FAQs

Browse below to find answers to the most frequently asked questions about our company and PE pipe systems below. If your question is not listed, please contact us.

Customer service

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Have you got a minimum order requirement?

Yes. Any order placed directly with us is subject to a minimum order value or quantity which can vary across product ranges.  Our Customer Service Team can provide you with full details.

For smaller quantities, please contact our extensive UK distribution network.

How do I know if stock is available?

Simply contact our Customer Service Team. This is only to avoid disappointment as we have standard stock levels on certain products and also make products specifically against order.

The product detailed on our website and in our literature outlines what we are capable of manufacturing at the time of publication and does not necessarily indicate immediate availability.

Where is my nearest local distributor of your products?

We have an extensive distribution network across the whole of the UK.  Use our Stockist Finder to find your nearest GPS PE Pipe Systems distributor.

Will you deliver to addresses that are difficult to access?

It depends on the information you supply to us. To ensure the smooth delivery of your order, we need to be informed in advance about any site constraints or accessibility issues at the delivery address. Don't worry; we will always try to find a way, but to avoid problems with delivery we need to know as much information as possible in advance.

Do you charge for delivery?

We generally offer free delivery to our account customers via our ‘milk round’ delivery service. We reserve the right to charge associated delivery costs for certain products and services. Our Customer Service Team will be happy to confirm this.

Can I return a product, exchange it or get a refund?

Due to the nature of our products we generally operate a non-returns policy. In exceptional circumstances, where product returns or exchanges are agreed by prior-arrangement with our Customer Service Team, they will be subject to written confirmation from GPS. Where written agreement has been obtained re-stocking charges may apply.

What are your conditions of sale?
What are your opening hours?

Our office hours of work are Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 17:30Hrs.

Engineering properties & design

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What is the difference between MDPE and HDPE, PE80 and PE100?

Historically, PE pipe materials were designated by their density. So LDPE stands for Low Density PE, MDPE – for Medium Density PE and HDPE – for High Density PE. Higher density indicates higher material strength, but it does not relate to any other long term material properties, such as stress crack resistance.

With the introduction of international standards, PE80 and PE100 designations were introduced. The numbers relate to the MRS (Minimum Required Strength) value of the material. In the UK, materials classified as MRS8 are referred to as PE80 and materials classified as MRS10 are referred to as PE100.

PE100 is a higher performance material than PE80 and demonstrates exceptional resistance to rapid crack propagation as well as stress cracking. The higher strength of PE100 permits thinner pipe walls than PE80 for the same operating pressures. PE100 uses less polymer and provides for a larger bore and increased flow capacity for a given nominal pipe size. This can result in significant cost savings at certain sizes and pressure ratings.

What is MRS?

MRS stands for Minimum Required Strength and indicates the long term strength of a PE material. Read about MRS in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

What is SDR?

SDR stands for Standard Dimensional Ratio and is defined as the ratio between wall thickness and outside diameter.  A higher SDR indicates a thinner-walled pipe at any given diameter.

SDR =  nominal (minimum) outside diameter / minimum wall thickness             Example:  SDR11 = 180 / 16.4

Read about SDR in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

What is the minimum bending radius for PE pipe?

Read  about the bending radii for PE in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide

Will polyethylene pipe float on water?

Yes, PE pipe will float even if full of water. PE material has low density (951kg/m3 compared with 1000 kg/m3 for water), which makes PE pipes buoyant.

What is the life expectancy of PE pipes?

PE pipes have a minimum design life of 50 years. However, under normal operating conditions, a typical service life for PE pipe is expected to be in excess of 100 years.

Do PE pipes expand and contract with temperature changes?

Read about expansion and contraction of PE pipes in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

What is the recommended maximum operating pressure for GPS pipes?

Refer to maxumum operating pressures for GPS standard pipes at 20°C given in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

Is re-rating required for PE pipes operating in surge and fatigue conditions?

