The proficiency of an industrial plumbing professional is often determined by their ability to solve routine maintenance issues within a given facility. Propress fittings are commonly used in industrial plumbing applications due to the compact nature of these fittings.
While Propress fittings are extremely useful for reducing space and streamlining piping systems, they can cause some maintenance challenges. These fittings remain one of the most difficult types of industrial plumbing components to remove. Once you have read this article, you’ll know exactly how to remove a Propress fitting from your system so it can be replaced with another type of fitting.
Removing a propress fitting can be done by using a wrench to unscrew the fitting.
What Is A Propress Fitting?
A Propress fitting is a type of industrial pipe fitting that uses a process called swaging to connect two pieces of pipe together. Swaging involves compressing the two pieces of pipe with a hydraulic or pneumatic press while simultaneously rotating them at high speed. This process creates a type of “welding” between the two sections of pipe to create a single, solid unit.
The Propress fitting is therefore extremely strong and has the added benefit of reducing the amount of space needed for the piping system. The major disadvantage of Propress fittings is their difficulty in removal, requiring specialized tools and knowledge. Propress fittings are commonly used in applications where two sections of pipe are joined at an angle, such as in a T-junction. They are also commonly used for end connections and on manifolds. There are several different types of Propress fittings, including 45, 90, and 180 degree elbows, tees, and crosses.
How To Remove A Propress Fitting
Step 1: Disassemble The Swaging Joint
In order to remove a Propress fitting, you must first disassemble the swaging joint. This means removing the metal pieces that have been compressed together. The joint may have been assembled with a manual or automated press. Regardless of the type of press used, you must use a press to reverse the process and separate the pieces. Before you start disassembling the joint, mark the parts so you know how they are oriented in the fitting. This will help you reassemble the joints as they were originally. Many industrial plumbing contractors find it helpful to use a digital camera to document the disassembly process. This will allow you to go back and review the disassembly process at a later date if needed.
Step 2: Determine Which Way The Fitting Must Be Rotated
The next step in removing the Propress fitting is to determine the direction that it must be rotated to release it from the pipe. This will vary depending on the type of fitting, but there are a few general rules that can help you. If the fitting is a tee, then it will open towards the flow of the pipe. If the fitting is a 90 degree elbow, then it will open opposite the direction of the flow of the pipe. If the fitting is a non-tee cross, then it will open towards the flow of the pipe. Some fittings have arrows marked on them to indicate the direction that they must be rotated. This is common with tees, crosses, and any other fitting with an open end. You can also use a caliper to measure the diameter of the pipe and fitting and then use that measurement to determine which way the fitting must be rotated. Take a measurement from the outside of the pipe and from the outside of the fitting. Subtract the measurement of the pipe from the measurement of the fitting to determine the offset. Then, use a calculator or chart to determine which way the fitting must be rotated.
Step 3: Mark The Fitting For Location And Diameter
If you have determined the direction that the fitting must be rotated, then you’ll need to mark the pipe and fitting with the diameter of the pipe. Mark the pipe and fitting at the same location so you know they are in the correct position when reinstalling the fitting. Mark the pipe and fitting using a paint pen or other type of marker. If the fitting is a tee or cross, then mark the open end of the fitting with the pipe diameter and the number 1. This can be helpful to remember which end of the fitting is the first part to be removed. If the fitting is an elbow, mark the open end as the top and then mark a line down through the fitting to the pipe below. This will help you know when to stop rotating the fitting.
Step 4: Use An Industrial Saw To Cut The Pipe
The next step in removing the Propress fitting is to cut the pipe. You can use an industrial pipe saw to cut the pipe at a location that is out of the way. Be sure to wear safety equipment, including safety goggles and gloves. Before cutting the pipe, mark the pipe length to indicate where you will be making the cut. This will help you know where the cut should be made. The pipe will be hot when you make the cut, so let it cool before handling it. Cut the pipe after rotating the fitting to the correct position and angle. This will ensure the cut is made in the correct place. Use a cooling spray on the pipe to cool it after cutting it.
Step 5: Rotate The Fitting While Pushing Out The Cutter Bits
The next step in removing the Propress fitting is to rotate the fitting while pushing out the cutter bits. In most cases, the cutter bits will be located on the interior of the fitting. When removing a 90-degree elbow, you will be rotating the fitting towards you, so you will need to push the bits out towards you. When removing a tee or cross fitting, you will be rotating the fitting towards you and the bits will be pushed towards you. When removing an elbow fitting, the fitting will be rotated towards you, but the bits will be pushed towards you. Rotate the fitting while pushing out the cutter bits and they should release from the pipe. Continue rotating the fitting and the fitting should come off of the pipe.
After you have successfully removed the Propress fitting from the pipe, you’ll need to clean the pipe and fitting. The pipe and fitting may be coated with a black residue from the cutting oil. Clean the pipe and fitting thoroughly with a degreaser or other cleaning agent. Be sure to clean out the inside of the fitting as well. After cleaning the pipe and fitting, you’ll need to install a new fitting. You can use the same type of fitting if it’s in good condition. Otherwise, you’ll need to replace the fitting with another type of fitting. You can install the new fitting using the same process as removing the Propress fitting.