Though copper still can’t be beaten for many applications, plastic pipe and fittings have been growing in popularity amongst plumbers for many years.
Lightweight, durable and safe to install, plastic removes the need for soldering, resists the scale build-up common to copper pipe and doesn’t corrode when exposed to acidic water.
It’s also typically less rigid than copper, meaning less time is spent running pipe and installing fittings; while it can often be shipped and stored on spools, leading to lower shipping and storage costs.
Plastic systems, which combine pipe and fittings in an end-to-end solution, are the newest, labour-saving kid on the block and take the plastic story one step further.
Suitable for a range of plumbing jobs, they typically remove the need for tools, shortening installation time even further.
But though they’re big on promise, not all plastic pipe systems on the market offer the same benefits – making selection of the most appropriate solution all the more important.
Questions to ask of a plastic pipe solution
Is the plastic pipe solution WRAS approved?
The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) requires that products comply with the requirements of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. WRAS approval isn’t compulsory but it does demonstrate that products have met the stringent requirements of the UK water industry and have been proven to prevent contamination of a water supply.
Does the plastic pipe system come with a guarantee?
When fitted properly, plastic pipe systems provide greater burst resistance than copper and offer high heat deflection. The very best offer up to a 25-year warranty if installed according to manufacturer’s instructions – and as they typically require less handling and fewer fittings, often negate the need for costly call backs. Check if your pipe solution offers any kind of guarantee before purchasing.
Is it easy to install?
What efforts has the manufacturer gone to, to make installation of the pipe system even easier? How difficult is it to create a connection? How do you know when a tight seal is created?
The very best piping systems provide a visual indicator to show when the pipe and fittings are securely connected. Some are push-fit only, while others provide an additional twist-lock facility, ensuring an even clearer and more secure connection.
Is the pipe system a stand-alone solution or can it connect with other types of pipe?
Plastic fittings can often provide a connection with other types of plastic or copper pipe, making repairs and upgrades easy to complete. A plastic repair coupling can often be the handiest tool in a plumber’s toolkit, so it’s important to keep them in stock.
Pipeloc from Westco – Just Add Water
Pipeloc from Westco combines high quality plastic pipe with innovative push fit and twist lock fittings in an end-to-end piping system.
With a 25-year warranty*, Pipeloc is quicker to install, safer and guaranteed for longer.
Find out more and download your free product guide at www.pipeloc.co.uk
*If installed according to manufacturer’s instructions