Push fit pipe fittings have become increasingly popular in recent years for their ease of installation and convenience. They are used in a variety of plumbing and heating applications, including water, air, and gas. While they are generally considered safe for water and air, there is some debate about whether they are suitable for gas applications.
In this article, we will explore the use of push fit pipe fittings in gas applications, the benefits and drawbacks, and the safety concerns.
Push Fit Pipe Fittings for Gas Applications
Push fit pipe fittings are designed to connect pipes without the need for soldering, threading, or other complex installation techniques. They work by using a compression fitting that pushes the pipe into a connector and holds it in place with a locking mechanism.
One of the benefits of push fit pipe fittings is that they are quick and easy to install, saving time and money on installation costs. They are also reusable, meaning they can be taken apart and used again if needed.
In terms of gas applications, push fit pipe fittings are often used in low pressure systems, such as residential and light commercial applications. They are suitable for use with natural gas, propane, and other gases that are commonly used in these applications.
Benefits of Push Fit Pipe Fittings for Gas Applications
There are several benefits to using push fit pipe fittings in gas applications :
Easy to Install : Push fit pipe fittings are easy to install, even for those with little plumbing experience. This makes them a popular choice for DIY projects.
Cost Effective : Because push fit pipe fittings are quick and easy to install, they can save time and money on installation costs.
Reusable : Push fit pipe fittings can be taken apart and used again if needed, making them a cost effective choice.
Versatile : Push fit pipe fittings can be used in a variety of applications, including water, air, and gas.
No Special Tools Required : Unlike other types of pipe fittings, push fit pipe fittings do not require special tools for installation.
Drawbacks of Push Fit Pipe Fittings for Gas Applications
While push fit pipe fittings have many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider :
Limited Pressure Rating : Push fit pipe fittings are generally rated for low pressure applications. This means they may not be suitable for high pressure gas applications.
Temperature Limitations : Push fit pipe fittings may not be suitable for use in applications where the temperature exceeds the recommended range. This can lead to degradation and failure of the fittings.
Limited Size Range : Push fit pipe fittings are available in a limited range of sizes. This can make it difficult to find the right size for some applications.
Compatibility Issues : Push fit pipe fittings may not be compatible with all types of piping materials. This can limit their use in some applications.
One of the main concerns with using push fit pipe fittings in gas applications is safety. Because gas is highly flammable and explosive, it is essential to ensure that the fittings used in gas systems are safe and reliable.
Push fit pipe fittings have been tested and certified for use in gas applications by various organizations, including the British Gas Technical Standard (BGM). The BGM requires push fit pipe fittings to meet certain safety standards, including :
Fire Resistance : Push fit pipe fittings must be able to withstand fire for a certain period of time without losing their integrity.
Gas Tightness : Push fit pipe fittings must be able to maintain a gas tight seal under various conditions, including temperature and pressure changes.
Resistance to Stress : Push fit pipe fittings must be able to withstand stress without breaking or leaking.
Durability : Push fit pipe fittings must be durable enough to withstand the rigors of use over time.
While push fit pipe fittings are generally considered safe for gas applications, it is important to note that proper installation and maintenance are crucial for ensuring their safety. Any defects or errors in installation can compromise the integrity of the fittings and lead to gas leaks or other safety hazards.
It is also important to follow all local building codes and regulations regarding the use of push fit pipe fittings in gas applications. These regulations may vary depending on the location and type of application.
Alternatives to Push Fit Pipe Fittings for Gas Applications
If push fit pipe fittings are not suitable for a particular gas application, there are several alternatives to consider :
Threaded Pipe Fittings : Threaded pipe fittings are a popular choice for gas applications because they can handle high pressure systems and are available in a wide range of sizes.
Soldered Pipe Fittings : Soldered pipe fittings are another option for gas applications. They require more skill and specialized tools for installation, but they offer a reliable and long lasting connection.
Compression Fittings : Compression fittings are another type of pipe fitting that can be used in gas applications. They are designed to compress the pipe against a fitting to create a seal.
In conclusion, push fit pipe fittings are a popular and convenient choice for a variety of plumbing and heating applications, including gas. While they are generally considered safe for gas applications, it is important to consider their limitations, safety concerns, and compatibility with local regulations.
If push fit pipe fittings are not suitable for a particular gas application, there are several alternatives to consider, including threaded pipe fittings, soldered pipe fittings, and compression fittings.
Ultimately, the choice of pipe fittings for a gas application will depend on a variety of factors, including the pressure, temperature, and material compatibility requirements of the system, as well as the experience and skill level of the installer. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions about pipe fittings for gas applications.