How to use push fit fittings
Push fit fittings are probably the easiest of all plumbing fittings to use, no special tools are required to make the joints although special attention must be paid when cutting the pipe as the "O" ring inside of the fittings can easily be damaged and so it is essential to use the correct cutter such as a pipe slice for copper pipe and dedicated plastic pipe cutters for plastic pipe, using an hacksaw is not a good idea as the burrs can easily damage the "O" ring and make the join fail.There is now an ever increasing number of manufacturers of push fit fittings and most of the DIY outlets have their own brands of push fit pipe fittings. I have used John Guest speedfit® and HEP20® fittings. I prefer to use John Guest speedfit®, as I have used them plenty of times with no problems at all.
Chrome push fit elbow
This fitting must be used with caution as the chrome plating needs removing from the chrome pipe before it can be used
Cuprofit®- copper push fit
John Guest Speedfit®
Push fit fittings can be used on copper or plastic pipe but not chrome plated pipe as the grip rings in the fittings are not strong enough to grip the chrome. To join two chrome plated pieces of pipe a compression joint is recommended unless you want to remove the chrome plating from the pipe first.
Although no special tools are required to join pipes with push fit some makes require the use of tools to be able to release the fittings from the pipe. The cuprofit® for example requires a release tool and the HEP20® requires a special tool to remove the stainless steel grip ring from the pipe. John Guest Speedfit® require no tools to release the fittings. Some push fit fittings are not demountable!
Below we are using a John Guest Speedfit® straight connector
push an insert firmly into the end of the pipe. Different makes of plastic pipe have different pipe inserts, you must ensure you use the correct ones for the pipe that you are using.
Copper pipes do not require an insert.
Hold the pipe next to the fitting and then mark the pipe using a felt tip pen or similar so that you know how far to insert the pipe into the fitting. Push fit joints will easily fail if the pipe is not pushed all the way into the fitting.
Now push the pipe fully into the fitting, this particular fitting has a twist lock mechanism, so be sure to tighten the fitting by hand after inserting the pipe.
When the pipe is fully inserted and it has been locked in place, pull on the fitting and the pipe to ensure it is located correctly. Once the stainless steel grip ring inside the fitting has gripped the pipe it is impossible to pull the pipe out without undoing the twist lock mechanism and pushing the plastic collar towards the fitting.
To remove the pipe from the fitting undo the twist lock by turning it, then push the collar in towards the fitting whilst pulling the pipe away from the fitting, this will release the pipe.