Copper Plumbing – Viega ProPress vs Soldered

Copper Plumbing - Viega ProPress vs. Soldered

Let’s take a look at the new type of copper pipe fitting system.

Transcript from Video

The build show today we’re, talking, copper, plumbing, i plumb, my entire house with type l, copper, and we used a new type of fitting now. This is a traditional fitting, but this is from the pioneers of the press system.

This is the viega propress system today’s. Video is sponsored by vega and ridgid. Let’s, get going [, Music ], all right guys. I plumbed this entire house in copper and believe it or not. This is my first time in my 25 years of building of doing an all copper plumbing system.

Now, copper’s been the gold standard for years. Really generations of builders have relied on copper. There’s, a lot of benefits to copper over the other plumbing systems out there, but i think the main benefit is that this is a natural material.

It’s mined from the earth and made into piping there’s. No chemicals there’s, no plastics there’s, nothing that could leach into your water and, in fact, copper has some anti-microbial properties as well.

So people swear by copper. The way that we’ve, put copper in our houses over the years has been with these types of fittings. This is a sweat on fitting where the plumber is actually heating, the pipe up and putting a flux in there, which is fusing these two pieces of copper with this flux in the center.

Now this is a little bit tricky and it takes a while, but what we’re going to be talking about today is kind of a new version of fittings and that’s this right here. This is the viega propress system.

Now this system is a system that can be actually manually pressed to fuse the copper without having to use a torch. Now we’re, going to be doing that or we have been doing that on this entire house. Now before we get into the fittings, let me tell you about the copper piping itself.

This is a commodity, pipe lots of different people make it. You’re, going to find it all over the place, but there’s. Three different wall thicknesses, you need to know about there’s, k, l and m, and, as you go down in the alphabet, the wall thickness is thinner.

So k is the king that’s, the thickest, copper and you’re, not typically going to see that in a residential job, usually it’s, going to be l or actually m is probably the most common residential. These days, because copper is a commodity and this pipe itself is valuable and, frankly, more expensive than a lot of other piping systems.

Now we opted to go l in this house that slightly thicker wall means that i’m, going to get a slightly longer service life, but we’re talking about decades, not years right. Even the thinnest copper is going to go.

At least 50 plus years, i think if we’re using l, copper, we might actually get more like 70 plus years out of this. But these fittings made by vega impressed with this rigid tool right here – are actually thicker than m copper.

And if you compare this fitting with a standard, copper fitting, you can really see that difference. Look how thin that looks on that sweat on fitting compared to the viega fitting. Now i’m, not going to get in quite yet into all the intricacies of how this works, but i do want to show you the tool and talk about the press system.

Real quick, so ridgid makes a full line of these tools. This is a compact version, but they make a bigger one as well, and what this is going to do. This tool is actually going to exert several thousands like actually over 5000 pounds of force on this little three-quarter fitting, and you can see they ‘

Ve got fittings for jaws at half inch three quarter, all the way up to inch and a quarter for this little compact tool, but i’ll show you later they make a bigger tool that will press up to four inch, copper.

Now it’s pretty straight forward. I’m, going to turn the tool on the top here and then i’m, going to press the button and watch these jaws. If you, if you kind of zoom in right there, you’re, going to see the action and we’re done check it out it kind of clamps in there.

Now. What’s happened? Was those jaws are like a two lobster claws that are putting 5000 pounds of pressure on here and they’re, actually fusing the copper together now inside the fitting i have a cutaway around here somewhere.

I knew that was going to happen all right. Jobsite accidents happen. Luckily, no one was injured in the filming of this copper vega, pro press video all right. So let’s. Talk about the fittings right here’s.

Another vega fitting this is for a half inch and a couple things that i really like about these look at the sweep on that fitting see how it’s, not a hard 90 compared to the sweat on fitting it’s, got A nice sweep in there we like that, that’s, going to help move that water through the pipe without creating turbulence in the water, which is not good for us.

