The UK Copper Board provides sponsorship for the skills competition held in Northern Ireland. Skillbuild NI is held annually each spring, with the top local construction apprentices competing to win coveted titles in 12 different construction craft areas ranging from brickwork to wall and floor tiling to plumbing. The winners may then go on to represent Northern Ireland in the UK SkillPLUMB Final and potentially the UK at WorldSkills.

Copper tube installations have been tried and tested over many years of use in all parts of plumbing and heating systems.  Copper's versatility in such a wide variety of situations has resulted in the design and development of many different types of fixing clips and bracketing systems.  All pipework systems must be adequately supported if they are to give trouble-free service, especially over the long life of a copper system.

When deciding on the most suitable location for copper pipework, plumbers have to take into account the wishes of the customer for a reliable, quality installation, with minimum amounts of pipework on show, and work carried out at minimum cost.  These wishes have to be balanced against the requirements of the various Standards and Regulations.

Copper pipework must be installed so that it is reasonably accessible for inspection and testing, as well as maintenance and repair.

Copper tube can be easily formed into bends, to allow for changes in direction of pipework.  Using the correct setting out procedure, bending machines and technique will ensure that perfect bends can be achieved each time.

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From time to time we publish our 'Copper Matters' newsletter to give you the latest information about the copper plumbing industry, as well as news of other applications for copper for your interest. 

 Copper Matters 2014 front page

An electronic copy is also sent to all Copper Club members who have provided us with their email address.

Installation Tips is the technical document of the Copper Initiative.  Installation Tips is a very popular free resource for plumbers and plumbing students, containing technical advice and tips for the best installation of copper tube and fittings.  Printed copies are no longer available but they are available as individual pdfs, see below. 

 

The temperature resistance of copper is not limited to high temperatures. Copper reacts equally well to cold. As the temperature drops, the strength and ductility of copper increase. This is in sharp contrast to other materials which may, for example, become brittle when exposed to cold.

This is why copper has, for decades now, been the standard material for air conditioning and cooling installations.

Copper pipework is ideal for domestic gas installations.  It is reliable, durable, impermeable, lightweight and fits into tight spaces.  Copper can be joined using a number of proven jointing techniques.

BS 6891:2015 – Specification for the installationand maintenance of low pressure gas installation pipework of up to 35mm (R11/4) on premises - gives information on materials, design and installation techniques for gas systems.  The main jointing technique used in domestic gas installations is capillary soldering and joints should be completed in the accepted way.

Copper can withstand high pressures and temperatures, along with the ease of jointing, bending and clipping, making it the ideal pipework material for wet central heating systems.

Oxygen ingress can cause problems for some ferrous (iron and steel) components in heating systems.  Copper offers complete impermeability to oxygen.

Copper and a well-designed and maintained pipework system will help to minimise the risk to your customers from diseases that can be communicated through the water service, like Legionella pneumophila.

The benefit of copper systems; is that copper systems can be thermally shocked. Temperatures above 55oC can be used for prolonged times in copper systems. The additional benefit of copper at higher temperatures is that there is less required time for disinfection, therefore saving energy, water and time.