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What is the difference between soldering and ProPress?

If you are a plumber or homeowner or have a decent amount of experience in plumbing, then you must be aware of the ongoing debate about which one is better: soldering or ProPress. Soldering and ProPress are both two different ways of welding & joining the pipe. The former uses high heat to join two different metals whereas, ProPress only uses pressure to join pipes and other fittings. 

Both of them have their strong points and both of them have their drawbacks. Before making an informed decision about which one is better, you need to be informed about both. So this article will talk you through both their strong suits and their drawbacks to help you get an overview of what you want to stick with.

Everest Plumbing Mar 18, 2024
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What is soldering?

Soldering dates back to over 3000 years. So, many welders consider this as an art form. Soldering is a method of welding two metals together using a filler metal. Using a filler metal with a high melting point it joins two metals that have a lower melting point. 

Many plumbers like putting in work and watching their craft take shape the way they want it to. Other than this sentimental attachment to soldering, many prefer this method of joining metals because of its reliability and longevity

Why should you choose Soldering?

  • Soldering is cheap:
    Soldering is comparatively less costly than ProPress fitting. A ProPress fitting tool itself is very expensive. It can cost you anywhere between $1100 to above $6000.
  • You can work with different metals:
    You do not have to confine your work to just copper and aluminum. You can solder any material, so if you know the craft, you can accept almost every welding job.
  • Ancient art:
    Soldering has been around for a very long time. It has become more than just a welding tool for plumbers but rather an art that enjoy doing.

What are ProPress fittings?

ProPress is an innovative way of welding that has many plumbers by clutch. It is a mechanical way of joining two pipes or any fixtures. ProPress is easy to use and does not require you to hold a certificate of use. Many new generation trade person &  welders prefer this over traditional soldering because of its versatility, speed, and simplicity. 

There are some reasons why plumbers would not make the switch. It could be because of the high cost of switching. But, it has changed the plumbing industry and significantly impacted welding.

Why should you choose ProPress?

  • ProPress is very fast and time-effective:
    If you are planning on Propressing pipes, it will require you less than a minute. You will just have to adjust the pipes and the ProPress tool. The job will be done at the press of a button.
  • ProPress does not require much effort:
    When soldering, you have to work with high temperatures for a long time. But you don’t have to worry about that when you are using a ProPress tool.
  • ProPress does not require you to have a hot work permit:
    This is how simple and easy it is to ProPress pipes and fixtures, you do not even need a permit to use the ProPress tool, unlike soldering which will require you to have a heat-work permit.
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Soldering vs ProPress, which one is better and why?

  • In terms of cost:
    When it comes to cost, soldering is cheaper than ProPress by a mile. If you do not have any time constraints, then you should stick to soldering because both methods of joining pipes and fixtures, one is just more expensive than the other.
  • In terms of time:
    ProPress will join your pipes in less than a minute without any prior prep time. Whereas when you are soldering, you need to prep and then after you’re done with the connecting, you will have to wait for it to cool down. ProPress is one click and done.
  • Easier to use:
    ProPress is easier to use. You do not have to wait for the entire drain system to dry out and just wait for a small part that needs to be connected to dry out. As for soldering, you will have to drain your entire plumbing system.
  • Versatility when it comes to usage:
    You can solder a variety of metals like copper, brass, stainless steel, and some aluminum alloys, however, you can ProPress only copper and stainless steel. So you have more options when you work with soldering and fewer options when you are working with ProPress.

Here is the table with detail to brief the difference between pro press and soldering.

Basis Soldering ProPress Which one is better
Cost Soldering is a cheaper way of joining metals. ProPress fittings are significantly more expensive than soldering. Soldering is cheaper than ProPress fittings so, it would be the better option.
Effenciency The prep time for soldering is what makes it take more time ProPress. ProPress uses high pressure to join two metals. It requires just one click to weld the metals together. ProPress would be the better choice because it takes a short time.
Easy You will have to work with high temperatures and that is hazardous and more dangerous than Propess. You just have to use a ProPress tool for ProPress fittings. It is straightforward to use. ProPress is simple and easy to use so ProPress would be a better choice.
Area of Use You can use it everywhere, although it can be hazardous when working in a small confined space. You can use ProPress everywhere, even in tighter spaces. ProPress allows you to work in a wider range of areas, so in terms of versatility, ProPress would be the better choice.
Metal You can join copper, gold, bronze, silver, and steel. ProPress is usually done for copper fittings, and MegaPress is used for pressing black iron and steel. Soldering can join various metals, including steel, but you will need a MegaPress to join heavier metals; so soldering would be a better choice.
Rectification You can fix your mistakes again & again. Once the metals are joined, you cannot redo it. So in case of mistakes, you’ll need an entirely new fittings. So in rectification, many mistakes are being made while working, soldering will be effective in rectifying.

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