Making a lasting connection
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Identifying installation issues with pipework at the commissioning stage is vital to prevent time–consuming remedial work after the fit out is complete. Scott James of Viega UK looks at what to consider when specifying pipework and how modern installation methods can help save time and money during and after the project.

Installing, commissioning and testing pipework is a complex process — especially on larger developments where several subcontractors will be operating across the site. The components selected, including the method used to connect the pipe can have a significant impact on both the time on site and the cost of completing the work. In addition, it is vital that when the install is completed the testing process is sufficiently reliable to highlight any issues, such as joints that are not fully sealed. If these are not identified quickly, the cost of correcting it can be considerable — especially if fit-out work is already underway or even completed.

While soldering has traditionally been the preferred method of connecting pipe runs for domestic hot- and cold-water systems, modern press-connection systems can provide advantages in terms of speed of install, safety, hygiene and reliability.

The process of press connecting pipe is straightforward and requires minimal preparation, allowing the install to be completed up to 50% quicker compared with soldering.

Contractors simply need to cut the pipe to the required length, deburr the cut surface, slide the press fitting into place and press the connection. Also, in contrast to soldering, the surface of the pipe does not need to cool or be cleaned to remove excess solder once the joint has been made. Furthermore, as a cold-applied product, there is no fire risk with press connections — helping to create a safer working environment.

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