I LOVE Speedfit!

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Just thought I would re-iterate my love for Speedfit.
I can't solder to save my life, despite years of trying. I have made many successful soldered joints. However I have made at least the same number of unsuccessful ones, and they are generally a b*ggger to fix once the water has been turned on and off again.
I was using compression joints prior to discovering Speedfit. . I have just fitted a few compression joints in an area where I wanted to use copper because it is stronger than plastic and I wanted it to be self supporting. [Also I had run out of Speedfit joints and had some legacy compression joints] It all worked, but took ages, plus two spanners and a load of PTFE tape. One joint leaked a little, but was cured by undoing and re-fitting with extra PTFE round the thread plus some PTFE round the olive.
Compare this to Speedfit:
Snip pipe Insert ends Push into joints Job done, no leaks.
Our old plumber, with his trusty blow lamp and moleskin for sweating lead pipes (done that too, a couple of times) may be turning in his grave.
However, let us lift a brimming glass to John Guest and Speedfit - saviours of the marginally incompetent!
Cheers Dave R
--



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I found that using PTFE tape on compression joints makes them leak more rather than less, so I stopped using it. Subsequently I have got into soldering instead.
--
Tim Mitchell

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Tim Mitchell wrote:

There's really no reason to put PTFE or any goop on compression joints - it's a metal/metal seal.
--
Grunff


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Then you must be doing something awfully wrong - it's hardly rocket science and only takes minutes to master.

So did you ever wonder what was the difference?
I've only ever had one joint leak out of hundreds, and that turned out to be a faulty end feed fitting - it had a pin hole in it.
--
*When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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London SW 12

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As a rule, it is easy, with no real "technique" involved, provided all the preparation is done. If you are wire wooling, using the correct flux and the correct solder, it is almost certainly the torch which is at fault. For plumbing, don't use a wide nozzled torch designed for paint stripping. You need a narrow ended torch that takes a big canister and has piezo ignition. If you spent less than 20-25 pounds on it, then the torch is not big enough.
Christian.
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Dave Plowman wrote:

Be that as it may some people can't solder.
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Well, surely this group should try to help those overcome their difficulties? I really don't believe *any* DIYer is incapable of learning how to do it correctly.
Of course, it could be they prefer to plug an inferior product for whatever reason.
--
*Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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they
use
saviours
Marley make a better system. If you are kak handed and can't solder, then try using cheap copper pipe and brass push-fit fitting. Cheaper to install than using all Speedfit. What is it? Speedfit are now in another fitting re-design and Hep2O in about the 3rd or 4th. Plastic is no panacea get that clear.
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IMM wrote:

If plastic pipe is good enough for Steve & Norm its good enough for me.
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Stop! Wait a minute mister Post-man....wait a minute, wait a minute, mister post-ost-ost-ost-ost-man......
;)
Never as good as the originals.
Andrew
Do you need a handyman service? Check out our web site at http://www.handymac.co.uk
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IMM wrote:

You obviously the same progs as me. Steve R -- "Latest gear:- One piece one button suit extremely comfortable, perfect for Relaxation, Sports, Hiking, Swimming, a must have" OOPS sorry you have one!!!
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Essjay001 wrote:

Er sorry I say that again. You obviously don't watch the same progs as me.
-- Steve R -- "Latest gear:- One piece one button suit extremely comfortable, perfect for Relaxation, Sports, Hiking, Swimming, a must have" OOPS sorry you have one!!!
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<snip>
want
Yep - tried that - always used the trusty wire wool and then flux. My problem was I could never get the heating quite right. I tried various high and low heat nozzles on my Gaz blow lamp, but to no avail. Heating the pipe near the joint, heating the joint, heating away from the joint for a slower raise in temperature. There seemed to be about a microsecond between no solder and the 'spifzz' as the ring of solder spat out of the yorkshire joint.
Usually ended up tinning the end of the copper pipe with solder and then easing gently in. Used a load of solder but usually worked in the end.
As you say, those that leaked were often easier to replace with compression.
After a while I decided that the general trauma of trying to solder plus the time wasted justified using compression joints for everything.
I also found it much easier to dis-assemble and re-assemble compression fittings.
Now I have started using the push fit joints and they seem so far ahead of compresssion joints that they will be my joint of choice in future (until/unless various dire predictions on this thread come to pass).
Thanks Dave R
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Push-fit are no match for compressions joints. There is some junk out there. but a good quality compression fitting will last eons. It is a firm well made joint of metal to metal. 50-60 years ago people were saying the same about compression that you are saying about push-fit, in praising their cold fitting ease of use, speed in installation, etc, but reservations over longevity and high fitting cost. Over the 60 years that compression has become widespread they have been proven a success....and cheaper than push-fit. Let's see if many push-fit fitting are still around in 60 years time.
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You may have missed one essential - apologies if you haven't - and that is to make sure the end of the run is open to the air.
If there's a tap or valve, make sure it's open, if not the expanding air due to heat will blow out the joint.
You can also tlerate some water not too close if there is no chance for a pressure build up
HTH
mike r
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Mike, good point, thanks, but my soldering incompetence is far more generalised :-) Cheers Dave R
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London SW 12

