Small diameter piping typically makes up the largest segment of HVAC systems on many commercial construction projects, and contractors use a variety of joining methods in an effort to balance efficiency and cost.
For years, copper tubing has been a top choice for small diameter piping systems. Sweating is a common joining method; however, it is a time-and labour-intensive procedure that requires a hot work permit and can lead to lengthy and costly installations. Pressing copper joints is a faster, cleaner, flame-free alternative, but it introduces more expensive fittings and unique installation tools that can add to the complexity of a project. Both methods are permanent, which means mistakes or modifications must be cut out, adding to costs and delays.
Recently, the use of carbon steel pipe on small diameter HVAC jobs has gained ground. Part of the reason is material cost, as copper can be up to 60 percent more expensive. And while threading carbon steel has often been used to avoid the limitations associated with sweating and pressing, it requires bulky, messy equipment that can clutter and dirty a job site and often takes longer to install.
Regardless of the method used, none can be visually inspected easily to confirm proper installation before testing the system. Formal system testing takes time, and any issues identified will impact the project schedule while repair or rework is done. If there are faulty joints not discovered until the system is operational, the system must be taken out of service to make needed repairs, which carries its own costs.
A new approach …
Introducing a new and efficient solution that increases efficiency, drives down costs and delivers reliable performance: Victaulic’s QuickVic™ SD Installation-Ready™ System. This new mechanical joining solution provides contractors with the ability to use cost-effective carbon steel pipe while addressing many of the challenges associated with current joining options.
Featuring a complete system offering of couplings, fittings and valves, QuickVic SD products are easily installed with common hand tools and feature no loose parts that can be dropped or lost. In a maintenance or retrofit situation, the joints can be disassembled and reinstalled as needed, without having to cut out and remove excess piping.
The system also provides multiple visual inspection features, including bolt pad-to-bolt pad verification, a retainer inspection window, and knurled insertion depth markings on the pipe, to help ensure correct assembly throughout the installation process. Additionally, the products include Victaulic’s patented “Leak-If-Not-Tightened” technology, which offers an additional level of confidence to contractors; the gasket is designed not to seal until the coupling or fitting is mechanically secured on the pipe during initial installation.
To learn more about this exciting new technology, please visit www.quickvicsd.com.