Popular national restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse has been busy opening new locations in the northeast and with short build times, contractor Todd Baker has put ProPress to work to speed up his contributions. 

Baker, owner of TJ Mechanical, Plumbing and Heating in Litchfield County, Connecticut, has been plumbing Texas Roadhouse locations for the past five years in several states, including Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. The blueprint and footprint for most of the restaurants is largely the same, aside from some being reversed in layout from the others. After seven restaurants, Baker has things down to an art. 

“I love that with ProPress I can prefab a lot of the stuff and because I’ve done so many, it goes even more quickly,” he said. “Everything here really comes down to timing. These builds are four months from shovel in the ground to opening, so every day counts. The owners appreciate [the speed of Viega connections] because they give you a certain number of days for underground rough-in and if you’re done earlier, then other contractors can get in earlier.” 

When Baker began working on the restaurant projects, he said the only thing specified was that copper should be used for main water lines, the hot and cold and recirculation lines and in the boiler rooms. He chose to use ProPress, having prior experience with Viega products and feeling confident in its superiority. 

“It’s pretty foolproof and there are never any complaints about it,” Baker said. “No problems, no leaks, no nothing. I’ve been using ProPress for several years, all the way up to 3″, and it’s great.” 

One of the things Baker appreciates about ProPress is the confidence and satisfaction of a system plumbed well. He said knowing that there won’t be a leak equals peace of mind. 

“The timing and the satisfaction is big. When you’re working with 1-1⁄2″ or 2″ pipes and sweating, a lot of things can happen,” he said. “Then you have to drain the whole system to fix a pinhole leak. That’s a lot of time wasted. Plus, the ProPress looks very neat when you set it all up.” 

Baker was introduced to Viega at a trade show years back when he saw a demonstration. He was intrigued, but said he hesitated slightly knowing that he’d need to make up the cost of the tool that he initially purchased up front. He was thrilled to pay off the tool with just a few projects. 

“As soon as I got it, the next thing I knew I was buying the jaws for PEX and using those too. I use the press gun constantly. I remember thinking, ‘How come I didn’t get this thing two years ago?’” he said with a chuckle. 

Baker is always on each of his jobs, and the crew of three or four that he brings along all have their own Viega tools. On projects like Texas Roadhouse, they get in, install the pipe, press the connections and get out to make way for the next quick stage of construction. 

“Just about anything is possible with a Viega fitting,” Baker said. “You can get anything done. There are so many things you can press, it’s amazing.” 

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