Plumbing showdown: Uponor and copper go head to head

Uponor’s training academy course leader and plumbing specialist Martin Allen has proven once and for all that the company’s multi layer composite pipe (MLCP) outperforms copper.

Martin challenged Uponor sponsored professional darts player and plumber Mark Webster to a simple, like for like installation to see which material would fare the best.

A copper stalwart, Mark bought along his kit to the Uponor Training Academy in Lutterworth but was left standing as Martin demonstrated how quick and easy it is to install Uponor plumbing systems.

Martin completed the ‘T joint’ installation in just 1 minute 20 seconds leaving time to have a sit down and a cuppa whilst Mark continued for a further 2 minutes and 19 seconds before his copper installation was complete.

Martin wasn’t at all surprised by the result but it demonstrated to Mark that Uponor offers a viable alternative to copper that has too many benefits to be ignored. Martin says: “Working with Uponor plumbing systems couldn’t be simpler. The installation is clean, the pipe is lighter and easier to transport and the system requires few tools yet the fitting is completely secure.

“An added benefits is price stability. Whereas copper prices change weekly and continue to rise, Uponor’s systems remain price stable throughout the year meaning installers can quote more effectively, safe in the knowledge that the price won’t change.”

Martin used Uponor’s Multi-Layer Composite pipe (MLCP) during the head to head installation which, like copper retains its strength and capacity at all times, offering the best of both materials. He adds; “With no welding, thread cutting, soldering or gluing, the range of fittings are perfectly co-ordinated, with a simple cut, bevel and press required to complete an otherwise challenging job.”

The company’ alternative PEX pipe is cross-linked polyethylene that gives performance and stability. And thanks to its thermal memory, each joint will tighten over time as the pipe will try to contract to its original state.

Both PEX and MLCP offer a light and remarkably easy system, with jointing on the inside of the pipe with no moving parts.

After the installation challenge, Mark commented: “It’s really impressive. I never thought it would be that much quicker, and much cleaner too. In many installations I have worked on, gaining a license to use hot works on site can be difficult, particularly in places such as hospitals or public buildings. This is a major advantage for Uponor in my view, second only to the speed and security of the installation.”

Martin adds: “With copper prices continuing to rise, the final advantage of Uponor systems is its unattractiveness to thieves. Whereas the incidences of copper theft are on the up, as yet, we’ve not heard of any cases of Uponor piping being stolen on site or during an installation!

Martin concludes: “Carrying out the same installation with Uponor’s brand new RTM system, which eliminates the need for tools, would have been even faster!”

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Uponor is a leading international provider of plumbing and indoor climate solutions for residential and commercial building markets across Europe and North America. In Northern Europe, Uponor is also a prominent supplier of infrastructure pipe systems. Uponor offers its customers solutions that are technically advanced, ecologically sustainable, and safe and reliable to own and operate. The Group employs approx. 3,200 persons, in 30 countries. In 2010, Uponor’s net sales totalled 750 million euros. Uponor Corporation is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki in Finland.