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Another PROPRESS FAILURE same as HARVEY had

EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,202
Harvey,

Did you ship your defective fittings and propress machine to me in Western, MA.??

LOL HAHA

I would like to laugh but I'm not in the mood after a 13 hr day.

I had a propress failure, brand new Apollo 1 1/4" no-lead ball valve. TG the leak was on the downstream side or I would have been in worse trouble.

It's leaking at one of the indentations exactly like the one in Harvey's picture. The only difference is the metal in the indentation on my leak is still there, it didn't punch through. It's not much more than a pinhole leak but a leak is a leak and most definitely coming from the indentation. It is from the indentation closest to the valve.

I have a feeling the brass fittings that are no-lead may be the problem....not tempered right or something, I don't have a clue.

This was costly as I had 3 hrs OT that I shouldn't have had but with draining, filling and two trips to the supply house it is what it is. Not to mention the cost of the valve, 1 90 and 1 coupling, not many fittings really, could have been worse,
not to mention getting crap from the customer a University "what's taking so long"

The propress machine is a well used Ridgid battery powerd 2" machine

More stress than I needed today.

And the worse part is WHAT IS CAUSING THIS, if it happened once (actually twice me and Harvey) Murphy's law you know it's going to happen again.

Whose turn will it be next??

I will post a picture tomorrow but you really can't see anything.

Comments

  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848
    Hopefully you can get it back to the manufacturer for analysis.

    No question the low lead alloys are a tougher material to forge, machine and thread. That would be my first suspicion.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,202
    Now I found out one of our plumbers had a similar leak (leaking at one of the indentations) on a pro-press copper tee. I don't know the size or weather this was done with the same pro-press machine I used'

    The valve I had a leak on was an 1 1/4" Conbraco Apollo International #94VLF with a date code of 06/16.

    I don't understand how a jaw can overpress to cause a leak(unless their is foreign material in the jaw) as the jaw ends touch with a full crimp. Under press with a worn jaw or defective machine I could understand.
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 621
    I've seen leaks at the O ring connection. It was the last fitting and the last one in the box... you know the rest of that story. We soldered it, 2"T. I'm sure the O ring was cut/pinched etc. I'm still in the "don't trust it yet" boat. It was spec'd for the job actually. I'm a solder man still.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,202
    @Solid_Fuel_Man , agreed 100% , I would rather solder as well (as long as there's no water pouring out)

    This is something new leaking at the indentations, a mystery that needs to be solved.

    Problem is working in a University building, you know the drill, shut down the smokes, hot works permit, fire watch etc. etc.

    not cost effective to solder especially a small job
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,472
    I'm just curious..I clean the heads out with a pad after every 10 fittings or so... think it was something the instructor recommended when we got the tools...do any of you?
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 621
    @EBEBRATT-Ed it really seemslowed to be either over-pressed due to foreign object, or simply material failure to be ductile? enough to take the press.

    You know like when you flare copper and the flare is perfect accept that tare? Cut, reflare, and all is well. Ain't so on press.

    If it were in a different place/situation then I'd still be tempted to get out my torch with either a brazing rod or some solder..... >:)
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 6,973
    In seeing this unfortunate trend. I for see low lead brass pro press fittings being pulled. That is a lot of potential risk to weigh on a metallurgy quality control short fall.

  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 6,973
    Be interesting to know who is making the low lead brass. It seems ecostream does it differently. No silicon, or bismuth. Supposedly more competitive approach to other methods.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848
    EcoBrass a Mitsubishi company and GreenAlloy are two of the main suppliers.

    When the low lead ruling first started it was tough to find enough of those alloys in all the shapes needed to manufacture products.

    Machine tooling needed to be changed to work the low lead alloy and all the chips and shavings need to be segregated and documented to recycle. A Low lead requirements have been a real can of worms for the brass manufacturers.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 811
    Kind of funny how, every time things get better in one area, they seem to get worse in another...

    It's almost as if there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

    My suspicion is that, overall, the 'worse' is more costly than the 'better', but that may just be the pessimist in me.

  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,202
    The worse part is we don't know what is causing this. Press on a valve joint leaks, drain , cut it out , put a new one in with couplings of course. Press it, will it leak?? what changed??

    How about the job you spend hours draining or pumping glycol and the new valve just has to hold........and it leaks.

    just have a feeling about the low lead
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 621
    I still think companies should offer leaded brass for "closed loop heating only" applications. Maybe the double inventory and all the separation in manufacturing isn't worth it for them @hot rod ?

