The Ultimate Guide to Press Fitting Installation

Understanding Press Fittings


Press fittings are mechanical connectors used to join pipes without the need for welding, soldering, or threading. They come in various types, including copper, stainless steel, and PEX press fittings, each suitable for specific applications. Press fittings offer numerous advantages, such as quick installation, compatibility with different pipe materials, and resistance to corrosion. They are commonly used in plumbing systems, HVAC installations, and fire protection systems.



Examples of Types of Press Fittings


Press fittings come in various types, each designed to accommodate specific pipe materials and applications. Here are some common examples of press fittings:

  1. Copper Press Fittings: Copper press fittings are widely used in plumbing systems for their excellent corrosion resistance and durability. They are suitable for joining copper pipes and are often used in residential and commercial plumbing installations.
  2. Stainless Steel Press Fittings: Stainless steel press fittings are known for their strength and reliability. They are commonly used in applications requiring resistance to corrosion, such as water supply systems, HVAC installations, and industrial piping.
  3. PEX Press Fittings: PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) press fittings are specifically designed for PEX pipes, a flexible and versatile pipe material. PEX press fittings are widely used in residential plumbing systems for their ease of installation and compatibility with PEX tubing.
  4. Carbon Steel Press Fittings: Carbon steel press fittings are suitable for various applications, including gas and oil pipelines, fire protection systems, and industrial piping. They provide a durable and leak-free connection when used with carbon steel pipes.
  5. Brass Press Fittings: Brass press fittings offer excellent corrosion resistance and are often used in water supply systems, HVAC installations, and compressed air lines. They are compatible with copper pipes and are known for their reliability and longevity.
  6. PVC Press Fittings: PVC (polyvinyl chloride) press fittings are used with PVC pipes in applications such as irrigation systems, wastewater management, and drainage systems. They provide a secure and watertight connection without the need for solvent welding.

These are just a few examples of the types of press fittings available in the market. It’s essential to choose the appropriate press fitting based on the specific requirements of your project, including the pipe material, application, and compatibility with the press tool you’ll be using.


Tools and Equipment


Before you begin the press fitting installation process, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and equipment. Having the right tools at hand will ensure a smooth and successful installation. Here are the essential items you’ll need:

  1. Press Tool: A press tool is the primary tool used to create the necessary pressure for connecting press fittings. It comes in various types, such as manual or battery-powered, so choose the one that suits your needs and preferences.
  2. Pipe Cutter: A pipe cutter is essential for accurately cutting the pipes to the desired lengths. There are different types of pipe cutters available, including handheld cutters and rotary cutters. Select the appropriate cutter based on the pipe material and size you’re working with.
  3. Deburring Tool: After cutting the pipe, a deburring tool is used to remove any rough edges or burrs. These imperfections can hinder the proper insertion and connection of the press fittings, so ensure you have a deburring tool on hand to smoothen the pipe ends.
  4. Calibration Gauge: A calibration gauge helps ensure that the press fittings are inserted to the correct depth. It allows you to verify the proper connection and alignment, minimizing the risk of leaks or connection failures.
  5. Cleaning Brush: Before installing the press fittings, it’s crucial to clean the pipe ends thoroughly. A cleaning brush, specifically designed for pipe surfaces, will help remove dirt, debris, and any residual material that could compromise the connection quality.

Additionally, remember to prioritise your safety during the installation process. Here are some essential safety equipment items to have:

  1. Gloves: Wear gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges, potential cuts, or any substances that may be present during the installation.
  2. Safety Glasses: Eye protection is vital when working with pipes, especially during cutting or deburring. Safety glasses will shield your eyes from any flying debris or accidental splashes.

By having these tools and safety equipment readily available, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the press fitting installation with confidence and ensure a successful outcome.



Preparation for Installation


To ensure a successful press fitting installation, proper preparation is crucial. Begin by assessing the installation area and ensuring the pipes are accessible. Clean the pipes thoroughly, removing any dirt, debris, or burrs that could affect the connection. Use a deburring tool to smooth the edges of the pipe, promoting a secure fit. Mark the pipe length accurately to ensure precise installation.


Step-by-Step Installation Process


  1. Choosing the correct press fitting: Select the press fitting suitable for your application and pipe material. Ensure the fitting matches the size and type of the pipe.
  2. Lubrication and insertion of the fitting: Apply a thin layer of lubricant on the outside of the pipe and the O-ring of the fitting. Insert the fitting into the pipe until it reaches the marked insertion depth.
  3. Applying pressure and verifying connection: Use a press tool to apply the necessary pressure on the fitting. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific press tool you’re using. After pressing, inspect the connection visually or use a calibration gauge to ensure a secure connection.




While press fitting installations are generally reliable, issues may occasionally arise. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  1. Leakage: If you notice a leak after installation, check for proper insertion and ensure the press tool was applied correctly. If necessary, repress the fitting following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Insufficient Pressure: If the press fitting doesn’t provide enough pressure, ensure the press tool is in good working condition and properly calibrated. Check for any obstructions or debris that might be affecting the pressing process.
  3. Fitting Misalignment: If the fitting is misaligned, carefully remove it and inspect the pipe end for burrs or damage. Re-clean, re-mark, and repress the fitting, ensuring proper alignment.


Maintenance and Inspection


To maintain the longevity and reliability of press fittings, follow these maintenance practices:

  1. Regular Visual Inspection: Periodically check press fittings for signs of corrosion, leaks, or physical damage. If any issues are detected, address them promptly.
  2. Replacing Faulty Fittings: If a press fitting shows signs of damage or leakage, it should be replaced immediately. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper replacement procedures.


Press Fitting vs. Traditional Methods


Press fittings offer several advantages over traditional joining methods such as soldering or threading. Some benefits include:

  1. Time Efficiency: Press fittings significantly reduce installation time compared to traditional methods, as they eliminate the need for soldering or threading.
  2. Versatility: Press fittings are compatible with various pipe materials, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.
  3. Consistency and Reliability: Press fittings provide consistent and reliable connections, minimising the risk of leaks and reducing maintenance requirements.




Proper press fitting installation is crucial for ensuring efficient and leak-free plumbing and piping systems. By understanding the different types of press fittings, preparing the installation area, and following the step-by-step process, you can achieve successful and secure connections. Remember to conduct regular maintenance and inspections to identify any issues early on and replace faulty fittings promptly.




  1. How long does a press fitting installation last? A press fitting installation can last for several decades when properly installed and maintained.
  2. Can press fittings be used with different pipe materials? Yes, press fittings are compatible with various pipe materials, including copper, stainless steel, and PEX.
  3. Are press fittings suitable for underground installations? Yes, press fittings can be used for underground installations, providing reliable and durable connections.
  4. Can press fittings be used in residential plumbing? Absolutely! Press fittings are widely used in residential plumbing systems due to their ease of installation and reliability.
  5. Do press fittings require special training? While formal training is not mandatory, it is recommended to receive proper instruction on using press tools and understanding the specific requirements for different fittings and applications.

Where Can You Buy Press Fittings?


We are a leading a press specialists and supplier in the UK and Ireland, relied by both professionals and DIYers. You can find a comprehensive range of press fittings for all applications by the best fittings manufacturers in the market. Some of the brands we stock are: