nearing the end of my heating installation now, just the boiler to be fitted by a corgi engineer.
i have run the entire flow and return in 22mm copper reducing to 15mm at the rads, all in copper and soldered joints throughout at much time and expense. a friend says that i am mad and that hep20 would have been far cheaper and quicker and of course he is right.
but my argument is that i want a system that will last me 20 years or more and that copper is much better if well maintained with regular treating and cleaning etc. he argues that hep20, being plastic, is not subject to the corrosion and magnetite issues of copper and steel. i argue that plastic ultimately perishes with heat and as its quite a new technology its still relatively unproven.
a subjective and perennial question im sure, but who is right here? i still maintain that its better to do it in copper. is there a general concensus out there? and bearing in mind that i am doing this installation for myself in a home that i will hopefully be in for many years to come was it worth the extra time and money?
i fit bathrooms for a living i would say 90% of my piping is hep20(15mm)
its quicker,the piping is cheaper than copper,more flexible, quicker to install therefore saves money if it does go wrong easy to disconnect and start again.
i tend to use copper for 22mm mainly because its a bugger to straighten out(hep20)
its not really a new product but it as evolved over the years
i think it comes down to personal choice
plastic for me!
Chris wrote: "i argue that plastic ultimately perishes with heat and as its quite a new technology its still relatively unproven"
Hepworth claim a design life of 50 years and Bob's right - it's been around for quite a while now.
frogger wrote: "Copper by a mile, it looks better and would be any profensionals choice."
I know quite a few professionals who would disagree with you and the lead lads said the same thing when copper first appeared (that's an attempt at humour just in case you're thinking of taking umbrage BTW.)
Additionally copper pipe is currently TWICE the price of Hep2O and I'd rather get the job than lose it on price for aesthetic reasons. Nothing wrong with Hep2O at all - but it's the only plastic one I trust implicitly. Also have you seen how thinly they draw out the copper these days to cut costs?
frogger also wrote: "have had severel problems also with Mice eating the pipe."
Interesting - I've not heard this before and Hepworth also claim that "Extensive testing has demonstrated that vermin do not show a preference for Hep2OÂ®"
frogger also wrote: "the stuff has high points in it causing air problems !"
Not if it's properly secured IMO.
So I vote Hep as well in general although there situations where you don't use it.
"rosebery. would or have you got hep pipework on show in your own home ?"
If you are asking if I'm confident enough with it to use it in my own home the answer is yes but you'll have to lift the floorboards to see it.
"See what your saying about pricing against others but I'd rather take pride in what im doing, I am assuming you would'nt run plastic down walls for example ?"
In the last bathroom I did it was necessary to run a 22mm cold feed down the wall in the room to replace a 57 year old piece of steel barrel no other route! So yes I did but it was boxed in afterwards and the box subsequently tiled over! There would probably have been Â£ 250 worth of 22mm copper in that job (as all the steel in the roofspace came out as well) overall and Hep was obviously a sizeable material cost saving. And no I wouldn't use it to connect directly into bath / basin taps or heated towel rails / rads or the loo cistern either. Above the floor for me it's generally copper where it's not immediately visible and chromed copper where it is visible.
"Sure if its secured properly then its fine but at the end of the day plastic pipe is very easy for DIY fitters and they do not secure it"
I would agree but I'm not going to be the one who has to explain that the only reason the pipes are banging about a bit under the nicely tiled floor when the taps get turned on / off is 'cos I couldn't be a....d to secure it properly. Max clip distance I use is 300mm horizontal or vertical.
"Copper by a mile, it looks better and would be any professionals choice."
I don't know why anyone would pay a plumber/heating engineer to install a bathroom suite, heating system or any pipework using anything other than copper pipe - if they're going to use Hep20 you'd might as well employ a local DIYer or handyman.
A question for anyone that uses Hep20 - do you charge less for labour when using Hep20 as it takes less time to install ? I bet not.
A installation using Hep20 is a DIY installation - not an installation by a professional. Anyone can use Hep20 - give a DIYer a pipebender and soldering equipment and see how they manage - that's why people employ plumbers for their installations - for a professional job.
