Central Heating Push Fit Fittings - Soldered - Tectite

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segovia

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I am in the middle of a bathroom refurbishment. The CH supply pipework is tectite copper pushfit, probably 25 years old or more.

I feel I need to replace them as once the tiled floor is done there is no access

Options are
  1. replace with plastic pushfit
  2. pre soldered joints
  3. standard soldered joint
  4. Leave it as it is
  5. replace with new tectite

Tectite lifespan is between 25 and 50 years depending on which site you look at, if I take the lower figure the current are due for replacement.

I am leaning towards pre soldered, I have not done any plumbing for a while so confidence is low with a torch and solder.

What would you go ?

I have a plumber doing the final fit, but the floor will be down by the time they arrive at site

J
 

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By pre soldered do you mean Yorkshire fittings also know as solder ring ? The skills required for these and standard soldered fittings are pretty much the same . I wouldn’t advise Plastic push fit so that just leaves you with new tectite if you’re not confident with a blow lamp . So number 5 on your hit list .
 
My plumbing is traditional 1970's copper.
I've maintained and modified it myself over the years.
I have used Pegler tectite classic push fittings in several places and find them totally reliable. Downside is that they are a bit bulky and now very expensive. They remove easily with the proper tool.

I've tried the cheaper tectite sprint and they are junk. I returned the entire purchase after 3 of the first 4 fittings I used leaked.

My preferred method overall is to prepare pipe assemblies on the bench using solder ring fittings and a pipe bender for good bends. These can be joined onto the existing pipes using tectite classics if for any reason I'm not happy to solder them together in situ.

Plastic has it's place and for such as a complete bathroom replumb in the next 12 months I expect I'll use HEP2O.
 
Update – we could not release the old tectite so had to cut the pipe so went with new soldered joints
 
I’m going to be attempting some plumbing soon. Only some small bits and maybe moving some bathroom pipes about to make everything a bit cleaner. Might be a stupid question but if I pre-solder as much as possible on the bench is there a way to check for water tightness before I put the rest in place?
 
I think most plumbers couple it all up, turn on the water and hope for the best. That's called testing in a production environment.
 
On your pre fabricated pipework at the highest point fit a isso valve and turn it to the off position . Then fit a washing machine tap to the other end ( don’t overtighten the compression end ) then seal any other open ends ..using a washing machine hose attach one end to the washing machine tap and the other to your garden tap ( assuming you have one and turn on the water just a 1/4 turn . Open the isso until the air is removed and turn it off again . Open garden tap fully - any leaks will be visible and more importantly outside where you might get a bit wet but your house won’t . Plumbing is only easy if you have the experience to cope with all the different types of joints and know which type work best for you .. soldered fittings are the cheapest but the hardest to master , push fit are ok but can be very bulky And tectile can be expensive and some types need specialist tools that can be expensive .. if your ok with soldering that will be the best and cheapest imo ( if it’s the hot/cold water it’s lead free solder ) good luck
 
With soldering comes the risk of fire/ heat damage plus all pipes have to be empty of water. Push fit I know quick and easy but can't bring myself to trust them even now.... So for me, its compression fittings every time- easily changeable and reuseable, if there's a slight weep, just got to tweak the joint, and strong- I question the longevity of some of these plastic joints with heat over time and impact resistance.
 
I’ve become a fan of Tectite brass fittings. Our trad canal boat has an exposed vintage engine with lots of 15 and 22 mm copper pipe on show. I used them here - quicker and neater looking than compression, work every time and demountable too. Done the same for the visible ch pipes - very smart looking.
Used plastic push-fit all over the place for 20 years and only had a couple of leaks - operator error in not pushing pipes fully home. Far better than my mediocre soldering skills especially on bigger bore pipes.
 