    Here in Maine I can still buy 50/50 solder and I use it for heating only which is all I pipe anyway. Not sure how much longer I'll be able to get leaded solder.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848

    I still think companies should offer leaded brass for "closed loop heating only" applications. Maybe the double inventory and all the separation in manufacturing isn't worth it for them @hot rod ?



    Here in Maine I can still buy 50/50 solder and I use it for heating only which is all I pipe anyway. Not sure how much longer I'll be able to get leaded solder.

    Yes some shops carry both, that may end when inventories are run down.

    Perhaps some liability involved you you were to knowingly sell or install a leaded brass component in a potable water system?

    Tough enough keeping one product on the suppliers shelves, having dual inventory would cause the bean counters brains to explode.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 621
    Picturing bean counters and exploding brains and adding machine paper everywhere...
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848
    What you may find is some manufacturers go off shore, maybe China for a "price point" valve offering, leaded or un-leaded. That may be where they loose control of the quality of the alloy or manufacturing process.

    At Caleffi we feel copper is the best press fitting material for meeting the potable water standards. The low lead brass alloys seem too brittle for press fittings regardless of cast or bar stock material.

    If we make a low lead brass fitting for thread or sweat it is a DZR alloy "dezincification resistant". We also use bar stock for machined and forged parts.

    Quality control is critical, I think we break every 10th piece that comes out of the forge to inspect for flaws or alloy quality. Just to brag a little :)


    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,202
    Not saying anything about Conbraco/Apollo but the supply house I bought the valve that leaked above it was a "Conbraco International" and is the only press valve they stock.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 6,973
    hot rod said:

    What you may find is some manufacturers go off shore, maybe China for a "price point" valve offering, leaded or un-leaded. That may be where they loose control of the quality of the alloy or manufacturing process.

    At Caleffi we feel copper is the best press fitting material for meeting the potable water standards. The low lead brass alloys seem too brittle for press fittings regardless of cast or bar stock material.

    If we make a low lead brass fitting for thread or sweat it is a DZR alloy "dezincification resistant". We also use bar stock for machined and forged parts.

    Quality control is critical, I think we break every 10th piece that comes out of the forge to inspect for flaws or alloy quality. Just to brag a little :)



    That is why I said you may see pro press lead free valves disappear. Take the lead out of brass, and you push the limits for a press type of assembly.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848
    Agreed, low lead brass tends to be more brittle, and the wall thickness of those press fittings doesn't give you much wiggle room.

    There is still some lead in the low lead alloys, but the reduction from 2% certainly has changed the behavior.


    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • GordoGordo Member Posts: 511
    edited January 11
    I had a 1" Apollo gas valve leak at the threads during a pressure test.

    Apollo always had the mark of USA quality, so I was surprised at the failure... but it looked like there were fewer female threads in the valve body...hmmm

    ...then I noticed the word "International" under the word "Apollo" on the valve handle.

    Then I saw underneath the valve handle "China".

    That is all I needed to see.

    Now I know "Apollo International" is a warning label.

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  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 6,973
    hot rod said:

    Agreed, low lead brass tends to be more brittle, and the wall thickness of those press fittings doesn't give you much wiggle room.

    There is still some lead in the low lead alloys, but the reduction from 2% certainly has changed the behavior.



    #9. Doesn't get brittle. At high temperatures..........
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848
    Gordo said:

    I had a 1" Apollo gas valve leak at the threads during a pressure test.

    Apollo always had the mark of USA quality, so I was surprised at the failure... but it looked like there were fewer female threads in the valve body...hmmm

    ...then I noticed the word "International" under the word "Apollo" on the valve handle.

    Then I saw underneath the valve handle "China".

    That is all I needed to see.

    Now I know "Apollo International" is a warning label.

    Yeah, it is supposed to have the country of origin printed cast or stamped into the assembly somewhere.

    Some manufacturers get sneaky with that label. I've seen PRC for China People's Republic of China.

    I think most, if not all the major valve manufacturers offer an import. At my supplier they push Watts brand and always ask if you want import or domestic.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 1,872
    I have also noticed that some of the brass press fittings appear to spring back slightly after a press. The copper pipe doesn't. This allows a little bit of play in the pressed Fitting rather than a completely rigid connection.

