Speedfit to copper problems, again

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Roger W, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Roger W

    Roger W New Member

    On the US site of JG Speedfit is a YouTube video showing copper pipe being fitted straight into a speedfit connector. Normally I would stick to copper, being the old fashioned type, but on this occasion, needing to connect a long run under walls and through joists, I used speedfit barrier pipe, connecting to copper pipe with speedfit fittings. Using copper pipe also helps to maintain full bore on a gravity system, whereas using speedfit fittings on plastic pipe requires an insert, which possibly reduces flow. Problems started to appear after a year or so, due to verdigris building up on the copper pipe inside the fitting, causing the fitting to leak.
    Anyone else experienced this?
    Speedfit also show a diagram connecting plastic to copper using a copper compression fitting, using their TSM insert, which sounds like a better idea.
  2. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    Never had an issue (that I’m aware of) and prefer to use a SF coupler, rather than a compression coupler, however both should work fine if done correctly. The only thing that could possibly cause an issue would be damaging the seal if the copper pipe had a burr or poorly cut end.
  3. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    The grab ring metal reacts with the copper pipe I believe.
    If you turn the fitting it can leak.
    If you try to remove the SF fitting from the copper pipe it will be seized and difficult.
    Just another reason why I do not use any plastic pipe or push fit fittings where copper is better.
    dobbie likes this.
  4. NoOhmToGoTo

    NoOhmToGoTo Screwfix Select

    I think Speed fit uses a plastic grab ring so it won't be that.
    I agree, to my knowledge I've never had a leak as described above.
  5. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    It isn’t a plastic grab ring. It wouldn’t hold probably if all plastic. Look closer and you will see metal teeth.

    Speedfit uses a metal teeth grap ring, as does other push fit brands.
    The main body of the grab ring might be plastic on many fittings, including Speedfit, but the built in teeth for to grab into the pipe are metal - some sort of stainless steel.
    It reacts with the copper pipe.
    I recently tried to tighten a loose tap on a 2 taphole basin and when I turned the tap the old Speedfit tap connector started leaking badly. The reason appeared to be due to the corrosion on the pipe caused by the metals reacting and as I turned it the O ring no longer sealed.
    DIY, temporary and inferior fittings in my opinion.
    All pipes are corroded on hot and cold supplies I come across when I remove the plastic push fit fittings.
    I replace all plastic and push fit where possible
    The Teach and dobbie like this.
  6. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    lead copper microbore now plastic
    I use whatever it needs but i am a fan of plastic
  7. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select


  8. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    Mr rogers to you:D
    Dave Marques likes this.
  9. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    That is exactly wahat was said when copper was introduced and the old timers claimed how much better lead pipe was.
    longboat and Heat like this.
  10. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    True! But copper was progress and proved itself.
    Plastic pipes are ok in the right location, but push fit just isn’t beating copper with soldered joints.:)
  11. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    Never had an issue when using speedfit either.
  12. The Teach

    The Teach Screwfix Select

    JG offer a warranty on their products,Maybe give them a call ;)
  13. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    Billy the kid to you sir
  14. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    the wheel will never catch on walking is in for good
  15. Roger W

    Roger W New Member

    Here's a pic of another piece of copper pipe I removed from a Speedfit fitting. The grab rings are stainless steel, and haven't reacted with the copper. The end of the pipe has been cut with a slice. You can see a line (like an upside-down 'T') underneath the verdigris, showing where the speedfit grab rings 'grabbed' on to the copper.
    This joint wasn't leaking, but on the previous joint - which was leaking and which I had to cut apart - the verdigris had built up so much I reckon it had eaten into the rubber seal.
    So be warned! Don't use copper pipe into plastic fittings.
  16. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    We need a chemical expert to tell us exactly what causes the corrosion on end of copper pipes that have push fit fittings used on them.
    But scary thought is there are millions of push fit fittings of different types and brands used on copper pipes.
    The more time that passes, the more proof there is of increasing problems with any push fit and also plastic pipes (although plastic pipes problems are another subject).
    Another obvious inferior product is standard flexies, which it has been realised can burst and are now said to have risk of bacteria growth
    If copper pipe and all soldered is the most superior materials choice for a specific job or region, then use copper.
  17. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    With the advent of the railways, many nay-sayers warned that the human body would be incapable of surviving velocities exceeding 30mph and would result in mass casualties caused by lung implosion if the technology to do so became mainstream.

    Don't get me wrong, i admire a bit of proper soldered joints when needed.
    Plastic for go, copper for show, is my mantra.
  18. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    My thoughts are, - have the hidden work done just as good as the work on show.
    Any work that is done just by push fit and plastic pipe should only earn peanuts in my opinion.
    Controversial, I know, but we all know that out of all the good modern materials and methods now available in the building trades, there are lots that are also very much a downward trend.
    Jez Brown likes this.
  19. The Teach

    The Teach Screwfix Select

    Maybe its silicone lube grease or similar,which stays on the pipe for ever when inserted into a fitting. The copper pipe sits in a wet stagnant cavity in between the O ring and center of the fitting. Water will not flow in this area any contaminant or corrosion will not be flushed out with water flow. Probably a tutorial diy inspired video somewhere on internet.

    or maybe its an other substance (including scale) that has got into that stagnant void which will never wash away ;)

    The photo in #15 shows some other discussion points.

  20. ajohn

    ajohn Screwfix Select

    I used some early plastic pipe a long time ago. Not as flexible as the modern stuff but allowed me to run where I couldn't run copper. It used standard compression fittings and an insert. 3 elbow and the inserts made no difference what so ever to the flow rate. It was in use for at least 25 years and no problems at all with it. Gone now as replumbed the kitchen and bathroom using a mix of copper and plastic. Hope it lasts as long. I used compression fittings and inserts rather than the push fit as not sure I trust them. I was forced to use plastic on some runs and intended to use copper. Having done it now I would have used more plastic The only change to flow rates is where I replaced 22mm copper with 15mm equiv plastic. On the kitchen tap the main restriction was fitting a modern tap, ;) The previous one dated from the 60's. 15mm to the bath in my case is an advantage as we use a heat store. With 22mm what came out would start at 80C and cool. That's the basic idea but the temperature of the bath needs adjusting with cold water. So fitted a TMV and now it runs at the same temperature for ever and doesn't take any longer in real terms to fill the bath. Works well with the shower as well.

    So all I would worry about if replacing 22mm copper with larger bore plastic is the actual bore of the pipe. The inserts will hardly have any effect. Less joints are likely to be used. Elbows etc in copper slow down flow rates. The plastic can just be bent but the rad of the bend is much larger than an elbow. They make a gizmo to hold the bend at it's minimum - only problem with those is the price. It's well over the top for what they cost to make.


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