With this comparison between electrofusion fittings and push-fit fittings for PE pipes, we would like to provide support in the choice between the two fittings, taking into consideration installation time and related costs. Before looking at the differences between the two solutions currently available on the market, it is necessary to start from a common point, which is the quality of the fittings.

Electrofusion fittings

1. Electrofusion VS push-fit fittings.

What are electrofusion fittings and how do they work?

Electrofusion couplings are fittings used for joining polyethylene water and gas pipes. The electrofusion fittings are made of high-density PE 100, to ensure that the internal layer of the fitting and external layer of the pipe are welded together”. This type of welding is carried through the electrical resistance inside the fitting, by using the designated welding machine. The parameters to be set like temperature and installation time are on the label and can be read by the machine via the barcode.

Electrofusion coupling

2. Electrofusion fitting.

Electrofusion fittings advantages

Electrofusion allows safe and reliable joining, thanks to a uniform heat diffusion. Automatic reading of the parameters by the machine reduces the number of operations that the operator has to perform during the installation. Furthermore, due to the safety of the system, this solution is currently the most widely used in the gas sector.

Electrofusion fittings disadvantages

The welding process takes time and requires qualified personnel who must be trained and certified in welding processes, as required by most of the European countries. Costs also rise due to the fact that the machinery has to be purchased or rented. External conditions can also affect the final result by compromising the welding. For this reason, working under extremely hot or extremely cold conditions will lead to a significant extension of time, an increase in costs and a higher likelihood of incurring in installation problems.

Resistance fitted inside the electrofusion fitting

3. Resistance fitted inside the electrofusion fitting.

What are push-fit fittings and how do they work?

Push-fit fittings are couplings for the connection of water polyethylene pipes with pressures up to PN16 (SDR11). Push-fit couplings are made of polypropylene and are inserted directly onto the pipe by hand or by an inserting device which can facilitate the work. These couplings are the ideal solution for waterworks applications.

Saving time and money with Plug&Play®, the push-fit fittings made in SAB

In SAB, we have developed Plug&Play® fittings to offer our partners a simple, high-performance solution that significantly reduces installation time. These fittings are equipped with a lip seal and a special conical anti-slip grip ring, which make Plug&Play a simple and quick product for the end user’s installation and reliable over time.

Push-fit Plug&Play fitting

4. Push-fit Plug&Play fitting.

Plug&Play® – Benefits

Thanks to the push-fit couplings developed by SAB, the welding, the use of glue and the mechanical tightening typical of compression fittings can be avoided. Due to their ease of installation, they are also ideal for repairs on construction sites in old town centres, in inaccessible areas and in adverse situations such as extreme temperatures.

The reduction in the need for machinery and the significant reduction in installation time guarantees a substantial saving in time and money. In order to have a real comparison on time reduction, we have estimated that the installation of a Ø90 electrofusion coupling takes about 18 minutes (assembly, welding and cooling) while for it takes only 30 seconds for a Plug&Play® coupling (here the video).

Plug&Play® – Quality

The use of virgin raw materials and the presence of certifications for water supply issued by accredited organisations are essential to understand whether we are buying a quality product or not. In general, certifications alone also guarantee the compliance of the raw material.

This fitting has undergone the main international certifications to work in contact with drinking water and meets the requirements of the following standards:

  1. UNI9561
  2. AS/NZS4129
  3. BRL-K17105
  4. DIN8076
  5. ISO17885

At SAB we recommend using this type of reliable and simple solutions to optimise the resources available to the technician on site.

Plu&Play SAB fittings

5. Plug&Play fittings, sectioned and on site.

Find out more about Plug&Play