Q&E Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need special training to install Uponor Q&E?
Q&E is extremely easy to install, but we always recommend that all installers undertake the free, on-site certificated training offered by Uponor
Q. Do I need special tooling to install Q&E?
As Q&E uses a ‘shrink-fit’ type connection, an expander tool is needed to make the joints. These tools are usually a battery powered tool, but there is also a hand operated tool available for smaller sized pipes.
Q. Can I use Q&E for a continuously operated re-circulating system?
YES. As Q&E is manufactured to EN ISO 15875 it is permitted to be used for return pipework of a recirculating system.
Q. Will the Q&E be affected if I bury the pipe in a screed?
Although a standard screed material will have no effect on Q&E pipe and plastic fittings, any metal Q&E fittings should be protected from coming into contact with the screed material.
Building regulations require any pipes laid for domestic services are able to be withdrawn from a screed in case of a product failure. For this reason, Q&E pipe-in-conduit may need to be used to lay a pipe in the screed.
Q. Can I use Q&E as a discharge pipe from a boiler or cylinder safety valve?
NO. Discharge pipework should be capable of temperatures that exceed the maximum working temperature of the Q&E system. For this reason we recommend that an all metal system is used for these types of safety discharge outlets.
Q. Does Q&E require insulating?
YES. Q&E should be insulated in exactly the same way and to the same thickness of insulation as a copper system. All insulation should comply to the relevant national standards to prevent heat loss or transfer of heat.
Q. Why does Q&E have different colour rings for each joint?
The coloured Evolution rings are used to identify different types of service for each pipe. For example Blue = domestic cold water, Red = domestic hot water, White = heating water. Using a different colour ring on each type of water pipe, will allow easy identification of pipes once the system has been completed
Q. What is the maximum working pressure for Q&E when being used for COLD water installations?
The maximum cold water pressure we allow for Q&E is 12 bar at temperatures up to 20 ºC
Q. What is the maximum working pressure for Q&E when being used for HOT water installations?
The maximum hot water pressure we allow for Q&E is 6 bar at any temperature above 20 ºC
Q. What is the lowest temperature water Q&E can carry?
With the addition of a suitable Ethylene Glycol based antifreeze mixed with the water in the pipe, Q&E can carry water at temperatures as low as -20°C
Q. Do I need to use a special type of sealant on the Q&E threaded fittings?
NO. However, we only allow the use of a traditional flat type of PTFE sealing tape. Details of the correct methods of installation should be sought from Uponor
Q. Can Q&E be used for a solar thermal type installation?
There are two parts to a solar thermal installation, the primary side (which circulates water around the solar panels) and the secondary side. As the water in the primary side can reach temperatures above the maximum operating temperature of Q&E, we do not allow Q&E to be used on the primary side of the installation. However, once the heat has been passed though a cylinder to the water in the secondary side of the system, Q&E is suitable provided all the necessary thermostatic controls are used on both the primary and secondary sides of the installation, and the working temperature does not exceed the maximum operating temperature specified by Uponor
Q. Can I use Q&E to carry oil?
NO. Prolonged exposure to fuel oils can damage the Q&E system
Q. Can I use Q&E to convey gas?
NO. The Q&E system is NOT designed or certificated for gas
Q. Can I use Q&E for compressed air systems?
NO. Q&E it is not recommended for this.
Q. Can direct sunlight or UV light damage Q&E?
YES. As with virtually all plastics, sunlight and UV light will degrade the material if they remain exposed for prolonged periods. Exposed pipework should always be protected from direct sunlight or UV
Q. Can I bury Q&E underground?
No. Without protection, the Q&E pipe could be damaged or crushed. Uponor supply a special range of pipes called Ecoflex that are designed for underground use. We recommend the use of Ecoflex systems for all applications where the pipe is to be buried in the ground
Q. Can I place Q&E pipe into plaster gypsum structures?
YES. This will have no detrimental effect on the pipe.
Q. Can I use Q&E piping outside, i.e. under decking?
This is not really recommended. Without adequate protection the pipe would be susceptible to accidental damage, rodent attack, frost, sunlight, etc.
