Position statement on Acetal-Bodied Fittings

Thermoplastics pipes and fittings systems for hot and cold water and heating applications are now firmly established in the United Kingdom.

Specified to a British Standard (BS 7291- Thermoplastics pipe and fitting systems for hot and cold water for domestic purposes and heating installations in buildings) since 1990, these systems have benefited from significant improvements in performance during this time, reflected by increased performance requirements in BS 7291.

The BPF Pipes Group was involved in the revision of BS 7291 in 2010 to introduce a suitable testing regime to ensure that fittings kitemarked to the standard have the appropriate performance capabilities for all the applications for which they are intended.

As a result of this initiative, it came to the attention of the BPF Pipes Group that fittings having bodies manufactured in acetal materials are being placed on the market without reference to their limited performance capabilities. Specifically, such acetal-bodied fittings, whilst satisfactory for conventional intermittent hot and cold water supply applications, should not be used at normal operating temperatures above 65°C in applications including vented and unvented heating systems.

The BPF Pipes Group strongly urges all stockists and merchants / users of Thermoplastic Pipe Systems, to ensure that acetal-bodied fittings are not used for these elevated temperature applications. The manufacturing members of the BPF Pipes Group include guidance on all relevant packaging and literature.

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