We want nice smooth flow, so i like that these are sweet fittings and let’s. Actually talk about that press that i just made here’s, a cutaway of one and it’s, going to be a little hard to tell on video.

But when those jaws press it down, they actually press the pipe and the fitting into an octagonal shape and what you’re, going to see in the middle. There is an epdm sealing element now. This is not a gasket right.

This isn’t doing the waterproofing for us on that joint. It’s actually buried in that copper fitting and we’ve, basically fused the copper walls of the fitting to the walls of the pipe on both sides. Of that sealing element, so that sealing element in fact is not in the water flow, and so it’s going to last a long long time and it’s really kind of a backup.

In some respects. This is actually a 600 psi tested 300 psi working. This is serious business right here when we put one of these fittings on, they are not coming off. That is ridiculously strong. All right guys.

I actually have clint my plumber on standby to show us the difference between the traditional system and the vega pro press. Let’s, meet them outside all right guys. I got clint. My plumber clint also did my house, and today we’re, going to show you the difference between the viega propress system.

This is going to utilize this tool from ridgid, which is actually going to press down with a ton of force onto this fitting by viega and inside there there’s, an epdm sealing element, but ultimately it’s.

The copper to copper connection, which is really mainly doing our water sealing on the inside there, but i thought it would be interesting to have clint show you the difference in time between a traditional, sweat on copper, fitting and this vega pro press fitting so clint.

I’m, going to uh time you with my little uh camera here and i’m going to play keller commentary to kind of talk these guys through it. But are you ready to start and i will hit the start button? Okay, so clint’s using half inch pipe.

I’m, going to kind of walk you through the process. He’s, going to cut that pipe to the proper length and we’re, including this. In the time gauge as well, we’ll. Do this when we do the uh the other version, which is the torch version, but he’s, going to cut that pipe and then, in that cutting process there’s, going to be a little bit of burring, potentially happening that we Need to deburr now he’s got a rigid deburring tool.

This is a two-sided tool. The inside is done first, then he’s, going to flip it over and do the outside of the pipe, and that’s. Taking off any rough edges on that copper, that inside deburr is also going to make sure we ‘

Ve got a nice clean water flow on the inside of the pipe. Then he’s, taking that brillo pad and cleaning it up next step. He’s, going to drop that fitting on to full depth and he’s going to mark it all the way around the pipe.

This is going to ensure that when he presses it, he ‘ S got full depth, because when that press happens that viega propress system it’s, it’s kind of like a a lobster claw that’s. Pressing down on the copper and you’re, going to notice in a second that it’s actually pressing on both sides of that fitting, and that epdm sealing element is in the middle there.

And here we go here’s where the magic happens. Okay, what do we hit about a minute 35, including all the clean and all the prep? And now he’s, got a fully waterproof ready-to-go fitting that’s, going to be there for the lifetime of the pipe well done, clint minute 36.

All right! Let’s reset and do the same thing now with a sweat on all right. Next up, we’ll reset for a copper, sweat on fitting. So let’s, start the timer and clint’s, going to take the same process all right brother, you ready, yep, okay, so first same exact, cutting process.

We’re just trying to keep this the same so that we can make a fair comparison between the two systems and the time it takes. So he’s, going to cut that and then same process as before. He’s, going to deburr it on the inside okay.

There we go now time to clean that pipe up a little bit with that brillo pad. Okay. Now he’s, cleaning the inside of the fitting and the inside of the pipe. This is a step we didn’t have to do when we were using the vega pro press, because those are ready to go.

So you would not be using this tool with the vega pro press. Okay, now time for a little flux and he’s, going to put it on both the fitting and the pipe and remember that flux is going to move. Help move our solder into that fitting.

When he’s soldering that fitting on plumbers have been doing this for many many decades in america. This is a very old process and honestly, i think it’s. One of the reasons why people like copper so much is that it’s, so old it’s, been around so long that uh, you know, people are just used to it.

Okay, now it’s time for the hot work. He’s using map gas, that’s, that yellow uh canister. You could use propane as well. It’s just going to take a lot longer. The map is a little hotter, [ Music ]; okay, it’s.

