Modern technologies and research have resulted in plastic pipe and push fit fittings. They are easier to work with and jointing can be very quick. The plastic is corrosion resistant and prevents limescale build up in hard water areas. Push fit fittings are useable on both copper and plastic pipe. Often complete installations are a combination of plastic and copper pipe with the plastic pipe being used in areas where the work will be hidden and copper pipe being used where the pipework will be seen.
One of the many benefits of plastic pipe is ease of installation. Laying the pipe under floors or in ceiling voids is very much quicker than with materials such as copper because the pipe is flexible. This flexibility is a real boon for DIY installations as it can eliminate a fair amount of forming pipe bends and may reduce the number of fittings required. When feeding a pipe, tape over the end or fit a dust cap to prevent debris getting into the pipe and to protect the end from damage. Plastic pipe is available in various diameters ranging from 10mm through to 28mm. They can be bought as lengths of 3m and 6m or on a roll of 25m or 50m. The standard plastic pipe may be used on hot and cold water plumbing in homes but it is not suitable for central heating installations. A special barrier pipe is made for this purpose.
Cutting Jointing and Dismantling may vary – the details here are for Hep2O products.
Cutting Plastic Pipe
Special pipe cutters are used to ensure accurate and square cuts are formed. As with all pipe work, be sure to allow for the amount of pipe that will sit inside the fitting. On Hep2O pipe this is the distance between the ‘V’ marks. The cutter blade should be aligned with the next V mark on the pipe and pressure applied to the jaws. Rotating the pipe as you apply pressure will result in smooth square cuts. If there are any burrs clean these off before continuing. Hacksaws are not suitable for cutting this type of plastic pipe.
Push Fit Fittings
Push fit fittings are simple to use and there is a wide range available. Most of the fittings – elbows, straight connectors, T pieces – are available. Inside each connection, there is an ‘O’ ring seal and a specially designed grab ring which secures the pipe. On no account put your finger inside one of these fittings – the grab rings are very sharp and tough. Keep fittings free from dirt and debris as this may cause damage and result in failure.
Push Fit Fittings – Connecting
Insert a pipe support sleeve 9or pipe insert) into the end of the pipe before assembling the connection. This gives rigidity to the pipe where it goes into the fitting. With the insert in place, push the end of the pipe into the fitting. If you have used the V mark when cutting, the pipe will be fully engaged when the next V lines up with the cap. Hep2O fittings are pre- lubricated. No other lubricants or materials should be applied. Pull back on the pipe to make sure that the toothed grab ring has fully engaged to secure the pipe and prevent it coming out.
Push Fit Fittings – Dismantling
Dismantling fittings is a straightforward job but you will need specially designed keys for this. There are keys for all standard pipe sizes. The key is a simple collar which clips over the pipe with its flat side facing away from the fitting. The clip is slid up to the cap of the fitting and pushed so that the special lugs cause the release of the fitting.