PIPE FITTINGS

There are now a wide variety of pipe fittings on the market, the most common of which are summed up in the following table:


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Fitting Type

Average Cost
22mm Elbow

Tools
Required

Average
Time
per joint 

Is joint
Re-makable

Copper
End-Feed
Solder

0.35

Solder & Flux
Blow Torch
Cleaning Cloth

60 sec.

No

The cheapest type of fitting with the largest range of available shapes & sizes.

Copper
with Solder

0.70

Flux
Blow Torch
Cleaning Cloth

50 sec.

No

The same as copper end-feed with the addition of a set amount of Solder provided within the joint. Helps ensure that excess solder is not used.

Brass
Compression
Nut & Olive
1.30 Spanner
& Sealing
Compound
30 sec. Yes
new olive
may be required

Allows joints to be easily taken apart and re-tightened. A jointing compound such as PTFE tape should be used to ensure a reliable seal. Fittings are available in standard brass, or de-zincified DZR brass for an extra cost.

Plastic
Push-Fit
Grab-Ring
& O-Ring

1.90 None 10 sec. Yes

Very quick making of highly reliable joints.  Pipes may also be rotated once made without affecting the seal.  A proprietry tool is not usually required to break the joint, and joints are completely re-makable. The use of plastic has resulted in a much larger range of fittings than for brass push-fit, however the plastic fittings are weaker than the brass.  Plastic also provides some degree of resistance to heat transfer and electrical conduction along pipework.

Brass
Push-Fit
Grab-Ring
& O-Ring

2.20 None 10 sec. Yes
special tool
may be required

Very quick making of highly reliable joints.  Pipes may also be rotated once made without affecting the seal.  A proprietry tool may be required to break the joint, however joints are completely re-makable.  Fittings are far stronger than plastic push-fit.  Typically available in DZR brass.

Average costs are based on prices from a number of common building merchants.

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Usually, it is the cost of the fittings that drives the installers choice, with soldered fittings being by far the most commonly used.  

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