Not for GPS pipes. Modern PE materials can withstand surges of up to twice the maximum operating pressure avoiding any need for de-rating. PE pipes that meet the stress crack resistance requirements of WIS 4-32-17 do not require re-rating at all for fatigue irrespective of the frequency of surge events.

For all other pipes not proven to be compliant with WIS 4-32-17, the pressure rating should be made in accordance with IGN 4-37-02.

What is the maximum temperature at which GPS pipes can operate?

The maximum temperature for continuous pressure operation is 60°C for liquids (including sewerage and industrial effluents), or 30° for gaseous fluids. Pipe pressure de-rating should be applied.

Will PE pipes operate in freezing temperatures?

  Yes. Polyethylene pipes can be successfully used in low temperature environments, including normal UK winter temperatures.

Polyethylene is a good insulator and will help prevent freezing of liquid pipe contents to an appreciable extent. Even if freezing does occur, the pipe will not burst since its flexibility will allow it to safely expand to accommodate increased volume. This makes PE pipes much less likely to burst in winter than metal pipes. Nonetheless, the pipeline system may still need to be protected against freezing temperatures to prevent flow restriction.

Does sunlight adversely affect PE pipes?

Read about storage of PE pipes outside in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

Is anchorage (thrust blocks) required for PE pipelines?

Read about anchorage in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

Chemical, corrosion and abrasion resistance

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Are PE pipes affected by chemicals?

Generally no. For more information, read about chemical resistance of PE pipes in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

What chemicals can be detrimental or permeate PE pipes?

Read the Chemical Resitance - Special Cases section in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

Can hydrocarbons in the ground affect buried PE pipes?

Yes. Hydrocarbons, such as petrol, diesel, heating fuel and white spirits, do not degrade polyethylene, but they can permeate through the wall of standard PE pipes in areas of gross contamination, compromising water quality to an extent that it may be unfit for human consumption. The potential presence of hydrocarbons therefore may require selection of a barrier pipe to provide long term protection against contamination (read about Protecta-Line barrier system).

Is it acceptable to specify PE barrier pipes for laying mains in contaminated site without undertaking a site investigation?

Yes, as stated in the UKWIR Guidance for the Selection of Water Supply Pipes to be used in Brownfield Sites, PE barrier pipes is the only solution that provides an effective barrier for all brownfield conditions (including highly corrosive ground) . Specifying barrier pipes at brownfield sites negates the need for a desk study or intrusive and expensive site investigation.

My site report indicates elevated levels of contaminants. Can I use PE barrier pipe (Protecta-Line)?

Yes. According to the UKWIR Guidance, PE barrier pipes provide an effective protection against all recognised brownfield contaminants, even in their maximum concentrations, and in all brownfield conditions (including highly corrosive ground).

Do PE pipes corrode?

No. Polyethylene does not corrode, rot, rust, pit or lose wall thickness through reaction with surrounding soil.

Are PE pipes suitable for transporting abrasive materials?

Yes. Read more about the abrasion resistance of PE pipes in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

Can I use a PE pipe that is damaged?

It depends on the extent of the scratch. It has been proven that during installation the abrasive elements of typical soils and backfills make a negligible impression on PE pipe. However, in the unlikely event of a scratch being cut into the external surface by more than 10% of the wall thickness, the pipe section should be rejected.

Jointing

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Can PE pipe be butt-fused in sub-zero weather conditions?

No, unless a space heater is provided for the welding shelter to raise the local temperature above 0°C. For situations in which weather conditions prohibit fusion joining, mechanical connections, such as Push-Fast, should be considered.

How do I join electrofusion fittings?

GPS recommend that electrofusion jointing is only carried out by operatives that have attended an electrofusion training course. Read how to perform electrofusion correctly in our Technical Guide.

Can standard butt-fusion and electrofusion procedures be used for Protecta-Line?

Standard butt-fusion and electrofusion procedures still apply; however, there are several additional points (such as the requirement for end preparation with special tooling), which should be followed.

