Plumbers urged to take extra care when installing push-

New products that allow plumbers to work faster and more efficiently - and to bring down costs for their customers - are always welcomed, and push-fit pipes are certainly one example.

They have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing tradespeople to make speedier plumbing connections without the need to solder or use glue.

It is also quicker and easier to cap or repair broken pipes in emergency situations using push-fit pipes, and they can be removed more easily for repositioning as required.

So there are many benefits, but the problem with push-fit pipes is that if they are installed incorrectly they can be the cause of some very serious damage.

Insurance group ECIC is warning plumbers to take extra care when using these types of pipes, as it has seen a big rise in the number of claims for water damage resulting from push-fittings in the last year or so.

The value of these claims varies from property to property, but in commercial environments the repair bill can reach hundreds of thousands of pounds. In one case, a care home suffered water damage so serious that it cost £500,000 to put right.

That's not to say that push-fit pipes are risky or should not be used. They must, however, be fitted properly and with plenty of care and attention by a fully qualified professional, as tiny mistakes can be disastrous.

"We have seen an upsurge in escape of water claims in recent years, and the increasing use of push-fit pipes has, without a doubt, contributed to this rise," said ECIC claims manager Ian Hollingworth.

"By ensuring that anyone fitting push-fit pipes is trained appropriately, and that care is taken to do the job correctly, plumbing contractors will be able to avoid damage, both to the property in question, but also their reputation and bottom line."

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