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Press Fittings


There are variances in all copper tube. The specificatiosn give a minimum and a maximum. Some manufactures make to the minimum, some to the max, and some between the ranges. These are set by ASTM standards that all tube must meet. There is even a standard for PEX tube... and yes I have seen tube within spec that slid easily in CFin.

Anyway, I regress. My point is that all fitting must be able to work on the minimum and the max OD and ID of the copper. With solder we fill in the joing so the solder fitting people have it relatively easy. The Oring people have their work cut out for them... but I have never seen a leaking Nibco or Sharkbite fitting.... but I am sure it will be coming :-)



  • S DavisS Davis Member Posts: 491
    Press Fittings

    Anyone ever see press fittings that looked like this?

    S Davis
  • J.C.A.J.C.A. Member Posts: 2,981
    Yep !

    Usually they are in systems containing glycol for some strange reason.

    We recently had a leaker in a tee. Scott and I went to the Viega open house and brought the sample with us. Our new rep. had it cut-away and they found it was a "piece of foriegn debris" on the O-ring. (I'm always telling the guys to leave the fittings in the darn bags until they're needed!)

    With so many fittings showing the same small leaks, I wonder if it's time for the press tool to be serviced ? I know that the yellow light is supposed to light up and warn you, but the tolerances are pretty specific and maybe it got dropped a few too many times. Send these photos to your local Viega rep. and see what they say. Chris
  • WeezboWeezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    so....Pro press 301...

    thank the man upstairs i didnt take That course...201 on the 4" was sufficent for me.
  • S DavisS Davis Member Posts: 491

    The whole system is showing leaks like this and we are being told it is normal, when this system was installed the tool was only two months old.

    S Davis

  • WeezboWeezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    makes you feel like having their body parts nailed to

    the mantel piece..

    thank you for sharing this minor technicality. its the small details or variables that are only recognised by experience....i am not digging at you i too have already had all the experience i care to with the pro press.

    4" L is like 1000$ a stick BTW
  • S DavisS Davis Member Posts: 491

    Yep I am getting there I have some very unhappy customers, I thought they had a 50 year warrenty against leakage and now to hear that leakage is normal.

    S Davis

  • terryterry Member Posts: 92

    I need to check out my old jobs for leaks!
  • S DavisS Davis Member Posts: 491

    These systems have Glycol so as long as you don't you should be ok.

    S Davis

  • singhsingh Member Posts: 866

    Same happens with sweat joints and screw pipe with glycol.
    But it does make one wonder,and worry.

    Does any one know where I can service my Rems Akku-press tool. No fancy
    lights to tell me when.

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  • mtfallsmikeymtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    Is there some kind of reaction with the glycol

    and the O rings in the fitting? My tenants have extensive glycol piping to their equipment, and are planning to add more soon, probably using Pro-Press. Don't need the grief of leaks in my buildings!
  • BobBob Member Posts: 28

    Probably need to replace the Buna-N o-rings with Viton when used with the glycol. There are several types of flouroelastomers (Viton) to choose from. All exhibit a substantial range of temp uses (below zero to over 390+ degrees) and high resistance to petroleum products and solvents.

  • Jeff MatsonJeff Matson Member Posts: 12
    Viega ProPress sealing elements & glycol

    The standard sealing element in ProPress fittings is EPDM. This is perfectly suitable for water and glycol solutions (up to 100% glycol), up to a 200 psi working pressure at 250 deg F. Viega ProPress systems do carry a 50 year warranty, and the company will stand behind that. Viega has been around for over 100 years and we got there with quality products and support, and these values are still in place today. This is not a common scenario, and if further resolution is necessary you should pursue it with our quality assurance department. It is evident from the photos that something is not right with this installation, and I suggest that you touch base with your Viega Regional Manager. Hopefully this information clarifies any concerns you may have.

    Jeff Matson, Senior Product Development Engineer, Viega North America
  • S DavisS Davis Member Posts: 491
    Warrenty Claim


    I have a warrenty claim that was denied, I was sent a responce saying this is normal with glycol systems and will happen with soldered fittings as well, I have been installing systems full time since 1993 and none of my soldered systems with glycol look like this, once in a while you will have a threaded fitting leak or a valve but not 30 to 40 fittings, If you want I can scan in the denied warrenty claim and the responce letter.
    Here is the letter I recieved from you guy's.

    S Davis

  • HaroldHarold Member Posts: 120

    I am the Apex customer that made the complaint about glycol seeping out of the pipes. Stacey made what I consider to be a showcase installation. He really is good at this. I was seriously thinking of cleaning. polishing, and protecting the copper when I get moved in and have time to fool with it. I expect the tour groups (the male parts anyway) to really like the utility room. The leaking goes a long way toward ruining the professional look of the system.

