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Discuss Stainless Steel Water Tubing in the Plumbing Forum area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. JasonCPE

    JasonCPE New Member

    Question for the UK Plumbers:

    Are you ever using 316 grade stainless steel tubing for water piping? How are you joining it? How cost effective is it in the UK compared to say soldered (or press joint) copper? Is anyone commonly soldering/brazing it or just using press-joint of grooved connections? Are there any economical sources for stainless fittings? What brands of stainless fittings are common?

    I assume Viega...but any others?
     
  2. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    press and geberit, you could always use compression
     
  3. JasonCPE

    JasonCPE New Member

    Thank you so much. We don’t have Geberit mapress here, but upon glance it appears very similar to the one press system that is here. Problem is the pricing of stainless fittings here is ridiculous (especially since no competition) and couple that with over priced proprietary and only fair quality tubing it makes the option unattractive. I could braze the joints more cost effectively, but the suitable fittings are not cost effective since they would have to be imported from really far away.

    I was hoping to find some brands that use non-proprietary tubing but I’ve not found that yet. Victaulic and Grinnel each make a product for standard pipe but it would be much less work to use tubing in residential construction.
     
  4. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    Same here. Stainless steel plumbing is like buying a Rolls-Royce car; if you need to ask the price, you can't afford it.

    Be careful using any method other than press-fit to joint it because it is difficult to make welds that look good and don't corrode.
     
  5. Pickwickpick

    Pickwickpick Top Contributor!!

    What sort of setting is it usually used in and is there any advantage to it over copper other than aesthetics?
     
  6. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    I know that there was a lot installed in hospitals by NHS Scotland apparently because the soft water and high sediment content was causing pin-hole corrosion in their copper DHCW supplies. That was a couple of decades ago IIRC. I've seen it in a vet's surgery and in science labs.

    Rumour had it that some of the houses around Heysham (Lancs) were plumbed in SS, nicked from the power station when it was being built but I can't confirm that :)

    It's not exactly a disinterested source but there are some details and other uses here:

    Publication: The Suitability and Use of Stainless Steel for Plumbing Applications

    The whole BSSA website is quite interesting.

    I love stainless-steel. I installed some SS grab rails for my father. After 15 years of daily use they still look like new. I just wish it were a bit cheaper and a bit easier to work with. But, nothing's perfect...
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  7. Pickwickpick

    Pickwickpick Top Contributor!!

    Thanks, that's really interesting. Ever since a friend of a friend fabricated and welded the whole chassis of our old Bedord TK on our driveway I've developed a geeky fascination with anything to do with metals, their processing and their usage, especially in industrial contexts. Spend hours watching old videos on YouTube of steelworks, lathes, and all that sort of thing, very geeky but keeps me occupied :oops:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. fixitflav

    fixitflav Active Member

    Wasn't there a time in the 70s or 80s when due to a copper shortage a lot of plumbing was done with SS?
     
  9. WC1

    WC1 Member

    @Pickwickpick@Pickwickpick
    Same here with YouTube machining channels. Not ashamed :) to admit i often have abom79 on in the background when I'm in the shop. Also this old tony and ave although they're not strictly just machining.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Pickwickpick

    Pickwickpick Top Contributor!!

    @WC1@WC1 haha yes i love abom79's channel! When I finally have some more free time and some spare cash (not anytime soon!) I'm hoping to build up a decent workshop Nd get some lathes.
     
  11. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    Are you thinking of 'Truwell', which was coated steel not stainless steel?
     
  12. fixitflav

    fixitflav Active Member

    Not heard that name, but a friend had some work done about then the pipe is still there and looks like SS, but it could be coated. Coated with what though? The pipe was soldered ion the usual way.
     
  13. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    Does a magnet stick to them? Galvanised or chrome plated steel are both, IME, more common than SS.

    Steel can be soldered easily enough but needs an acid flux that has to be cleaned properly afterwards.
     
  14. fixitflav

    fixitflav Active Member

    Don't know, he doesn't live near me.
    I believe steel, SS and galvanised can be soldered (using ordinary solder) but not chrome plated.
    It's not important anyway, just me being curious.
     
  15. BYP

    BYP GSR

    I can confirm you can indeed solder chrome plated copper, although you will have to file the chrome off first.
     
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