when you twist and lock the fitting, a secure connection has been made, due to the unique design of the push-fit, and the compression lock that it creates.