    Silly me, but I have always believed that pipes must contain the liquids inside of them. All of these liquids; not just most of them. If I see some part of a piping system that does not do this; I fix it. Nothing else is acceptable.

    As I recollect, my conversation with the manufacturer's rep that called after looking at the system went something like this.

    Rep: The seepage you see is normal. It happens because of the expansion and contraction when the system heats and cools. Glyco makes it worse because you can see the residue. Water evaporates.

    Me: Then you should warn users not to use your system with glycol.

    Rep: We actually recommend it for glycol.

    Me: That would be false advertising.

    Rep: Not happy and we finished the call.

    This really, really annoys me. I have used other phrases in private.

    I called the plumbers who are finishing my rather complicated internal water system. They had proposed Viega components, and I told them not to use any Viaga components. Solder only. The person at the plumbing company expressed concern because they had many Viega parts in stock and were using them in systems.

    Somehow thoughts of polybutyline (sp) connectors keeps wandering about the fringes of my mind.

    This performance is simply not right.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,366

    This is not the news I wanted to here. So far the leaks we have had have been because of scratches in the tubing (dragging it across the floor), leaks where the manufacturers name is embossed in the tubing or defective tubing ( we had some tubing made in great britian that caused us problems) now this.

  • SVDWSVDW Member Posts: 79

    In view of this paragraph from the warranty letter:
    "This very small amount of Glycol and water mixture along with the ProPress’s silicone lubricated that is used on our
    sealing element can be forced out between the sealing element and the copper tubing by expansion and contraction
    of the copper tubing. This can result in signs of green residue left behind when the Glycol evaporates." Would it hold true you would see this residue on non-glycol heating systems as well? The lubricant w/glycol is still present. Has anyone seen this on non-glycol systems? Not trying to rile things up but this will be the first question from our contractors if they have a problem.
  • PlumdogPlumdog Member Posts: 873
    sure about that?

    A perfect sweat joint won't show signs of Glycol leakage; but a perfect joint is not that easy to achieve. If there is a leak so small as to be undetectable with air pressure, soap bubbles, even hydrostatic with water; it will soon show up with glycol. You can look at a ten year old system of sweated copper joints and see which joints have molecular-level leaks and which ones were perfect (or nearly so). Threaded joints are tough too; but it CAN be done! The pipes could hold 100 lbs air pressure for a week, but after a year at 12lbs of glycol-green fuzz.
  • S DavisS Davis Member Posts: 491


    You still there? We could use some more input on this issue, as you can see I have tried to deal with my local rep and have not gotten anywhere, I have had problems with 1" MIP adapters as well with alot of call backs for leaks and was working with my rep to get help with some of my lost labor, but have found out that the claims for these other jobs have been put on hold because of the issues with the glycol, these other jobs have nothing to do with glycol, so it seems to me Viega does not stand behind it's product, I asked my rep if you(Viega)are going to put out a warning to heating contractors about the problem with glycol leaking and was told no,"We will continue to recommend Propress for glycol systems" wich upsets me a little as I would not want other heating contractors to be in the same spot I am in with my customers.

    Stacey Davis
  • Jeff MatsonJeff Matson Member Posts: 12

    Still here, just really busy with the office move so I don't read here every day (wish I could!). We are working to figure out the glycol issue. Rest assured that it is not sealing elements being attacked by the fluid, and should not happen in non-glycol systems. I have some ideas but we need to do more testing before saying anything.

  • FloydFloyd Member Posts: 429
    Quite baffled by this....

    I have had nothing but amazing results from my propress... I have a couple of jobs that have glycol and haven't seen the problem occur except for the time when the fitting was rotated after it was crimped.... we recrimped it and it seemed tight but, I have noticed the residue at the joint. I will be going up on that roof next week, and I will definetly check it out. This job is actually a chilled water cooling system for a Liebert computer room A/C. Talk about temp change... these pipes get the hot sun in the summer and the -20 or so with wind in the winter... I'll try to remember to take pics... just want to prove that a good glycol job can be had with this tool.
    Got another 100+ gals of antifreeze waiting at a veal barn to go in a propress job next week, I will be watching that some black iron mixed in there... wanna bet which one has green at the joint first????

