Trent Young knew he could make his job easier. He was tasked with installing three boilers to replace old 1960s-era steam-to-water heat exchangers, and some quick ProPress connections made it all come together quickly and efficiently.
“When you can put about 30 4-inch copper connections together and press them in 15 minutes – as opposed to 10 hours – that is great,” Young, a technician for Acton Mechanical, said.
Young was working on a nursing home in the Amarillo, Texas, area. The old steam boilers ran steam through heat exchangers then pumped hot water to different parts of the building. But over the years, the boilers started leaking. Some had already been replaced with cast-iron sectional boilers that had become obsolete and difficult (if not impossible) to get replacement parts for.
“I suggested getting rid of the steam boilers and heat exchangers. All we’re doing is pumping hot water anyway, so why not just get some hot water boilers in?” Young said.
He went to work, studying the project and matching the BTUs needed. Young said the project seemed simple enough, so he and the building’s maintenance technician together planned how to run the copper pipe and fit the new system together.
“I could have run welded pipe, but I chose copper,” Young said. “Before I came to Acton, I had been sweating all the copper. I’m a long-time plumber, so putting it together [with ProPress] amazed me. I still deburr the pipe and get it shined up, but then in putting it together I don’t have to worry about corroding or leaks.”
Using 3” and 4” pipe and ProPress fittings, Young pieced together the system at the nursing home together then “broke out the ProPress tool” and went down the line, making the connections.
“It seemed like in about 20 minutes, we had something along the lines of two days’ worth of fittings all done!” he said. “If we had to sweat it, we would have done it in a few days.”
Young said he likes that in using ProPress, he can place a 90-degree elbow fitting on a piece of pipe and press it while keeping it level. That’s difficult to do when sweating copper. One of the other things he’s liked best about ProPress, right from the start, is the beauty of it.
“Everything is plumbed perfectly and true,” Young said. “The upper floors were not square with the basement/equipment room. We had to use a laser level in order to install hangars. I took the owner to the job, and they were very impressed. Shiny copper in a straight, true and level fashion is a work of art. You could put a level on any piece of pipe, and it would have been almost perfect.”