[quote]I know quite a few professionals who would disagree with you and the lead lads said the same thing when copper first appeared (that's an attempt at humour just in case you're thinking of taking umbrage BTW.)
i did consider that i might just be being objectionate to change and adopting a stick in the mud 'dont make it like they used to' attitude but i remain unconvinced by the arguments for hep20!
[/quote]Also have you seen how thinly they draw out the copper these days to cut costs?
fair point, i pulled out yards and yards of the old three quarter inch from my house and its significantly thicker than the modern stuff - my pipe slice hated it! but the new stuff, thinner as it is, its still manufactured to a certain standard stress and tolerance level, i tend to think that the older stuff was just a little over-engineered.
[quote]I don't know why anyone would pay a plumber/heating engineer to install a bathroom suite, heating system or any pipework using anything other than copper pipe - if they're going to use Hep20 you'd might as well employ a local DIYer or handyman.
hear hear htg engineer! i am actually a compenent DIYer and had quotes for someone to install my system for me. i decided to do it myself with copper and solder after all quotes were for hep20 and none would even quote for copper! (although i accept their reasoning) i felt i'd done a proper job and not taken the line of least resistance.
can i just throw one more comment in here
surely it is proffessional to look at all systems that are available
and then decide if that system is better suited for your purposes.
i do agree that copper looks better when on show and thats why as i said in my first post i use 90% hep and 10 %copper because were the piping is on show it does look better.
if you look at new builds they tend to follow that route all hidden piping including the central heating is hep and what piping is on show tends to be copper
its down to the individual,but by no means is it unproffessional
long live democracy
I was going to ignore Htg Engineer's input on the grounds that a flame war is unecessary and wil get moderated anyhow.
However, I have changed my mind because of this:
"A installation using Hep20 is a DIY installation - not an installation by a professional. Anyone can use Hep20 - give a DIYer a pipebender and soldering equipment and see how they manage - that's why people employ plumbers for their installations - for a professional job."
You are implying (no actually saying it out loud) that anyone who installs bathrooms, kitchens or indeed CH systems that uses Hep2O (and BTW it's Hep2O not Hep20) is not professional. You really need to reconsider that statement as I, for one, firstly find it offensive and secondly it is grossly misleading to everyone out there reading it.
You are entitled you your opinion and that's what the thread requested - it's a poll. No doubt you'd be siding with the lead lads (and this time I'm not joking) who decried the advent of copper on the scene as being "not proper plumbing" if you lived in the days when that was introduced. This is 2008!
Casting unwarranted slurs is in itself unprofessional IMO.
I look forward to your response.
BTW I notice that bobplum has also replied although his post has not yet passed mod approval.
Anyone can use Hep2O - you don't need a plumber to install it ?
DIYers don't tend to use soldered fittings ?
Capillary fittings and copper pipe are signs of a professional job ?
Do you disagree rosebery ?
A family member recently bought a new apartment, for Â£220,000 - Hep2O was used. Fine for 2 months, pipes boxed in not touched or tampered with - fittings came apart in 3 of apartments causing extensive damage. A professional job ? I think not.
Would this have happened with copper pipe and soldered fittings -definately not.
I do not know one single plumber/heating engineer that uses Hep2O. Where I work, the company owns over 19,000 houses - not one is piped in Hep2O - every single pipe is copper. I know 5 or 6 local heating engineers that have their own business, do not use Hep2O.
And.... it's not unprofessional to have a view or opinion - have read a few of yours.
'Rosebery: use washing up liquid in a mortar mix
Professional: DO NOT USE washing up liquid, it effects the strength.............only for cowboys!!! '
'Well I guess if you hadn't used the term "monkey" to describe your fitter in the first instance and had been a little bit clearer with your original post then you may not have put peeps in a position where they might have concluded that you were a buffoon.'
Things are getting nasty. Made me chuckle tho.
I have to agree with htg engineer that copper looks professional and basically Hep does not.
Any one could push it together.
The bottom line is that it makes your life easier roseberry, and that's fair enough, but in my opinion quality of workmanship is far more important and that is not me trying to insult you or your methods .
I will hold on to my blowlamp for a bit longer i think.