How to join pipes using FRIALEN Large Diameter Electrofusion Couplers?

Follow the jointing instructions for FRIALEN electrofusion couplers in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide

Where do I get the equipment to do electrofusion or butt-fusion?
Do I need to scrape the pipe for an electrofusion joint?

Yes, scraping the pipe is an essential part of preparation for electrofusion procedure. If you don’t prepare the joint properly, it will fail prematurely.

Where do I get scraping tools to prepare GPS pipes for electrofusion and/or butt fusion
Can different PE materials and different wall thicknesses be joined by electrofusion?

Yes. Electrofusion fittings are able to weld pipes of different SDRs or different materials (PE80/PE100).

Can different PE materials and different wall thicknesses be joined by butt-fusion?

No. PE80 and PE100 should only be butt-fused to PE100 under closely controlled factory conditions. Different wall thicknesses must not be joined on site using butt-fusion.

Do I have to use wet wipes in electrofusion jointing?

Read about wet pipes in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

Do you supply Electrofusion Control Units?
Is the integrity of the fusion joint affected by working in high ambient temperatures (over 30°C)?

No. Adjustments would be required to fusion times if a manual ECU is used to maintain joint integrity.

How can I connect PE pipes to other pipe materials (e.g. ductile iron)?

PE transition fittings, PE flange adaptors (including SlimFlange) or specialist fabricated metal fittings (e.g. from Viking Johnson or WASK), that grip the pipe can be used. Although PE pipe systems are fully end-load bearing, precautions must be taken when a connection is made to another material to prevent pull-out of any non end-load bearing joints, the transition may need to be externally harnessed or anchored/thrust blocked.

How can I connect Protecta-Line to other barrier pipe systems?

A mechanical connection should be used: a threaded connection for service pipes or a flange connection for larger sized pipes.

Can I use mechanical strap saddles with Protecta-Line pipe?

Yes, but only the approved Protecta-Line strap saddles. We offer Protecta-Line Self Tapping Ferrule Off-Takes in main sizes 63mm to 355mm (with 25mm and 32mm outlets) and Ferrule Off-Takes in main sizes 90mm to 355mm (with 63mm outlets).

Do I have to wrap the fittings/joints made with Protecta-Line?

No. When made in accordance with GPS PE Pipe Systems' recommended procedures, butt-fusion and electrofusion joints of the Protecta-Line system have been independently shown to meet the requirements of WIS 4-32-19 without any need for subsequent wrapping. This does not exempt installers from local regulations and the local Water Company preferences must be adhered to.

Installation

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What is the maximum temperature at which GPS pipes can operate?

The maximum temperature for continuous pressure operation is 60°C for liquids (including sewerage and industrial effluents), or 30° for gaseous fluids. Pipe pressure de-rating should be applied.

Will PE pipes operate in freezing temperatures?

  Yes. Polyethylene pipes can be successfully used in low temperature environments, including normal UK winter temperatures.

Polyethylene is a good insulator and will help prevent freezing of liquid pipe contents to an appreciable extent. Even if freezing does occur, the pipe will not burst since its flexibility will allow it to safely expand to accommodate increased volume. This makes PE pipes much less likely to burst in winter than metal pipes. Nonetheless, the pipeline system may still need to be protected against freezing temperatures to prevent flow restriction.

How can I connect PE pipes to other pipe materials (e.g. ductile iron)?

PE transition fittings, PE flange adaptors (including SlimFlange) or specialist fabricated metal fittings (e.g. from Viking Johnson or WASK), that grip the pipe can be used. Although PE pipe systems are fully end-load bearing, precautions must be taken when a connection is made to another material to prevent pull-out of any non end-load bearing joints, the transition may need to be externally harnessed or anchored/thrust blocked.

How can I connect Protecta-Line to other barrier pipe systems?