  • JerryJerry Member Posts: 379

    Disturbing to be sure. I love my pro-press, but I do find that since it always works so perfectly, I get a little lazy when the heat is on. Since the brain trust is weighing in, how do they feel about wiping the o-ring inside with some teflon paste. When I'm tying on to anything questionable I do it as a belt and suspenders move. I don't think it qualifies as a lubricant, which is a no-no. I wouldn't use blue glue or rectum seal, but I think this is the right stuff. Had great success, never a leak, and I think a little squishy, slippery stuff goes a long way.
  • JerryJerry Member Posts: 379

    PS I took the time to look at your great pics, and not one piece of pipe showed any signs of having been cleaned in any way. Some are showing longitudinal lines. I'm having to pay more attention to this kind of stuff now. I think the teflon is a great fix/tool across the board. What say ye, Viega?
  • FloydFloyd Member Posts: 429
    you know...

    I think you may have something.... never thought of not cleaning the pipe, guess it was always SOP for me so I have always done it with the PP without giving it a thought. Could be why some leak???? I usually use my 122 machine and it takes what 2 seconds to spin the pipe on the brush.....after hiting the reamer.

  • ALHALH Member Posts: 1,790

    I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "leak" is. Personally any signs of what is inside the pipe showing up on the outside of the pipe qualifies as a leak in my opinion. If a leak doesn't drip is it still a leak?

  • lundlund Member Posts: 25

    You are not alone. The MIP adapters are sloppy. Tape the piss out of them.
  • S DavisS Davis Member Posts: 491

    I found the denied Warranty Claim see attachment below.

    Edit: Sorry about the size of the attachment :-)

    S Davis
  • ALHALH Member Posts: 1,790

    It's good to know that you wouldn't know it was leaking if there wasn't green residue. I had no idea seepage was ok. I can't think of many customers who would be happy with that. Are you thinking of going back to soldered joints?

  • Dan FoleyDan Foley Member Posts: 1,046

    We stopped using the MIP fittings whenever possible. We had problems with all sizes but especially the 1". They would bottom out when tightening into the fitting and still be loose. We contacted the rep, which at the time was Ridgid, and were told "maybe you don't know how to properly make up a threaded fitting". Nice!!! Oh yeah, they had never heard of the problem and we were the only one having it.

    Every manufacturer has problems and everyone makes mistakes - we make plenty! All we ask is for the manufacturer to own up to their problem equip./materials and offer a viable solution. -DF

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  • S DavisS Davis Member Posts: 491


    With the way Viega has dealt with the problems I have had I think I will be returning or using up the stock of fittings I currently have on hand, on non-glycol jobs of course and going back to soldered joints.

    S Davis
  • subcoolersubcooler Member Posts: 140
    That's the way to go.

    I spent a couple days in the field last week running some 2", 2 1/2" and 3" copper. I think the young guns were impressed that I could still sweat it together as fast as they could cut and fit it. But I am always humbled that at the end of a day and about 100 sweat joints later to have not a leaker in site.
    Mechanical fittings not here.
  • S EbelsS Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    One word solution to threaded leaks


    It works! Everytime!
  • Dan FoleyDan Foley Member Posts: 1,046

    I agree, Steve. We have used hemp (my Bosnian guys call it "Kuchina") to resolve these issues. My point is that the tolerances of the fittings should not be so loose that teflon and dope should not work. -DF

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  • John VJohn V Member Posts: 14
    leaks question

    Wouldn't water leave a mineral residue?
  • KenKen Member Posts: 1,320
    Totally agree!

    Playing games with what is a leak and what isn't is the semantics game at its worst.

    We thought long and hard about switching from soldering vs. pressing. The time savings is substantial enough to warrnt very close evaluation. The costs of the fittings and virtual lack of reducing fittings like a 2x1x1 tee, is disconcerting at best. The fittings, since copper has gone "wild," price-wise has been added incentive for manufacturer and wholesale price gouging, the likes of which were never seen before. Copper goes up 3X. press fittings go up 4X.

    I'm glad we have only a few jobs from a borrowed tool and minimal fittings installed. Both of which BTW, show no leaks...

  • Old School Plumbing

    Remember the thread a short while back from a young plumber who was suprised the old timer on the job didn't want to try anything new? It is because of problems like this. Unless a product is proven over time, problems are bound to pop up. Just wait a few years until the o-rings get old and cracked. In the past 30 years we have seen many new products and piping materials, and every one was going to be the best. Very few new products have been around for very long. I still use lead and oakum when using cast iorn, only black pipe on gas and steam boilers, and only copper on water pipe. I may go to pex for water pipe soon, because copper now cost so much more than pex, but I will only switch after years of thinking about it, and talking to other guys that are using it, I have been stung too many times. A phrase from one of Dan's books stuck with me, an old plumber says " I don't mind trying anything new, as long as my father and grandfather tried it before me."