    Sounds like I'm not the only one who experienced failures.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
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  • Bob BonaBob Bona Member Posts: 2,064
    Interesting thread. I haven't taken the press copper plunge yet and this is something to keep in mind.
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,931
    edited January 11
    Was reading a story the other day on how China has finally been able to manufacture a decent ball point pen. They've been unable to create a high-quality pen because of how shitty their metal manufacturing process was.

    http://mashable.com/2017/01/10/china-manufactures-ballpoint-pen/

    Maybe they'll take what they learned in creating a decent pen and use it to improve the rest of their crap?

    nah.. probably not..
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 621
    I've noticed for at least 2 decades that the best ball point pens are from Japan. The Japanese have had excellent metal workings for quite some time. As well as the Germans.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848
    The exact same machines manufacturing top quality components in Japan and Germany are also in China. They are capable of producing top quality, even the Germans source from China :)

    The difference seems to be shoppers source China for lowest possible price. That is where quality and raw materials used can get compromised.

    Manufacturers caution that the first part from China will be excellent, what you receive after that is a coin toss. Unless you can put in and enforce quality control measures.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 621
    edited January 11
    This is very interesting. Mass-production really has the drawback of relying on the raw material being consistent. You don't want to make the same mistake 1,000,000 times!

    I guess I've been trained to see the "made in china" stamp as meaning "low cheap quality".
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848

    This is very interesting. Mass-production really has the drawback of relying on the raw material being consistent. You don't want to make the same mistake 1,000,000 times!



    I guess I've been trained to see the "made in china" stamp as meaning "low cheap quality".

    Modern CNC machine can spit out thousands of pieces an hour, so if you have a bad alloy or tooling out of tolerance, things can get away from you quickly.

    Really the operators of manufacturing cells are as much quality assurance skilled, as they are machinists.

    That is why it is so important to get failed components back to the manufacturer for analysis ASAP.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,202
    Biggest supply house with many, many branches stocks Apollo valves which I like(d).

    Previous to the "low Lead" law they stocked Apollo & Apollo International which were less expensive. This was for threaded & sweat.

    For press they stocked Viega in the past. Now the only press valves I found were Apollo International.

    On the inside of the valve handle it's stamped "China".

    Don't know if just the handle is made in Chinal or the valve as well HAHA
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848
    Stress corrosion cracking is another possibility with brass fittings that have had excessive force applied. That could be from an external force, like the press tongs, or over tightening and cracking a threaded fitting. Hemp or excessive teflon tape can split or hairline crack a fitting or valve, if you get too carried away with the wrenches :)

    Chilled water piping is more prone to this corrosion due to the presence of moisture (condensation). You always want to tightly wrap chilled water piping fittings and valves to prevent external attack potential.

    The combination of hairline crack potential AND moisture double the fun.

    The more brittle alloys may be more at risk for this type of corrosion.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 6,973
    Quality assurance testing on rebar from Iran....
  • FormerlyFormerly Member Posts: 67
    I've had 2 leaks with press fittings but as it turns out it was the pipe that had pits all up and down the roll seam. Mueller pipe. The o-ring happened to fall over a pit. No amount of repressing helped :(
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,848
    Formerly said:

    I've had 2 leaks with press fittings but as it turns out it was the pipe that had pits all up and down the roll seam. Mueller pipe. The o-ring happened to fall over a pit. No amount of repressing helped :(

    It's wise to knock the sharp edge off the tube also. They have external umbrella reamers for that, or sand cloth can work well.

    Really you should ream the inside of all tubing cutter cuts, and outside for o-ring type fittings like press and grip type.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,684
    Had a colleague show me this today. Not sure what happened.... thoughts?
  • Stephen MinnichStephen Minnich Member Posts: 1,751
    I was THIS close to buying a press tool a couple weeks. It was toward the end of a 12 hour day and I was soldering in joist spaces near the rim joists. I had 16 gauge steel plates up everywhere and everything else needed nearby but I was already exhausted and that's when mistakes usually happen.

    Nothing bad happened and not a piece of lumber got scorched but I suppose it could have. I swore, at that point, never again. But I've never been quick to buy the new shiny toy until its proven to be worth it. I'm still not convinced. I'm closer but not there yet.
    It's all in the details.

    www.minnichmech.com
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 6,973
    kcopp said:

    Had a colleague show me this today. Not sure what happened.... thoughts?

    My first thought is you can visual see that is a mess, and not walk away thinking all is good.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,202
    I have seen propress raise a sharp point so it make it tough to slide Armaflex over the fitting. Never seen one like that though.

    Most of the time I go with the torch if I can don't have a propress in my truck.

    But, if I get a job that I have to have a fire watch or has to be done really fast or I can't solder a "wet" system out comes a trip to the shop to track down a propress
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