I want to install a shower using a copper pipe fed between a partition
wall. My soldering skills are pretty hopeless, but I dont want to rely
on compression fittings. I was thinking of using Wickes copper push fit
fittings. Are they reliable, and as easy to use as they sound?
Avoid the Wickes ones, or buy one and try it on a piece of pipe.
Two reasons for this. They are extremely difficult to insert without
considerable force. You have to mark the depth of insertion on the
pipe to be certain it is right in.
And they are impossible to get apart again without even more force and
the tool to use is not very good. You need to be able to grip the pipe
firmly with both hands, and need access for this.
What about the plastic pipe and fittings. I fitted up a cold water supply
for my garage, this fed the car wash and the washing machine. I have been
told that plastic can also be used for a hot water supply, is this true.
It is true.
There are two sorts of plastic pipe. One for hot and cold taps/shower water
and one for central heating systems (often called barrier pipe). So the pipe
you used for the garage will be fine for a hot tap. Both are good to about
114 degrees c for a short period or about 94 deg continuous. The barrier
pipe is special in that prevents oxygen intake (see below)
I have used QPL barrier pipe from Toolstation for both my central heating
and hot & cold domestic water in the kitchen. Just got the bathroom to do
Plastic pipe is so much easier to work with than copper, though as someone
else stated, the fittings are considerable bigger.
Tried using solder-ring fittings instead of end-feed Dennis? Good polish of
pipe ends and inside of fitting with wire wool, flux the pipes and inside of
fitting, assemble, and heat evenly with blow torch until the solder rings
appear right around the joints.
Only skill required is ability not to set fire to anything nearby! Give em a
go on a spare bit of pipe and you'll be surprised how much easier they are
than end-feed if you're a bit of soldering novice. Less bulky than push fit
if space is tight too.
I've nothing against push-fit but I prefer to solder if a joint is going to
be permanently out of sight anyway - e.g. in a wall. I stress - thats a
Thanks Midge. Have tried these. Looks dead easy when you see an expert
do it, but I seem to end up with at least one pin hole leak,
particularly if I have to solder two right-angle bends close together.
Guess I'll just have to bite the bullet, buy a packet, and start
As Midge said, the answer to 100% reliable solder ring fittings is cleaning
& flux. Clean the outside of the pipe and inside the fitting with wire wool
(or a special brush for the fitting). Apply flux to outside of pipe &
inside of fitting.
If you are meticulous about cleaning & flux you won't go wrong.
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