Push fittings save time and money by taking away the hassle of soldering. Occasionally though, a push fitting will need opening-up. Maybe the 'O' ring was damaged during installation or perhaps a pipe needs replacement. This is inconvenient and can be expensive, especially on large diameter piping, if you're not using TECTITE fittings.
Push fittings basics
For the uninitiated, a push fitting does just what the name suggests: it makes a watertight joint simply by pushing the pipe into the fitting.
Look inside a TECTITE push fitting and you'll see a stainless steel grab ring and an EPDM 'O' ring. The grab ring has teeth that grip onto and hold the pipe in place. The 'O' ring fits over the outside of the pipe to seal the gap between the outer pipe and fitting bore.
Large diameter TECTITE fittings, those from 1 1/4” to 2” diameter, have two additional components. These are an end or retaining cap that goes over the pipe and an internal protection ring sitting between the grab and 'O' ring. Together, these hold the pipe in place and help ensure a watertight joint.
Advantages of push fittings
Push fittings save you from having to sweat or solder copper pipe joints, and they also work with materials such as PEX. Soldering is often a problem when there's limited space to work the flame around the joint and especially if flammable materials are nearby. In these situations, push fittings are real time-savers.
Every push fitting relies on that 'O' ring for the seal. If it gets nicked or damaged the joint will leak. Deburring and chamfering pipe ends should prevent damage during assembly, but job sites are dirty places. Grit can get into a fitting while it's on the ground or being carried to the installation site, and that's likely to damage the seal. You'll find this out when the water is turned on and the joint leaks.
If a joint leaks it must be taken apart and remade. This is the second caution. While with small bore piping it may be possible to replace the 'O' and grab rings, the same is not true for most large diameter push fittings. Unless you're using a TECTITE large diameter push fitting, remaking the joint means replacing the fitting, and that's an expensive proposition.
The TECTITE large diameter advantage
TECTITE large diameter push fittings are designed so you can replace just the functional components instead of the whole fitting. The end cap unscrews with a special wrench, granting access to the grab ring, protection ring and 'O' ring. If a damaged 'O' ring meant the joint was leaking, it's only necessary to replace that and the grab ring.
Another all-too-common situation is where the end cap gets damaged. Again, this is easily replaced, avoiding the expense of a whole new fitting.
Saving time and money
We're taught to measure twice and cut once. It saves us from having to do the job again. Unfortunately, real life doesn't work quite like that -- sometimes installation mistakes happen and a fitting leaks. TECTITE large diameter fittings are designed with replaceable components, which makes repair simple and inexpensive.