If you are soldering then providing you clean the pipes and fittings well, use a smear of flux, not tons of it, you should have no problems. If you have an unbroken line of solder round the joint, then it is good to go. Make sure you wipe down afterwards with a damp cloth to remove any external traces of flux, otherwise your pipes will develop a nice green fur! I know push fits have been around for a long time, but I still don't really trust them. Compression fittings are good, but bulky, expensive and no good in tight spots where you can't get a spanner in. A problem you may have with soldered joints if you are pre fabbing sections, is how to hold them in place. An old tip is to make the joint up with flux, then with it slightly off its correct position, GENTLY crush the joint in some pump pliers. This causes it to become fractionally oval, you can then twist the parts to the correct orientation and they will hold still while you solder. Have fun
 
My daughter's partner and his boss got called back to a large job (a large house had been gutted) where the whole ground floor of a large house had become wet up to about 400mm on the walls. They had concreted it and the plumbers didn't pressurise the system before concreting. They had to dig up the whole ground floor again - they got paid, but they didn't need the hassle as they already had more work than they could handle.
I told this to an acquaintance who is an industrial/commercial plumber and heating engineer, and he told me they wouldn't touch plastic plumbing with a bargepole.
 
Update – we could not release the old tectite so had to cut the pipe so went with new soldered joints
A good soldered joint is the best way.

I’m going to be attempting some plumbing soon.
A good torch and cleanliness will get good results. For cleaning pipes wire wool was the norm but now much easier to use these in 15 & 22mm

https://monumenthandtools.co.uk/monument-copperkey-22mm-pipe-22mm-fittings-brush-mon2922m
and don't forget some flux.

As for plastic pushfit, they have there uses in as much as temporary work. If leaving a job they can restore supply until next day or if fitting new pipework they can hook it into the old until you get round to sorting that out but I do not use them as a permeant solution.

The reason for these pushfit systems is simply down to speed and less skill required so that your local house builder can employ a taxi driver to throw in the pipes who does not need to be skilled in soldering or pipe bending.

One last thing is to always pressure test, pump it up and shut the tester isolator and leave it for a reasonable period of time to ensure it is not seeping anywhere or that it is not just some hard flux making a seal rather than lead.
 
@BearTricks
I'm strictly DIY but have been doing a good bit of plumbing this year moving pipes and radiators around.
I prefer to pre assemble where I can using copper and solder ring fittings. I trust the joints when I see them flow properly and don't test, just complete each circuit and leave it wet and working for a few days before boxing in - an amateur luxury the pro's can't afford.

Scrupulously clean, powerflow flux and a mapp gas torch, apply heat to all the legs to get them warm before you apply the torch to the fitting and all the branches of (say) a T piece should flow almost simultaneously.

Not perfect, but for where these were going, I wouldn't have wanted to solder them in situ.
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I trust soldered copper and unbroken lengths of plastic the most.
Compression joints where sections of pipe may need to be removed - say to allow the replacement of a hot water cylinder or valve gear that has a finite life (even if long).
Prefer copper where pipework is exposed and have come to appreciate push fit plastic for ease, cost, flexibility and a whole lot more but it's fittings are very bulky.

The bigger brass tectite classic push fits have served me well but I would not trust the tectite fittings in your photo.
 

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Against my better judgement and experience I recently installed 3 sets of 22mm flow and return for 3 heating zones + a 22 mm hot and a 22mm cold water supply +15 mm hot water return so 9 pipes 25 meters each to the 1st joint and I insisted all were pressure tested to 2 bar x 10 mins and then 10 bar x 10 mins .all passed. I did the same when the moron who installed the rads and connected them to the pipework I had installed and I didn’t get to 1 bar before the 1st leak showed up . In all 7 incorrectly installed push fit fittings leaked and 5 leaks on the rad tails . The heating moron then accused me of putting 2 much pressure into the system and that’s why they leaked .. until I directed him to j g speedfits recommendations for pressure testing . In short - correctly assembled , fully inserted with the inserts they are ok but will they out last copper / soldered /compression fittings - probably not ..
 
Just as a general point, speedfit v hep2o ?
Speedfit you can screw down to lock, yes ? but the new plastic inserts choke the bore down so much they basically turn 15mm pipe into 10mm microbore.
I chose hep2o only because their steel inserts are much less intrusive. I think the fittings may be more bulky :-(
 

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