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Good practices for press connection?

sunlight33
sunlight33 Member Posts: 378
I will be doing some re-piping work for domestic in my home, it will be my first time using press tool and work with press fittings. Do you have any tips for me or things I need to be aware of? I realize planning is important because I only got one shot with pressing the fitting. Also I want to use unions in place for thread adapters for water filters that have plastic threads, this way if there is a leak after the press is done I can fix it easily, otherwise if I cut the fitting the pipe will also be shorter.
Thanks, I appreciate all of your help!

Comments

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,696
    Follow the press manufactures instructions. 

    Ironman
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 811
    Make sure you can get the press tool in every location that you have to press a fitting. PLAN WELL. There might be some tight places. Sometimes you can press an assemblage of pipe and fittings "out" of place, before putting it where it belongs. You can't "unpress" a fitting. It needs to be cut out and rebuilt. Move slowly at first and think carefully. When you are all done pressing...go over every single joint and FEEL if it has been pressed. I have often forgotten "just one." It will let you know upon filling. Good luck. You won't want to go back to soldering after you've seen "the press."
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,459
    You can also save some money by sweating some sub assemblies then pressing the fittings that connect them to the rest of the system. Dry fit things and draw a line parallel to the pipe across the pipe and fitting when working with fittings where the angle is important so you can assemble your subassembly in the correct orientation.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,137
    Agree with @psb75, plan your crimp so you don’t get backed into a uncrimpable position. 

    I alway check and mark all crimps with a black marker and then do a visual check of all crimps before pressuring system. 



    Be sure to keep the crimping heads clean; no dirt or rust. A dirty head can cause incomplete crimps/seals. 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,868
    edited March 2021
    Check out the Viega online trainings

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWZdIC1UECZpHq0jqng3Kjw/featured

    Milwaukee and Rigid also.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    STEVEusaPA
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,940
    Use sharpie to mark insertion depth. This way you know that pipe is fully inserted into the fitting.  Check before each press. 
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,350
    Unlike soldered joints, press fittings will allow (or cause) the pipe to "walk" as the fitting is pressed. Make sure the piping secured before pressing with straps, clamps or split rings.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    STEVEusaPA
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,335
    Some like to clean the pipe and debur it, most don't bother. As mentioned above plan carefully. It's better to leave as much room between fittings as possible. If you have 3 fittings close together and the middle one leaks now you have to scrap the whole mess. Get in the habit of marking the insertion depth. sometimes to turn to grab the crimper and you don't see the joint separate , you won't know if you don't mark it

    It saves labor, fittings cost more, once it's crimped it's done forever

    I have done a lot of crimping and a lot of sweating, neither one is better depends on the application

  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515
    edited March 2021
    Unions can be good...we also used them on filter housings and equipment that may have to be removed such as Fill valves and BFP.

    As I said before...You can Pry the Press tool "From my Cold Dead Hands"

    On our first job that we did we did to mark the insertion depth to make sure that it was inserted correctly, then again it was a 3" diameter job with back to back tees, if anything would have gone wrong the loss could have been very large..$$$$$ :s
    Everything went as planed and we cut our labor in half. :D
    Eventually we got "Brave" and marking is something we stopped doing since we found it to waste time. we never mark anymore and do not have any problems.

    Some of this may already make sense to you but here are some tips from someone that has Pressed for over 40 years :

    1. Respect your tool.... keep them clean, if the heads get wet or dirty clean them so they do not rust.

    2. Keep the Batteries Warm...If you Operate in a area that is cold keep your Batteries fully charged if you leave it on the service vehicle..Cold kills batteries.

    3. Keep the Tool Warm...Keep the equipment in the front of the Vehicle so it is not "Frozen" when you need to use it..A cold tool will not want to press,neither should it because it could overpress the joint.If you have to wait for the tool to warm up this will waste time and let's face it,Time is money and you probably are investing in this tool to save time. :D

    4. Look ahead....Do not press (Paint) yourself into a corner...You may not be able to get your equipment/head in a corner to press a joint, at that point you may have to cut, remove, press and couple something. :#

    5. If you press,YOU PRESS ....Hopefully the torch will remain on the truck juuust in case you need it. We rarely use the torch nowadays . Check out Webstone..They have most of the fittings that a mechanic's heart desires...Isoflanges,ball valves,Preconfigured Primary/secondary setups with the circ flanges on it,"Spirovents" the list goes on and On.Purchase a variety of different fittings (Stock up) to make sure that your are not running around for fittings in the middle of the Job or have to wait for fittings to arrive.

    6. Talk to your supplier..Back when we first started i found a distributor in Denver that had $ 500 000 worth of Stock Locally and on site(No waiting for parts). They set me up with a Pricing multiplier and gave us the Parts list which also can be found online...Our first original orders hovered around $6000..Today between the trucks and the shop we have about $25 000 of fittings in stock.

    7. Charge for the use of the Tool....Like with any equipment, eventually you will need to have the tool service or need to replace it. So charge for it now.

    8. Have a Backup Plan....Eventually you should have a Backup tool, We have a small hand held for service (1/2 "to 1 1/4") and a couple large ones that will press gas piping and Copper up to 4"

    9. No Torching near press joints....I very rare cases we will need to solder something near a joint, you can simply remove the o-ring, solder the joint, and reinstall the o-ring after it cooled off and then press the joint.