A mechanical connection should be used: a threaded connection for service pipes or a flange connection for larger sized pipes.

What is the minimum burial depth for PE pipeline?

Normal minimum depth of cover for PE mains should be 750mm from ground level to the crown of the pipe.

Is it possible to puncture PE pipe?

Generally, only small diameter PE pipes can be punctured by excavation equipment. And while it is possible to puncture pipe in larger diameters with an excavator, it is usually a rare occurrence, as it cannot grip around the pipe or penetrate the thick wall. More often excavator damage takes the form of kinking of the pipe.

Is anchorage (thrust blocks) required for PE pipelines?

Read about anchorage in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

What is the recommended procedure to pressure test a water PE pipeline?

The pipeline should be pressure tested in accordance with BS EN 805 and IGN 4-01-03 recommendations.  For further information, read about pressure testing of PE water mains in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide.

What is the recommended procedure to pressure test a gas PE pipeline?

The pipeline should be pressure tested in accordance with the procedures of the Institution of Gas Engineers. For further information, read about pressure testing of gas PE mains in our Technical Guide.

What is the minimum trench width for water installations?

Trench width should not be less than the outside diameter of the pipe plus 250mm to allow for adequate compaction of side fill unless specialized narrow trenching techniques are used and/or specially free flowing and easily compacted side materials are employed.

Can Excel (PE100) be used for construction of a compressed air main?

It depends on the maximum temperature and air pressure. For applications up to 2bar and if the maximum temperature is 40°C, PE100 in SDR17 or SDR21 could be used, provided that the pipe is buried (as per GIS PL2-2).  Otherwise, we would suggest using relevant products manufactured and sold by our sister company Durapipe. Additional technical information should be sought on a case by case basis.

Can a standard gas pipe be installed in contaminated land or do we need to use Protecta-Line?

It would be very unusual for the level of contaminants to be sufficient to pose a risk for PE gas pipe.  Protecta-Line is intended only for potable water in contaminated land.  

Can black GPS electrofusion fittings be used for gas installations?

In general,  PE100 black fittings can be used for gas supplies only outside the UK. A limited number of black PE100 fittings which are unavailable in Yellow PE80 may be installed in the UK under special concession from the Gas Utility Company. Please contact GPS for information. 

Can I use DuraFuse transition fittings for gas applications?

No, DuraFuse transition fittings are not approved for gas use.

Standard pipes (PE80 & PE100)

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What is the difference between MDPE and HDPE, PE80 and PE100?

Historically, PE pipe materials were designated by their density. So LDPE stands for Low Density PE, MDPE – for Medium Density PE and HDPE – for High Density PE. Higher density indicates higher material strength, but it does not relate to any other long term material properties, such as stress crack resistance.

With the introduction of international standards, PE80 and PE100 designations were introduced. The numbers relate to the MRS (Minimum Required Strength) value of the material. In the UK, materials classified as MRS8 are referred to as PE80 and materials classified as MRS10 are referred to as PE100.

PE100 is a higher performance material than PE80 and demonstrates exceptional resistance to rapid crack propagation as well as stress cracking. The higher strength of PE100 permits thinner pipe walls than PE80 for the same operating pressures. PE100 uses less polymer and provides for a larger bore and increased flow capacity for a given nominal pipe size. This can result in significant cost savings at certain sizes and pressure ratings.

Are GPS coiled pipes available in all sizes?

PE coiled pipes are available in sizes up to 180mm only.

Are GPS coils low ovality?

Yes. A significant investment has been made by GPS PE Pipe Systems in 2009 and we are now able to deliver pipe coils in dimensions 125mm to 180mm with an ovality, immediately after uncoiling, of better than 5%*. This gives a significant advantage during installation, as it makes the pipes useable far more quickly, in keeping with the needs of the installer, particularly when electrofusion jointing is being employed.

*Ovality is defined as: (maximum individual pipe diameter minus the minimum individual pipe diameter) divided by the mean pipe diameter.

