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The assembly and assembly of pipelines is no longer the domain of copper. New materials such as PER and CPVC are coming into the house more and more.

Plumbing: which material to choose for fittings?

Traditional, copper

Traditional, copper

For ages, copper has been the main source of the water supply circuits, hot and cold. It is marketed in two forms: in crowns of 2 to 50 m, (annealed copper), or in rigid bars of 1 to 5 m (hardened copper). The first, quite malleable because annealed, is used for all embedded parts. All the apparent circuits are on the other hand in hardened copper. Count € 2.6 per meter of copper in ø 12

Implementation

The recessed part of the installation uses annealed copper. Protected by a corrugated sheath, you can drown it in plaster, at the bottom of a kerf or pass it behind drywall or wall lining.

In apparent, the task is entrusted to the rigid pipes. The elbows are then made by welding preformed elements or by bending the tube. In this case, the copper is first heated to "anneal" and then shaped with a bender.

For beginners, it is necessary to fall back on seamless connections (elbows, junctions...), which is put in place by screwing or simple interlocking.

Cut a copper tube

Cut a copper tube

The pipe cutter is essential for cutting net copper. With each rotation, the carbide crown sinks a little more in the tube.

Fittings for copper tubes

Fittings for copper tubes

Solder connection (1).

If you do not have anything to weld, you have the choice between:

- Interlocking connectors (2)

- Models with Gripp seal (3)

- The biconical olive connectors (4).

the interlocking fitting

the interlocking fitting

With the interlocking fitting, the pipe engages in a sheath and then passes through a kind of O-ring equipped with a notched crown preventing any return back. Simple and efficient!

Advantages

Copper has for it its resistance and longevity. This resistance makes it possible to produce pipes of reduced thickness, with a small difference between the inside and outside diameters. Hence a relative discretion that facilitates integration.

If you master the techniques of traditional plumbing (welding, bending), the cost of an installation remains very competitive... especially if we take into account the recent decline in the price of copper.

For neophytes, the many seamless fittings are easy to implement. They allow to realize installations with a reduced material.

disadvantages

Inexpensive, the soldering fittings require to own a little material for the junctions (from 100 € the torch). The most economical solution is to realize the installation by opting as much as possible for the bending of the pipes (provided to have adapted tools).

Practical, safe and within the reach of the beginner, seamless fittings greatly increase the cost price of an installation. Count 5 € for an elbow (ø 12 mm), while for the same price you can offer 25 elbows to solder.

Excellent conductor, copper also transmits heat, resulting in losses of sensible calories in the delivery of hot water.

Invisible, the PER

Invisible, the PER

Cross-linked polyethylene (PER) pipes allow a novice handyman to easily carry out his installation, in new construction or renovation. Simple to implement, the PER is intended to circulate in ducts. These sheaths are embedded in the partitions, passed behind the wall lining or embedded in the floors. Count from 0.35 to 0.50 € per meter of bare tube, that is to say without the corrugated sheath.

Implementation

Outside the cut, with a specific clamp, the work is quite limited.
If you opt for screw connections, the system is satisfied with a fitting of the pipe and tightening the nut.The compression fitting can be of two types: with threaded end and implementation by hex key. Or by means of a special pliers to forcefully slide the compression ring.

PER pipe fittings

PER pipe fittings

If you do not want to buy the kit for mounting the PER fittings with slip (1), you will have to turn to the compression fittings (2), implemented by screwing with a key.

PER: connection to weakening

PER: connection to weakening

Slip fitting: Flare the end of the tube slightly with the socket pliers. Then slide the ring (2 cm indented) then use the crimping tool.

PER: compression fitting

PER: compression fitting

Compression fitting: by letting the tube protrude by 2 mm, first engage the nut and then the split ring. Then insert the pacifier, with the O-ring and screw.

Advantages

The PER requires to design a totally recessed installation (thus without visible pipes). compared to copper, the cost is virtually divided by 5. The bending is easy which allows to go everywhere without the need for elbows. Fittings are rather cheap (especially in compression version). There is no compatibility problem with the rest of the copper network or the faucet thanks to the various types of fittings

The PER allows the realization of sanitary installations or heating hydro-cabled, with distribution by a nurse with several departures. According to the manufacturers, the PER is not very sensitive to limestone and the longevity of this type of material exceeds 50 years. The material therefore has a bright future in the new and heavy renovation, where it can be used for embedded parts. We will then seek to privilege.

disadvantages

The obligation to install the pipes restricts the scope of application, when one does not wish to engage in restoration work on the decoration (eg the presence of an existing tile to keep). As the PER is sensitive to thermal expansion, the clamps are to be avoided, the entire installation is therefore carried out in the ducts.

The cheapest compression fittings require the use of specific tools, quite expensive (from 70 to more than 160 € depending on models). It is already necessary to undertake a consequent building site to amortize it.

Chlorinated PVC (CPVC)

Chlorinated PVC (CPVC)

With chlorinated PVC, better known as CPVC, the assembly of hot and cold water pipes is similar to the adhesive bonding of PVC drainage pipes. There is a range of rigid pipes, and even semi-flexible crown, covering the current needs of an installation and various fittings (elbows, tees, reducers...). Count on the order of € 2 per linear meter of tube.

Implementation of the CPCV

Cutting is done with the special pliers (1) or with a hacksaw. A "chamfer" (2) allows you to deburr and bevel each tube end. Then, if you have already assembled PVC evacuation, you are in the field of knowledge. Degreasing, sizing and fitting the tube into its fitting, nothing complicated!

CPV pipe cutting tools

CPV pipe cutting tools

The clip is really very effective to get a clean cut and very straight. If not, a hacksaw and a miter box will do the trick.

Plumbing: which material to choose for fittings?: material

The manufacturer's tool (Girpi) is sold with the kit. Turn it, holding the tube with the other hand. Once cut, the tube should be chamfered at its end to optimize bonding.

Plumbing: which material to choose for fittings?: plumbing

Apply a specific layer of glue to the end of the tube to be assembled, but also on the female part of the fitting that must receive it. Then follow suit without waiting.

Advantages

With this system, the realization of an installation (apparent or recessed) is within the reach of all thanks to bonds by gluing. The laying material is reduced to its simplest form. There are kits of fittings according to the needs, like the bathroom kit to 69 €, designed to equip a sink and a shower.

disadvantages

For an inside diameter roughly equivalent to a copper installation, CPVC has a larger outer diameter than copper.


Video Instruction: How to Identify PVC Pipes and Fittings