    10. No pressing Close to (C)old Solder Joints....Try to keep some distance from old solder joints,If they have a void or the Previous installer had a "Bad Solder Day"/ Cold solder Joint you may cause a leak by the deformation of the old joint .

    11. Purchase Inserts...If you are planning to press Baseboards purchase the Inserts to keep the Copper from collapsing. Pressing baseboard can be fast.fun,clean and easy.. :D

    12. System fluid quality... As with any system make sure that your system fluid is maintained otherwise you could void the warranty (50 year on Viega)

    13. Educate yourself.. Viega opened a State of the Art training center in Denver a couple years ago, I was invited during the Opening and let me tell you...It is a "Typical German" training Center..Very nice. Not sure if they plan on training soon again but if you can, try to get on a training seminar and say Hello to Bo D. from Richard if you Meet him.
    There are probably some other things that we do while we are pressing that have become "Second Nature" but i cannot think about them now.

    Just relax,enjoy your new tool and have fun . :)
    Richard Graves and the Heatmeister Group.
    IronmanSTEVEusaPAsunlight33
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,459
    Do the dies shrink enough that being cold is a problem, or could repacking with a synthetic grease with a wider working temp range solve the problem?
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515
    mattmia2 said:

    Do the dies shrink enough that being cold is a problem, or could repacking with a synthetic grease with a wider working temp range solve the problem?


    I see where your are coming from..The synthetic grease thing is something to discuss with the Press tool manufacturer/Service Center...
    Part of the Problem is also that size of the Jaws that become smaller with colder temperatures which may overpress the Joint.
    We have just learned to keep the tool in the Front of the Service Vehicle. ;)
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,679
    Don’t overthink it, pinch it and rip.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,335
    @Derheatmeister

    I have tried not marking the fitting insertion depth as well. Here's the problem with that. The tolerances between the fittings and whatever tubing you get is not always the same. Sometimes you push a fitting on and it's snug, sometimes it's loose.,same as it is with sweat fittings

    So your up on a ladder pushing some fittings together. It's ready to press, you turn around and your helper hands you the propress while this is going on the pipe pulls out of the fitting a little but you turn around and press it because it looks fine.

    Or you put the machine on the fitting and the weight of the machine causes the fitting to wiggle out.

    If you don't mark it you don;t know. If the fittings are put together and restrained by hangers and supports then fine. but there are times it needs to be marked
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 378
    I have a vertical pipe I need to cut and insert a tee, how do I deburr the bottom portion of this vertical pipe without the metal fragments fall into the pipe?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,459
    Either you don't or you stuff a rag in there and pull them out with the rag.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515
    edited March 2021

    I have a vertical pipe I need to cut and insert a tee, how do I deburr the bottom portion of this vertical pipe without the metal fragments fall into the pipe?

    Are you thinking of Deburring the line for the Filter ? Is this for a whole house filter or filters in line for a boiler make up?
    DrewM
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 378
    I have a vertical pipe I need to cut and insert a tee, how do I deburr the bottom portion of this vertical pipe without the metal fragments fall into the pipe?
    Are you thinking of Deburring the line for the Filter ? Is this for a whole house filter or filters in line for a boiler make up?
    It's the cold water pipe downstream to the filter for the whole house, I am just concerned about turbulent flow caused by the burr if I don't remove it, or that's not a concern?
  • Ridgid has a ring kit that gives you more access for pressing.



    Press x male and female unions are great for connections to equipment.



    And I like the Viega press fittings for their quality.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    STEVEusaPA
  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 167

    I have a vertical pipe I need to cut and insert a tee, how do I deburr the bottom portion of this vertical pipe without the metal fragments fall into the pipe?

    Rag and a shop vac?
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    Stick a vacuum on it while de-burring.
    steve
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,335
    Veiga fittings are great..........cept for the price
    Ironman
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,868
    once you get the hang of a pencil reamer you can usually flick out the copper strand before it drops in. If not shove a kleenex or small piece of rag into the tube. If you saw cut, fine tooth hack saw, really not much of an internal burr
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 378
    edited March 2021
    To make a good watertight threaded connection, can I use 5 turns of the Blue Monster PTFE tape followed by dope?

    Edit: I used 3 turns of tape then dope, hand tightened about half way, then made 2-3 more turns with wrenches.
  • mikedo
    mikedo Member Posts: 174
    i believe it is code that every pro press fitting must be marked. my partner and i have failed inspections if it is not marked
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515
    mikedo said:

    i believe it is code that every pro press fitting must be marked. my partner and i have failed inspections if it is not marked

    We never Failed an State or County Inspection because of this !
    Are you saying that this was brought into the Code.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,459
    I think it is part of the manufacturer's instructions, is it not? And following the instructions is part of the code.
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 378
    Due to limited space I will have a few connections that the fittings are touching each other, according to Viega the minimum distance can be 0 for 1'' pipe. So has anyone done that before? just want some reassurance.
    PC7060
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 378
    Initially I was planning on using union fittings to connect filter housing (plastic FPT) to brass MPT but I just found out there is not enough spacing for that, so I will just use regular MPT adapters, and I will opt for sharkbite because it can be rotated after the connection is made (so I can tighten it more in case if it leaks), the rest will be press fittings. See if anyone has anything to say.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,459
    You can put the union after the pipe changes direction. It won't be so much it needs to be tightened more, but that it needs more tflon tape or something to fill in the gap in the threads.