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  • KenKen Member Posts: 1,320

    Of some note, hemp is not a pipe sealant. It works like the cork in a wine barrel, almost.

    The hemp swells up, and slows a leak to "minimal." The minimal leak however allows the threads to be in contact with the atmosphere, thereby allowing rust to form along the entire thread.

    Want proof? Try and take apart a year-old nip and fitting doped with hemp, or hemp and paste pipe-dope (the alleged "solution" to the eternal weaping of just plain hemp alone; which, by the way, doesn't work either). The threads are totally corroded from the corrosive nature of the hemp's wicking capabilities, coupled with the O2 that gets into the hemped threads, and eats the steel pipe and fitting alike - rendering the joint as the potentail leak-city.

    If the fitting happens to be the c.i. boiler block, the use of hemp on threads is a potential death knell, IMHO.
  • KenKen Member Posts: 1,320
    Bob's right!

    Which makes me post my newest version of my caveat once again:

    "Great marketing will overcome inferior products every time; and in a ratio of roughly 2:1"

    Am I being overly repetitive? (;-o)
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,366

    I thought they have been using this for years in Europe. Don't they have glycol over there????????????

  • ALHALH Member Posts: 1,790
    new and unimproved

    I never understood how you could press the fitting and pipe into a hexagon and expect a circular o-ring to seal. A lot of pipe is less than perfectly circular as well. Glycol is incredibly difficult to keep from leaking past any joint. But then I have never used a press fitting. And to be fair, I have been very impressed by the aging of EPDM.

    Another product that seems destined for this type of failure are the manifolds with every type of valve, fitting, air vent, ball valve, and anything else they can think of to put on them with an o-ring fitting. I see no reason to add those clear plastic flow meters to every loop just for fun. Most of those add-ons appear to have excellent leak potential.

    Foil under-slab insulation is a "shining" example of marketing overcoming an inferior product.

    I still wonder about aluminum boilers, particularly in systems with a lot of copper pipe. In addition to being susceptible to galvanic corrosion, they are pH sensitive. "Sensitive" is a bad word for any component of a heating system, because as we all know maintenance is generally performed after the failure.

    Having been closely involved with extruded plates, I can say that a lot of the output charts provided by manufacturers and proponents of other methods, (ie. staple-up, sheet metal "plates", suspended tube, etc) are exaggerated. It surprises me that they are willing to stick their necks out like that. I guess if a particular installation was inadequate they could always blame the contractor? That seems wrong to me. It made it difficult to market a product that was backed by somewhat conservative published output values, and was in general more expensive.

    For this to stop, it will obviously take critical thinking by the contractor installing the product, balanced with a mind open enough to embrace new technology. That really does ask a lot of contractors who have a lot more to worry about than whether the new product offered by their distributor will live up to the manufacturer's claims. As an engineer, It bothers me that the marketing department apparently trumps the engineering department, if in fact any engineering was involved.

  • KenKen Member Posts: 1,320
    Something we seem to forget - all the time!

    Unfortunately, when we refer to europe, we really mean Germany, and Germany only; and only regions of Germany at that!

    In reality, very few in europe have used or even want to use what the Germans lay claim as somehow being "superior." In my travels to europe, I never see half the stuff the euro-lovers, who post here, claim is euro. It may be German, but hardly euro.

    The crap heating systems I have seen in the areas I have been in europe, including rural Germany, look like the U.S. As Dan once stated himself, the main reason German stuff is new and modern is more from the allies razing the buildings to the ground and them having to rebuild everything, and the financial where-with-all of doing so, not occuring until the early 60's, than some superior engineering talent.

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Cold homes is one of those "necessities." The motivation was NOT to be superior. The motivation was to get out of the cold. Unlike us Yanks, they had no choice. We still have 40 year old steam boilers working like clocks. When those steamers were installed, Germany was bankrupt and was split into two separate nations. Necessity was the creative force, not an M.E. degree from U of Berlin...

    The fact that Germany has no oil reserves also forces the government to invoke extremely restrictive energy standards. Which by the way, are allowed to be (actually encouraged) to be promulgated by the manufacturer's; like Viessmann! Talk about the fox watching the chicken coup!

    Of course, the manufacturer's stumble over each other trying to out "tech" each other and forcing absurd energy legislation which only their "superior" equipment can meet. It is like nothing we have here in north america, thankfully.

    In come the marketing wizards, and the rest is what we see now. We are so naieve.
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