Affordable prices and simple installation increasingly make polypropylene products gradually replace metal pipes in rooms and buildings of any type. Indeed, for laying a plastic pipeline, welding experience is not required, since even beginners can cope with controlling a soldering iron that heats pipes and fittings, unless, of course, you read this article and choose the right tool.

How to use

Before going to the store, it is useful for novice craftsmen to find out what types of soldering irons for polypropylene pipes are currently offered to consumers.

The budget option was commonly referred to as the “iron”. The working part of this tool has a characteristic shape (see common name) with two dies, which can usually be replaced depending on the outer diameter of the pipe and fittings (inner side). The nozzles are installed on different sides and during operation they heat up to 260-300 degrees.

Attention!!! The “iron” can be removed from the stand if you need to install the water supply in hard-to-reach places. In this case, the tool must be held by a special handle, which is inconvenient. Therefore, these devices are more suitable for stationary work.

The second option is more versatile, as it allows you to work with removable dies that can be moved freely around the heating cylinder. This design allows you to work in hard-to-reach places, even when the pipes are next to the wall or “wiggle” in the presence of insurmountable obstacles. It is more convenient to solve such problems if a soldering iron of a similar design has a two-meter power cord and a folding stand for working in stationary conditions.

Both of these options offer an extremely simple soldering process. The operator first heats the pipe and fitting to assemble the parts. The plastic cools instantly and forms a reliable one-piece type connection. The subsequent assembly of the pipeline / water pipeline follows a similar pattern.

How to choose

It should be noted here that the design of a soldering iron for propylene pipes primarily affects comfort during operation and the quality of “welding”, which, with the right approach, can provide a lifetime pipeline up to 100 years, is much more influenced by the technical parameters of the tool.

It is therefore necessary to choose a soldering iron according to the following characteristics:

  1. Power. Devices up to 1000 W usually have only one heating element. Therefore, the operator must wait for the matrix to warm up to the desired temperature. Therefore, a tool with a power of up to 2000 watts is more suitable for professionals. Such devices usually have two heating elements and provide a rapid heating rate.
  2. welding diameter. This parameter directly depends on the number of nozzles supplied with the device. In domestic conditions, heads with a diameter of 20-63 millimeters are usually used, and professionals often have to supplement this set with dies with a diameter of 90-110 millimeters.
  3. heating temperature. Usually this parameter is between 260 and 300 degrees. However, experts recommend buying models with a temperature regulator so that they can “adapt” to the material from which the pipes are made (polyethylene – 220 degrees, polypropylene – 260 degrees, etc.).
  4. Building elements. It is preferable to favor a tool with a light indication (information on the presence of the sector), an integrated thermostat and an automatic shutdown mechanism in the event of overheating. The professional models are additionally equipped with a display that helps the operator to make precise adjustments and instantly assess the proper functioning of the tool.
  5. Manufacturers. At present, the following companies can be safely included in the “troika” of leaders in the production of soldering irons for propylene pipes – Rothenberger, Gerat and Valfex. However, it is not worth focusing only on these companies, since the products of some domestic and Chinese companies are currently practically in no way inferior to eminent competitors, but are much cheaper.

Recommendations are of course useful, but the final choice of tool is best made based on the tasks that will be solved using a soldering iron for propylene pipes.

The simplest and cheapest models, which it will not be a shame to borrow or sell, are suitable only for minor repairs. When installing plastic pipes on your own in an apartment or house, you will need a more “advanced” device with a temperature controller, a set of dies up to 32 millimeters and the ability to work in hard-to-reach places.

With frequent plumbing work at various sites, it is better to purchase a soldering iron with a power of 1500 W or more, a temperature regulator and a set of nozzles with a diameter of 20 to 63 millimeters. The most “advanced” and expensive models with a set of nozzles from 70 to 110 millimeters, a screen and various modes of operation are not intended for amateurs, but for professionals who often have to lay pipes.

These are only general recommendations for choosing a soldering iron for propylene pipes. However, before the final choice of the model, it is still worth reading the reviews of real buyers, so as not to stumble upon “Chinese consumer goods”.