“Press products” is the general term for valves and fittings assembled by press-fitting copper pipe into a sleeve. The sleeve has an indented ring or bead midway, and copper tube is pushed in against this from both ends. At each end of the sleeve, an 'O' ring made from EPDM is held in place where the metal wraps inward.
Once the joint is assembled, a special hand tool compresses the sleeve radially between the end and midpoint. The tube inside is compressed too, creating a mechanical lock that resists pull-out, while the 'O' ring prevents leaks.
Quality press products are designed with a “leak before press” methodology. That means overlooked or poor quality joints show up right away, not hours or days later.
Press fit products will handle up to 200 psi and temperatures as high as 250°F. That makes them ideal for commercial and residential potable water installations.
Eliminating the need to sweat the joint has many benefits:
- Safer -- no torch means no risk of burns.
- No fumes.
- No need for hot work permits and inspections.
- No danger of damaging paintwork or wallpaper.
- No messy prep or clean-up.
Rapid leak test
When done correctly, the compressed sleeve region is visible immediately. A quick look is all that's needed before turning on the supply. And should there be a problem, “leak before press” means these joints leak immediately, highlighting where attention is needed.
Using press fittings saves time. There is less preparation, no clean-up, and the joint goes together much more quickly. Plus, “leak before press” eliminates expensive return visits and the risk of water damage. It's a more efficient way of working that lowers costs and increases profits.