Following the announcement of its new affordable homes programme last autumn, the Government has pledged to build 180,000 homes from 2021-2026. Nigel Sanger, Divisional Director Technical Support at RWC UK, discusses how leak proof plumbing products like MDPE push-fit fittings are essential to make such housebuilding projects more efficient and build a better future.
The UK Government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ strategy is in full swing as we embark on the road to recovery from 2020’s global pandemic, and it is no secret that construction has been put into overdrive.
As housebuilding ramps up, a key element in the process will be connecting properties up to water mains. Merchants and installers together must carefully consider how to leak proof the plumbing at this stage if we are to build back better, faster and greener.
Here, underground fittings are in the spotlight, as they help prevent unexpected plumbing-related problems and homes from suffering water damage, while saving consumers’ money and conserving water.
Robust underground pipework
Installing underground pipes can be tricky and frustrating, as they are assembled in a confined workspace and muddy conditions. Furthermore, incorrectly fitted underground pipes can cause catastrophic effects months down the line.
This includes huge costs to customers and the environment, as thousands of gallons of water could potentially end up being wasted through leaks, as well as time and money to installers and developers to rectify the problem. Indeed, WaterSafe highlights that “about a quarter of leaks are found in the underground pipes which connect properties to water mains.” (see https://www.watersafe.org.uk/downloads/developers_info/developing_homes_to_prevent_leaks.pdf)
To ensure a solid foundation within the building process, reliable and robust products must be used with underground pipework. MDPE (medium-density polyethylene) fittings, sometimes known as ‘black and blue’ fittings, are specifically designed to cope with a rough underground life. Built with a strong and heavy-duty material, push-fit MDPE fittings can speed up installation of the mains water supply into a house, alongside future-proofing the system for years to come.
Leak proof solutions
Two of the biggest issues when plumbing underground pipework are that trenches are muddy, and abrasive contaminants like stones or other debris could easily damage the fitting or pipework. When weather conditions are poor and visibility is reduced, it is even more difficult for installers to determine if a secure, water-tight seal has been made, particularly if using fittings with compression connections. Compression fittings can also become loose over time, which then causes leaks that are hard to rectify.
These risks are significantly reduced with push-fit MDPE fittings, such as those in the JG Speedfit range. These fittings have a built-in seal, and the connection is made by simply pushing the pipe into it. This diminishes the chance of exposing the interior of the pipework to contamination.
Typically, to connect a compression tee, three nuts, three seals, and three inserts are needed which must be assembled onto the pipe piece by piece. Connecting these components in muddy trenches can take time, whereas push-fit technology makes these jobs a lot easier, faster and more reliable.
The MDPE push-fit fittings also overcome the issue presented by compression fittings when they need to be rotated once laid into the ground to create a secure connection. JG Speedfit’s range of MDPE fittings is manufactured to strict British standards and is WRAS approved, which guarantees that the fittings are tested and built to the highest quality.
Like other JG Speedfit products, no specialist tools are required, making them quick and easy to fit in tight and awkward spaces with poor visibility. The fittings are fully demountable, by removing the collet cover and pushing down on the collet itself. The stainless-steel grab ring offers a weather resistant seal, and the one-year guarantee gives additional piece of mind.
It’s hard to imagine, but pipes are often wrongly connected or, in some situations, not connected at all. And water mains leaks are never good news for all parties, especially if underground.
With a directive from the UK Government to build faster, build greener and build better houses, merchants must be in position to offer products that are reliable, quick, and easy to install. And here, push-fit MDPE fittings ensure leak proof connections are made every time and provide peace of mind, while helping to conserve water for years to come.
For more information on The JG Speedfit range of MDPE push-fit fittings for underground drainage systems, go to: https://www.johnguest.com/speedfit/product/mdpe-underground-fittings/