Q. Can I apply silicone sealant onto Q&E pipe?
NO. Most sealants have an active ingredient which keeps the sealant from solidifying or curing. Some of these chemicals may cause damage to the pipe material
Q. Can I use Q&E on a condensate drain from a condensing boiler?
Q. Can I run de-ionised water through Q&E pipe?
YES. it is perfectly safe to use Q&E for this application.
Q. Can I use Q&E in hard water areas?
YES. The smooth bore of Q&E prohibits the build up of limescale inside the pipe.
Q. Can I use Q&E in soft water areas?
DEFRA and the Water Authorities set standards for the maximum acidity of water. Using Uponor Q&E to connect to a water supply from one of the recognised licenced Water Authorities will have no detrimental effect on the system.
However, care should be taken when connecting to a private supply water source as these supplies can be outside of the Government controlled water quality conditions and may cause damage to the Q&E system.
Q. Can I use any lubricant on Q&E fittings?
NO. Q&E fittings do not need to be lubricated. Some lubricants can damage the Q&E system, will invalidate the guarantee and may contravene WRAS approvals
Q. Does Q&E form condensation like copper pipe?
Condensation may build up on the surface of the pipe, but significantly less than a copper or stainless steel system.
Q. Can Q&E pipe be used for Underfloor Heating?
YES. We would suggest that you contact Uponor to discuss this type of application.
Q. Can Q&E pipe & fittings be used on a power shower?
YES. Q&E is absolutely fine for this type of application.
Q. Is Q&E suitable for use on a solid fuel heat sources such as wood burning boilers or biomass heat sources?
NO. Heat sources such as this are notoriously difficult to limit a maximum temperature. For this reason, these heat sources could provide excessive heat which could cause damage to a Q&E system.
Q. Can I use an inhibitor in my Q&E system?
YES. A Q&E system will not corrode and does not specifically require an inhibitor in it’s system. However, other metal parts of a heating system will need the help of an inhibitor to prevent corrosion and damage. Fernox F1 and Sentinal X100 products will not damage Q&E as long as they are used correctly.
Q. Does chlorine have an adverse effect on Q&E pipe?
Anti-bacterial treatment of water with a chlorine based chemical is common in modern buildings. Water containing Chlorine at levels which are safe for human consumption will not affect the Q&E system. However, any chemicals added to a system must only be done by a qualified professional that follows all the correct safety procedures and should be competent with both the chemicals being used and the system they are treating.
Q. Can I install an Electronic Limescale Remover on Q&E pipework?
YES. Electronic or magnetic equipment to reduce the build-up of limescale elsewhere in the system will not affect a Q&E system.
Q. How far away should I position Q&E pipe from downlighting?
Fire regulations state this must be positioned a minimum of 150mm from the downlighting fitting. The pipe should also be protected from strong light emitting from the downlighting.
Q. Can I use expanding foam to seal around Q&E?
NO. Chemicals in the foam, in particular before it cures, can damage the Q&E pipe. We recommend providing a sleeve around the pipe to which the foam can be applied without affecting the pipe inside.
Q. My system requires a high flow rate. How will this affect Q&E?
The design of the Q&E system and the materials used are not affected by high volume flow rates, and will not suffer from either corrosion erosion or unacceptable water noises that will affect metal pipe systems.
Q. Can I use Denso tape on Q&E pipe?
NO. Denso tape should not be allowed to come into contact with Q&E.
Q. How do I connect to a radiator TRV?
Most threads on a TRV are ½” BSP type. In this case, you can use a compression adapter to connect the Q&E pipe straight to the TRV valve. Part numbers 1085247, 1058934 or 1058935 depending on the pipe size being used.
Q. Are there any other ways to connect to a radiator from Q&E?
There are several other ways to connect to a radiator from Q&E, such as radiator connection elbows. We recommend that you discuss options with our Technical Team
Q. Can I put Q&E through a hole in a wall?
YES. Wherever there is a potential for damage due to expansion or movement, we recommend that the Q&E is protected when going through the wall by using a protective sleeve.
Q. Can I plaster over Q&E piping in a wall?
YES. Standard plaster will not have any effect on the pipe material, although we recommend the pipes are buried deep enough not to crack the plaster surface if the pipes expand and move.
Q. How do I connect Q&E to an incoming blue MDPE service pipe?
Ideally the external MDPE pipe should terminate at an isolation valve inside the building and the Q&E can then be connected to the other side of the valve with either a Q&E compression adapter fitting, or a male/female threaded adapter.
