Uponor UK research with Installers
Over the last few years there has been wide spread condemnation of "single use" plastics, which are discarded irresponsibly and thus cause damage to the environment and ecosystem.
At Uponor, we stand apart from this by supplying the Q&E Shrink-Fit Plastic Plumbing System, which boasts a long service life (as you will see below) and is in fact just as eco friendly as other appliances within a standard home. When compared to alternative solutions such as copper, the Q&E Shrink-Fit system offers a longer service life.
Keen to understand whether this is widely understood in the marketplace, Uponor UK have devoted time to speak to valued installers to ascertain what their perceptions are of the Q&E Shrink-Fit plastic plumbing system. The feedback provided some valuable insights and gave Uponor the idea to produce an article which debunks some common myths around plastic plumbing systems and highlights the key facts.
Myth 1- “Plastic plumbing methods are weak”
Q&E Shrink-fit connections use a PPSU fitting (Polyphenylsulfone) a lightweight, high-strength material that was engineered for the extremely demanding aerospace and medical industries.
This highly tried and tested durable material uses a simple mechanical Shrink-fit bond to join the pipe and fitting, making a high strength permanent connection. Tests have shown that even on the smaller sized connections the system can withstand combined pulling forces of up to 1,300Kg
Myth 2-“ The Q&E Shrink-Fit System contains O-rings”
The Q&E Shrink-Fit System does not contain any O-rings. Instead, with Q&E Shrink-fit, the watertight seal is made on the inside bore of the pipe, using the memory effect of the pipe and support ring. Unlike some push-fit systems, the connection is completely permanent and can be reviewed after installation to see that it has been made correctly. Fit it, forget it.
We often hear from customers who have utilised other systems that leaks have occurred after an installation. This is certainly not the case with Uponor Q&E Shrink-Fit and we have evidence from a wide range of installers that proves this claim. Kings of Heating owner, Billy, is one such example:
Q&E is a quality product that I have faith in from a manufacturer with a great pedigree. The compatibility with secondary return hot water systems is a major reason as to why I choose this solution. Q&E eliminates the failures from other plastic based systems, such as a dislodged grab ring. Overall, I have peace of mind after a job that the solution will last.
Watch a Q&E Shrink-fit installation video
Lee Woodgate from IGas Ltd provides a demo of how to put together a Q&E Shrink-Fit joint in a few short steps
Myth 3-“Plastic pipe systems cannot be connected to copper pipework”
There are a range of adapters that can be soldered straight on to copper pipe, or we have a range of threaded adapters that can replace the nut and olive and connect the Q&E pipe straight into any compression fitting. We also have connections to adapt from the other Uponor pipe systems such as the MLCP or Riser.
Each of our fittings have been fully tested and as you will see from the clip below, it is really easy to combine copper and PEX pipe within an installation.
Watch a copper to PEX pipe installation clip!
Myth 4- “I will need to replace a plastic pipe system after a few years”
Myth 5- “The Q&E Shrink-Fit System is expensive”
Although the Q&E Shrink-Fit solution appears to be expensive to install, it is in fact cheaper than certain plastic plumbing methods and copper solutions (consider soldering).
If you are considering using this system for the first time, there are a range of promotions which are running across major merchants in the UK, which reward customers for purchasing Q&E Shrink-fit. These include tooling concessions on the M12 Milwaukee gun, which are subject to a minimum spend target. If you believe you are eligible for this promotion, simply submit your contact details below.
Myth 6- “Plastic pipe cannot be used for a hot water recirculating system”
In many circumstances when a copper recirculated system has to be removed, installers turn to Uponor plumbing systems to provide a more durable installation. Plastic based pipes are not susceptible to the phenomenon called ‘Erosion Corrosion’ which often affect copper systems used for a constantly recirculated hot water system.