Pushing the boundaries


Pushing the boundaries

Bill Barlow, UK Business Unit Director for Conex Bänninger, discusses the cost, time saving and safety benefits of using push-fit technologies. 

Time is money. This well-known phrase rings true in any industry. That being said, within the plumbing industry it is especially poignant. The amount of time it takes to complete a job can be key to whether it can be considered profitable, not to mention avoiding costly callbacks. Push-fit technology has been designed to optimise time efficiency, and to ensure that installers can use their time across jobs more effectively.

We have seen the rise in popularity of push-fitting for pipe work since it was introduced in the 1980s. Like any new technology, it takes time for the market to trust it.  Of course, soldering and brazing still plays an important role with installers and plumber’s especially when working on bigger jobs. However, it is important that push-fit products are not dismissed when they bring such opportunities and benefits to installers. It is up to us, as manufacturers, to inform the plumbing industry on the advantages of push-fit technology, and its ability to deliver higher profit potential.  

As highlighted, a key benefit of push-fit is its time saving qualities, giving the installer further opportunity to complete more jobs in the day. There are a host of other advantages too, such as health and safety, minimising licensing issues, universal fitting, reducing inventory costs, sidestepping logistical constraints and the fact that push-fit products can be easily de-mounted.

Firstly, the time saving benefits of push-fit technologies are one of the most popular aspects amongst installers. As we know, braze fittings can take some time to install, with the process involving finding an appropriate vantage point and setting up the soldering iron and blowtorch before the work can even begin.

With push-fit, the process is quick and simple (as illustrated in the step-by-step guide below). Push-fit fittings are even quicker than press, and press is three times faster to complete than braze. Once cutting, measuring and deburring of the pipes has been undertaken, the actual jointing takes just seconds to finish when using a push-fit fitting.

Another key benefit of push-fit, is that the fitting can be easily de-mounted if there has been an error in installation or removal is required; which isn’t the case for press fitting or where traditional methods are concerned. Importantly, if removal is required, there is no need for additional materials or new pipework, the installer needs only remove the existing fitting and replace with a new one. Once the new fitting has been pushed the job is complete.

It’s important to also be aware that ease of installation doesn’t stop the need for post installation safety testing. Installers are advised to rigorously test all joints after completion, making sure they are secure, fully functional and will not leak. By taking the time to test the joint, installers will greatly reduce the risk of callbacks and incurring unnecessary additional costs.

The time-saving and de-mounting possibilities of push-fit are clearly attractive benefits to installers, but the health and safety and practical benefits do often play a key part in the decision making process. As push-fit is a cold solution, installers are not required to have a hot works license or pay for additional work insurances, which may be required where braze and solder fittings are concerned.

Being a flame-free solution also means that push-fit fittings can be applied in any environment, regardless of how tight the working space might be. Such issues may be especially pertinent when working in close proximity to electrical wiring, for example. A brazed method in these conditions may simply not be feasible.   

Push-fit fittings are ideal for use in tight spaces which is part of their appeal. Where space is limited there may potentially be a risk that a joint may not be secure if an installer is unable to pass the blowtorch all the way round the fitting. This could considerably affect the quality of the joint if a traditional method is employed in these circumstances.

In addition to the many benefits of push-fit solutions, it is important to consider the benefits of investing in the best possible fittings on the market. Copper and brass solutions, such as Conex Bänninger’s Push-fit range, are desirable as their strength and durability cannot perhaps always be matched by plastic and they are suitable in all climactic conditions; the use of copper guards against the risk of seasonal cracking, for example.

Push-fit solutions hosting a universal fitting design is also often considered important as it means they can be used in conjunction with a wide array of materials, including copper, PB, PE-X, MLP, stainless and carbon steel. This offers installers the flexibility to connect multiple pipes, whereas purely plastic push-fit solutions cannot achieve this.

If you’re looking at reducing job time, improving job consistency and increasing profit potential, the opportunity to challenge your business boundaries has never been more readily available, with push-fit technology at the core.


1: Firstly ensure the tube and fitting are the appropriate size and undamaged. Using a suitable tube cutter, cut the tube end ensuring it retains it shape.

2: The tube must be deburred. Using the appropriate tool to smooth the tubing both inside and out.

3: Measure and mark the correct insertion depths. This will vary depending on the size of the tube.

4: Take the tube and push it firmly into the fitting socket with a slight twisting action until it reaches the tube stop. Pull the tube to make sure the grip ring is engaged. To ensure the tube is correctly installed, check that the insertion mark is within 1mm of the end of the plastic release collar and test that it is water-tight.  

To find out more about Conex Bänninger’s push-fit technology, find us on twitter at @ConexBanninger or visit www.conexbanninger.com