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Q. "What do you mean when you say the pipe must be restrained?"
A. Unlike threaded fittings, compression fittings can seal properly but still slip out of position as a result of internal pressure forces on a pipe. The compression joints provide a positive seal but do not restrain pipe from thrusts and movement under pressure. Proper installation of a compression joint requires blocking and/or strapping of the pipe to prevent any movement.
Q. "When are these sorts of fittings used?"
A. Compression couplings and tees (also known as "Dresser" fittings) are designed to be used for quick connections, system modifications or repairs. Most commonly these are used for repairing sections of old galvanized pipe where it's too difficult to thread the pipe ends. Some municipalities have regulations about where and when bronze compression fittings can be used, so double check with your local inspector.
Q. "Why are some of these fittings, valves, and nipples not for potable water?"
A. Starting January 1st of 2010, California and Vermont enacted new low lead laws. Effective January 2014, our U.S. Congress also passed the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (public law P.L. 111-380) which revised the Safe Drinking Water Act definition of lead free to mean 0.25% or less (weighted average) in pipes and fixture fittings used for potable water. Before then these top quality brass products were legal for potable water and used throughout the world and actually contain much less lead than products manufactured before the 1980's.
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