Looking good clint’s, getting that solder in there and we are done so. Where’d, we end up at we’re about just a hair over two minutes. So if you want to include the time it takes for that to get cold enough for me to touch it, oh, that’s.

True good point: it’s still hot. Now you got to wait a few that’s, a good point, so it’s at least a minute, if not a minute 30 longer, which in the end is probably about double the time as the vega pro press.

The difference, though, or one big difference, is this guy right here. This is a little bit dangerous to use on the job site and a lot of times fittings are not being done on the truck like this. In a super safe environment, clint’s got to use something that’s, going to protect the wood framing from getting hot or ultimately igniting there.

You go right there, he’s, got one uh from. Is that an od product it looks like and uh, and so what this is gonna do. Is he’s gonna wrap that around and make sure yeah he’s gonna put that behind. So when that flame hits that it’s, not gonna ignite, that two by four so ultimately about twice as fast and certainly way safer on the course of the house, big thanks to clint good job demoing, those i think it’S interesting to think about too the difference between a traditional system, a lot of consumables, potentially a hot work.

Permit someone on fire watch making sure you ‘ Ve got the fire extinguisher ready to go there’s, a fair amount of intricacies on the original copper system versus this viega pro press. Let’s. Talk a little bit about these fittings, though i think some of you may be concerned that these fittings may not be long lasting, which honestly was my concern.

The very first time i saw the system, but a couple things have won me over on vega check this out. This is a demo from germany, where it’s actually made where the rep gave this to me. They make a kind of a check system where they take one of their fittings.

They take a half inch piece of copper and they air this up, and this actually got aired up to 3 100 psi, and you can see the fittings did fine, but the pipe itself blew out the wall of the pipe and you can see how it’s kind of expanded that half inch pipe, which means that up to 3 100 psi this connection right here at the pro press, the viega pro press did not move nice and tight, no issues.

Okay, one more thing that’s, kind of cool on their half inch to two inch fittings. They have this thing called the smart connect. You’re, going to notice a little green paint dot on each one of these fittings.

In that size, and what that is, is there’s a little bit of a divot in the fitting, so that if this didn’t get pressed correctly, you would leak a little bit of water or air when you pressure chested your System before your inspections – and you would know that this was not pressed correctly – that’s kind of a cool little system, and the other thing i wanted to mention was the tool that we’ve, been using from ridgid.

This is their inline tool kind of a compact tool, and this is going to work for half inch up to inch and a quarter. But this is a perfect kit for us. We typically aren’t doing anything residential on my houses, bigger than one inch.

If you need to go bigger, though you’re going to want to get their bigger tool, this guy will do up to four inch, copper fittings. Again. You’re, not going to find that in residential, very much but in commercial.

You absolutely will guys. Hopefully you learned something on this system. I’ve, really enjoyed using copper. As i said earlier, my client on this project is an older couple. They were excited to have copper in their house because they’ve had that for decades in other houses, with no issues vega’s telling me their pro press system is a 50 year warranty on these fittings, which is kind of in Line with what i’m, seeing online for how long copper is going to last, but ultimately, these fittings are actually thicker, copper than the copper we’re using in the house.

So this is an excellent system. It’s, going to be around a long time guys big thanks to viega for sponsoring. Today’s, video very impressive system, i’ve, really enjoyed doing my very first house in copper.

I think we’re, going to see a lot more of this on residential jobs, especially with as bomber and bulletproof as their system is, and, frankly, pretty easy for the plumbers to pick it up, plus a ton of advantages compared to the hot work And the time it takes to do a traditional, sweat on fitting, i’ll, put links to everything we talked about today, including some of these tools from ridgid that we used in the description below.

But if you’re, not currently a subscriber hit that subscribe button, we ‘ Ve got new content every tuesday and every friday follow me on twitter and instagram. Otherwise, we ‘ Ll see you next time on the build, show [ Music ], you

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