When a leading M&E firm undertook a redevelopment of an office building in Slough, converting it to 54 residential apartments, the latest innovation in metal push-fit fittings was instrumental in helping to complete the project ahead of the expected deadline. James Bell, SharkBite Brand Director at Reliance Worldwide Corporation (UK) Ltd (RWC UK), explains the multiple benefits that the SharkBite range brought to the company and its installers on site.
“When we first showed SharkBite to the firm, they could immediately see how the range could work and were keen to use it but we needed to convince the M&E consultant on this project that it was a reliable alternative to traditional methods of making pipe connections.
“We worked closely with the Project and Compliance Manager and demonstrated how the range could save a huge amount of time on site and the additional advantages this would bring.”
The SharkBite range of ultra-low lead brass fittings enables installers to make connections to five different types of pipe for any domestic or commercial hot and cold water application, enabling a significantly quicker and more efficient installation every time.
“On this particular project, the team of installers used SharkBite for a range of plumbing requirements but mostly it made for a much more robust and reliable solution for joining copper and PEX pipes that was also easier and quicker than other alternatives,” explains James.
“In fact, research has revealed that metal push-fit fittings and valves with SharkBite technology are twice as fast to install as press fittings; three times faster than compression fittings and four times quicker that end feed fittings.
“Translated into real-time savings, one installer reported a saving of three hours’ labour on a combi boiler installation, reducing the total installation cost for the customer and releasing them to get to their next job. With this in mind, we were confident that the potential time-saving on the apartment conversion project would prove to be significant and believe it ultimately helped to deliver completion two to three weeks ahead of schedule, leaving them free to move on to the next project quicker.”
A further advantage was that SharkBite enables flame-free jointing, so with no heat requirements there is no need for a hot works permit. In turn this reduces risk on site and less time is wasted because installers don’t have to wait for joints to cool – a major benefit from a health and safety, insurance and paperwork perspective.
“Many M&E outfits are always keen to utilise cutting-edge technologies and innovations so this represented a perfect opportunity for them to trial the SharkBite range. The feedback we’ve received has been fantastic.
“As part of our commitment to providing the best technical support and training, our local Area Sales Manager visited the site to train the installers on how easy and flexible the fittings are to use, especially because they’re fully demountable and instantly re-usable. They could all immediately see how much quicker and simpler this would make their job on a daily basis.
The project installers also used a variety of other products from the Evesham based manufacturer, including PEX pipe, Tenant Valves and Stop Cocks.
“On a project of this scale, the time saving element alone justified the specification of SharkBite, but the additional benefits of a complete system solution, easy to insulate, ease of future maintenance and no hot works permit requirements made the range a clear winner on several different levels,” concludes James.
SharkBite fittings and valves are WRAS approved and are pressure rated up to 10bar @1200C for domestic sizes (10-28mm). 35-54mm products are also available for commercial / industrial applications. SharkBite fittings are guaranteed for 25 years.