Viega gets ProPress approved in NYC

NEW YORK — Viega LLC is celebrating the approval of its ProPress press fitting system in one of the nation’s last holdouts, New York City. New York finally abandoned its 1968 plumbing code, said Steve Fiedler, Viega’s regional manager for New York City, and adopted the 2003 edition of the International Plumbing Code with revisions.

The approval is for both copper and stainless steel piping. It is not approved for gas pipe. Viega will offer fittings from ½-in. to 4-in.

“I think it’s huge,” said Adina Barnes, Viega’s strategic marketing director. “New York City consistently has had large commercial construction going on and, if contractors can use press fittings, their jobs will go quicker. It opens up a whole new avenue for [commercial mechanical contractors].”

While the code change was technically approved in July 2008, the press fitting section did not take effect until May 1, Fiedler explained, because of an addendum.

The city modified the 2003 IPC, he noted, by not allowing PVC for buildings taller than five stories, for example, or not allowing the use of copper for gas piping. And because the IPC was not specific enough for the city’s liking when it came to press fittings, the Office of Technical Certification and Research issued a bulletin making it clear that the ProPress fitting system is acceptable. That bulletin made the approval official May 1.

Barnes is happy because use of press fittings means Viega can get its products into more wholesalers and more building projects across the city. Viega has been pushing for code acceptance of ProPress state-by-state and city-by-city since 1999. Viega’s brand awareness in New York should grow. Fielder is happy because he has more to sell. And plumbing and mechanical contractors can now make metallic piping connections more quickly.