Leading iron technology solutions provider, Saint-Gobain PAM UK, has released the results of a study arranged to demonstrate the installation speed of its new Ensign EEZI-FIT push-fit jointed above-ground drainage
system. Under strictly monitored conditions, EEZI-FIT was shown to be substantially faster to install for vertical soil risers than HDPE using fusion welded joints and therefore potentially as a more cost-effective solution.
EEZI-FIT consists of a range of socketed fittings and couplings in 100mm and 150mm diameter
that utilises standard Ensign double-spigot pipe. Suitable for above -ground gravity sanitary installations, it offers a system that combines all the benefits of cast iron with a faster installation in situations where push-fit is the preferred method.
Explaining the objective of the tests, Mike Rawlings of Saint-Gobain PAM UK
, says: “Our aim was to independently measure the installation time of our new EEZI-FIT push-fit pipework system against some of the main competitor materials
. This was in order to demonstrate that this new cast iron drainage system can be intrinsically faster to install than other systems and to show the potential level of time and cost savings possible.”
The installation study was carried out at the BRE laboratory in Watford and observed by senior BRE consultants. The aim was to measure and compare installation times of the EEZI-FIT push-fit system against an HDPE system using fusion-welded joints and a stainless steel push-fit system. Installation of all three types of system was carried out by the same team of plumbing installers from PJ Myers Ltd of Essex, who are experienced in all three materials.
The installation consisted of a 9m vertical stack assembly over three floors with provision for a WC and basin waste on each floor. At ground floor level 150mm diameter pipe was used with 100mm on the second and third floors. To ensure that the overall assembly times were in the main influenced only by the pipe cutting and assembly of joints, each of the systems was supported by brackets mounted on pre-assembled rail systems. The laboratory test was based on the stacks being soil and waste with a pressure requirement of no more than 0.5 bar.
In terms of strict timings, in this study EEZI-FIT proved as fast as stainless steel to install and significantly faster than HDPE: the HDPE fusion jointing method was slow in comparison to both push-fit methods.
However, the study also considered the full cost breakdown for each system. For EEZI-FIT the only additional materials cost was lubricant for jointing and the only equipment required was a chopsaw, which as standard equipment represented no cost. For the HDPE system, additional materials included expansion limiters and fire collars. Both HDPE and stainless steel systems required the hire of specialist equipment – a fusion weld machine for HDPE and a special cutting and bevelling machine for stainless steel.
By factoring in these ancillary costs, the ease and speed of installation of the EEZI-FIT system was shown to have the potential to bridge the material cost gap with HDPE and to be more cost-effective than stainless steel. Mark Myers of PJ Myers commented from the installer’s perspective: “On projects with long vertical runs within a riser we could make a large saving using the EEZI-FIT system. A real bone of contention is the hidden cost associated with other materials, such as special tool hire, fire collars, additional brackets and special insulation. With a cast-iron push-fit system, there are no extras and you only need simple tools. The extras can bite, particularly on larger projects, and make the difference between a profitable and unprofitable job.”
The installation study is one of a series of independently monitored tests commissioned by Saint-Gobain PAM
to prove the benefits of using cast-iron drainage systems. Previous studies have demonstrated fire safety and acoustic performance. Mike Rawlings concludes: “In strict materials terms, cast iron out-performs its competition for durability, strength, sustainability, fire resistance and acoustic performance. This study has shown that with EEZI-FIT, cast iron also offers a speed and ease of installation which compares favourably with lighter-weight systems.” So the specifier can choose the best performing material knowing that the speed and simplicity of installation will provide the most cost effective total installed solution overall.