I think quite a few respondents are losing sight of the DIY aspect of all this. For DIY read - "some people only do this once every year or so - or perhaps only once".
I appreciate that copper is much cheaper, and that the basic 'end feed' joints can be picked up by the bag full at plumbers merchants for very little money. They are simple in construction, neat in appearance, and virtually all professional plumbers use them. For a professional, the cost saving over a job is considerable and a good soldered joint should last 100 years. Once mastered (!) the technique becomes second nature.
However for the DIY person ease of use can justify a premium cost, especially if only a few units are used. As discussed in this thread, successful soldering depends on care, careful preparation, and a learned technique to get the heating of the joint just right. In certain circumstances (such as soldering under the floorboards next to joists) there is the additional risk of fire, so you have to take extra precautions. Finally you are dealing with (ouch!) heat above water boiling point. It also involves quite a bit of extra work in the situation when you realise that you haven't put the pipe work quite where it should go (or realised you should have put something else in first). Or if it turns out that your joint wasn't as good as you thought it was. If you have already filled the pipes with water your problems can be compounded by having to dry everything out first. I value the ability to quickly un-pipe runs and then re-fit them.
So I think we are getting a little at cross purposes. End feed copper is cheap and proven by time, and I would suspect will still be around in another 50 years. The professionals choice. As mentioned elsewhere, when compression joints first came in the traditionalists predicted dire problems but now they are accepted. I expect that there will be more and more use of push fit joints, especially around units such as power shower pumps, where ease and speed of fitting justifies the higher component cost. Perhaps one day your average plumber will appear with a length of plastic pipe and a pair of snips and the smell of hot flux and solder will be gone forever. [O.K. I know boilers need copper close to them :-) Grant me a little poetic license.]
If cost is the overriding factor then take the time to learn to use soldered copper. It is a useful technique anyway for visible joints you wish to be unobtrusive. For dedicated DIYers the technique can be as important as the end result. However if you are doing your first (and perhaps only) plumbing job then push fit joints could save you a lot of grief.
What prompted the original post? I had just put together a run of four pipes which all go round one corner of the bathroom. There is a little 'nexus' with six elbow joints in a very small area. With Speedfit I just fitted whichever suited and then threaded additional pipes under/round/over the first one. Just a push, and a leak free joint. I thought 'damn, that was so easy'. And reflected on my previous forays into plumbing over the last 30 years. Which led me to the conclusion "I LOVE Speedfit!"
This is an expression of a personal view, does not denigrate the use of other technologies, and freely acknowledges the right of all thinking beings to use the plumbing techniques of their choice :-))
Thanks again for all the responses.
Cheers Dave R
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<snip
in
Yep - forgot to mention that I fell in love with plastic pipe first. I had a piece of copper fail with mains cold water.
[I am told there was a very bad batch of copper many years back and this resulted in copper pipes corroding and starting to leak. We had a batch of this in our house and had several runs (including some plastered into the walls) which developed pinhole leaks which incidentally are a b*gger to trace. Had most of it replaced under the insurance, including a new plastic water main (think we may have paid for that bit).]
Our main bathroom is quite small and when we had it redone we had a four piece suite fitted - a 'funiture unit' with toilet, WHB and bidet, and a seriously solid bath. The failed pipe was under this 'furniture unit' and bath and was sending a fine spray of water everywhere. Brought down a bit of the downstairs toilet ceiling. The bathroom is over our downstairs loo and the front porch. I investigated and found that because the bathroom suite had to be 'shoehorned' in the furniture unit had been fitted first, then the bath. To get out this unit I would first have to remove the bath which was all nicely tiled in - in effect I would have to gut the bathroom.
Solution - get at one end of the pipe through the ceiling which had come down, and cut it out. [This was me coming up under the bath from the floor below.] Remove the other end from the cold tap in the bathroom. Leave the pipe 'in situ' because of bends etc. preventing removal. Thread bendy white plastic pipe through the maze of other pipes and fit to bathroom sink. Connect to main cold water above downstairs toilet.
I didn't replace the bit of ceiling - fitted a wooden panel instead so I could get at the pipes in future if required!
So the bendiness of plastic is both a problem and in some cases a distinct advantage!
On reflection we should have got it done on the insurance but you don't always remember this when the downstairs loo is full of damp plaster!
Still, when the rest of the pipes went, we had that done on the insurance.
Ah, memories. Dave R
P.S. Your house too could be full of low quality ageing copper pipe which is corroding through. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
I have no idea how you identify this stuff before it goes, though :-(
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plastic
It was mainly cheap Eastern European stuff. You got what you paid for as it was cheap. Who is to say there will not be a bad batch of plastic? Someone didn't set the control right for the right mix of plastic? I have never had copper pipe fail on me. I have only overheard rare stories from others.
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