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What is a Copper Press Tool and How it Works?

Pressing fit connection is one of the common methods of joining copper, steel, and PEX pipes in plumbing projects. It’s an alternative to traditional soldering and popular crimping methods. Press connections are secure, easy to install, and affordable. However, creating this kind of connection requires a unique tool known as a Press Tool. What exactly is it, and how does it work? Keep reading down here to find out.

What is a Copper Press Tool?

A press tool is a specialized tool used for creating secure, leak-free, and permanent connections between pipes and press fittings. It’s also called a pressing tool. The IWS-1632AF C&DT Copper Pipe Pressing Tool Kit is an ideal example of a press tool.

Press tools are mainly of three types, i.e., Electric Copper Press, Hydraulic Copper Press, and Hand-held Press Tools. Pressing tools work on various sizes of pipes: the best ones are designed with interchangeable jaws to accommodate fittings and pipes of different gauges. More importantly, a press tool is a good choice when making pipe connections in confined spaces.

How to Use a Copper Press Tool

Pressing is a way easier and cleaner method of joining copper pipes compared to soldering. The best part is that using a press tool is straightforward. Here is how you can use a press copper tool to make pipe connections:

A. Measure and cut the copper tubing/pipe

First, start by measuring the copper tubing to the desired length. Use a pipe-cutting tool like the iCrimp CT-532 Tubing Cutter Deburring Tool Combo. It’s best to avoid using a hacksaw if you want to get a clean cut much more easily.
Also, ensure you remove burrs from the edges of the copper pipes where the fitting will go in: it helps avoid damaging the O-ring inside the press fitting.

B. Get press-connect joinings/ press fittings 

There is a wide range of copper press fittings to choose from: it all depends on the exact type of connection you’re working on. They include the equal tee, equal coupler, street elbow F, straight male connecter, etc.

C. Measure and mark the depth of the joint 

Insert your press-fitting over the copper pipe all the way to the stop and then mark where it reaches (a distance equal to the internal depth of the fitting) on the pipe. You may use a pencil or something that will not damage or score the pipe for marking. You’re probably wondering why marking is important. It helps you ensures that the connection stays at the correct depth when pressing.

D. Choose a proper jaw and fit it onto the pressing tool

You should choose a jaw that matches the size of the joint you’ll be creating. Often, most press tools are designed to allow you to interchange the jaws/dies, thus offering convenience when working on pipes of various gauges.

E. Press the fitting

Place the press tool's jaws over the press fitting's bead. It’s important you confirm the fitting is correctly aligned with your marking before you start pressing the connection. Then apply force on the handles to secure the fitting into place. Usually, the force on the jaws compresses the copper pipe and fitting together, thus creating a secure, reliable, and tight connection.
Here is a video to illustrate the above process.

 

Why Use a Copper Press Tool?

Copper press tools have proven to be a game changer in the plumbing industry.
To start with, it takes less time to make copper press fitting connections compared to other conventional methods like soldering. Secondly, you can easily make secure connections on wet joints when using a copper press tool: it doesn’t require much effort or expertise to make secure connections.
This tool is also ideal when connecting copper pipelines in tight spaces. Above all, pressing is safer since it doesn’t require heat, flames, or other substances to complete connections.

Final Thought

Copper press tools are becoming a go-to choice for many homeowners and plumbing professionals. They’re easy to use, versatile, and significantly enhance convenience.
Are you looking to make quick plumbing repairs at your home or for your clients? iCrimp offers a wide range of copper pressing tools for this purpose. Most of these tools have interchangeable dies, thus making them useful in various applications with different pipe sizes.

References

acmetools.com

multipipe.co.uk

thefabricator.com

dispatch.com

Previous article Is Copper Pressing Better Than Soldering?
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