Q. Can I use Q&E as a discharge from a macerator (e.g. Saniflo)?
NO. This is not recommended.
Q. What happens if I kink Q&E pipe?
Whilst this should be avoided, there may be no need to discard the pipe. Q&E pipes are extremely robust and a kink in the pipe may have virtually no effect on the capability of the pipe. If in doubt, seek advice from Uponor.
Q. Is it possible to trace heat Q&E pipe?
The Uponor Q&E pipe is suitable for use with trace heating systems, as long as the following conditions are followed.
The maximum permissible operating temperature for the trace heating must not exceed 55°C. Thermostatic control, independent to control provided by self limiting heating elements, must be used to ensure that temperatures are never able to exceed the maximum permissible temperature of 55°C.
Fixing of the trace heating system should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for connections to PE-Xa systems. Certain adhesives may contain products that could be damaging to PE-Xa materials. Connection to the Uponor Q&E pipe must have no detrimental effect on the materials and connections within the Q&E system. A written guarantee must be sought from the manufacturer regarding it’s suitability for use on Q&E PE-Xa systems.
Supplementary heating can cause an increase in pressure localised to the area being treated by the trace heating tape. Care must be taken not to exceed the maximum designed operating pressure of the Q&E system. If there is potential for pressure to exceed the maximum operating pressure, safety equipment such as expansion vessels and pressure release valves should be added the system.
Q. How can I trace the pies within a stud wall or under a wooden floor?
Regulations state that pipes should be traceable when placed within a wall or under a floor void. To do this, we recommend that a metal foil tape is applied to the outside of the insulation covering the pipe. Adhesive tape must never be applied directly on to Q&E pipes.
Q. To make an alteration to my system whilst it is still filled, can I freeze Q&E pipe?
YES. Care must be taken when freezing any pipes and should only be done by an experienced engineer. We advise that, using an appropriate tool, you gently squeeze the pipe before freezing and then freeze on the pressure side of the clamp. This will ensure that when the ice plug has been formed it is not able to be forced out of the tube once the pipe is cut.
Q. Can I use a pipe clamp tool to stop water if I have to cut a pipe whilst it is still filled with water?
YES. An appropriate specialist pipe clamp tool can be used to close of a Q&E pipe so that a system can be worked on whilst the pipe is still filled with water. Please seek advice from Uponor as to the correct type of tool to use which will not cause damage to the pipe.
Q. How do I pressure test my system once I have installed it?
Pressure testing must only be carried out by a competent trained engineer. Details of Uponor’s latest suggested testing procedure should be sought from Uponor’s Technical Team.
Q. Is there a transition connection to join Q&E to other materials?
Yes. Uponor supply connections to connect to soldered copper, copper compression fittings, MLC and MLC Riser systems. BSP threaded adapters can be used to connect to all other types of pipe system.
Q. Can I pressure Q&E using air?
YES. However, because air is a compressible medium and can be dangerous if not done properly, any testing using air must only be done by a competent trained engineer. Testing using air must be done at very low pressures and over a much longer time period than testing with water. Details of Uponor’s latest suggested testing procedure should be sought from Uponor’s Technical Team.
Q. Is it possible to blank off a Q&E pipe to allow testing of the system?
Uponor can supply a ‘stop-end’ to close of 16mm pipe ends. For larger pipe sizes, we recommend a suitable specialist pipe clamp tool.
Q. How do I control the thermal expansion of the Q&E pipe?
As a guideline, Q&E will expand roughly 10 times the amount as an equivalent copper pipe. However, controlling this expansion is often much easier than with copper as the pipe does not exert any where near the same forces as a metal pipe system. Please seek advice from Uponor’s Technical Team for expansion control methods.
Q. Is there a minimum radius which Q&E pipe can be bent?
YES. There are minimum cold bending radii for each size of pipe. Please refer to Uponor for the correct suggested radius. In addition, Uponor can supply bend supports for Q&E pipes up to 32mm. These supports allow for an even tighter radius as they evenly spread the force applied to the tube whilst bending ensuring that the pipe does not ‘kink’
If you have any other questions other than the above, please contact our Uponor Technical Team on 01923 927015