Can ‘no dig’ techniques be used to install GPS PE pipes?

Yes. PE pipes are the number one choice for trenchless installation techniques, such as pipe bursting, slip lining, and horizontal directional drilling (HDD). The superior flexibility and light weight of PE make it ideal for trenchless installation. These types of installations reduce the need for restoration and roadway reconstruction and allow work under rivers and lakes with less disruption to the environment. Combining the use of PE pipe with trenchless installation techniques provides significant cost savings.

Can GPS pipes be used above ground?

Only black PE pipes can be used above ground:

Black PE100 - for UK potable water supplies and industrial applications

Black PE80 - for UK potable water supplies and industrial applications or for water and gas supplies outside the UK.

Can GPS supply pipe in non-standard lengths and SDRs?

Yes, subject to minimum order value.

Do you produce PE pipes against American ASTM standards?

No.  Our pipes are made against European standards, such as EN 12201 and EN 1555, and not against American ASTM standards.

Do you supply PE pipes in imperial sizes?

GPS manufacture PE pipes in metric sizes only. PE liners for offshore industry can be manufactured to specified sizes to match the internal diameter of the host pipe.

How can I tell if this pipe is made by GPS?

Our pipes have the following information marked indelibly and linearly at intervals along the pipe:

  • Manufacturer name (GPS)
  • Nominal Pipe Outside Diameter (OD) in mm
  • SDR Value
  • Material designation (PE80 or PE100)
  • Raw Material Code
  • Shift Code
  • Name of any industry standard to which it conforms
  • Bar rating of the pipe and the word WATER (blue water pipes only)
What are the PE100+ Quality Materials?

PE100+ Quality Materials are premium PE100 grades that comply with the enhanced requirements of the PE100+ Association. These materials are exceptionally resistant to rapid crack propagation and long-term stress cracking. All GPS Excel (PE100) pipes are manufactured in PE100 pipe grades, listed on the PE100+ Quality Materials List.

What chlorine concentration should be used when swabbing the main before commissioning?

Water Companies will have their own codes of practice in place to determine the appropriate processes for their regions. However, Water UK’s Technical Guidance Note 4 recommends a solution concentration of 1000 mg/l free chlorine.

What is the difference between polyethylene and Alkathene pipes?

There no difference. Alkathene is just another proprietary name for polyethylene.

 

Will GPS coils fit in my coil trailer?

To check if PE coils will fit in your coil trailer, please consult the relevant coil dimensions tables shown in our Product Brochure.

I have some pipe coils to install – what kit do I need?

Be aware that pipe held in coils is under considerable tension and can be hazardous if released in the incorrect manner, particularly if the end of the pipe is not kept restrained at all times. Relevant H&S guidance should be followed. It is recommended to use coil dispensing trailers and pipe re-rounder/straightener.

Can MDPE be used with LPG, Butane, Propane, Calor gas, etc?

Yes, providing it is in gas and not liquid form. It is recommended that potential users refer to the UKLPG codes of practice.

Can a standard gas pipe be installed in contaminated land or do we need to use Protecta-Line?

It would be very unusual for the level of contaminants to be sufficient to pose a risk for PE gas pipe.  Protecta-Line is intended only for potable water in contaminated land.  

Can Excel (PE100) be used for construction of a compressed air main?

It depends on the maximum temperature and air pressure. For applications up to 2bar and if the maximum temperature is 40°C, PE100 in SDR17 or SDR21 could be used, provided that the pipe is buried (as per GIS PL2-2).  Otherwise, we would suggest using relevant products manufactured and sold by our sister company Durapipe. Additional technical information should be sought on a case by case basis.

Protecta-Line System

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Can hydrocarbons in the ground affect buried PE pipes?

Yes. Hydrocarbons, such as petrol, diesel, heating fuel and white spirits, do not degrade polyethylene, but they can permeate through the wall of standard PE pipes in areas of gross contamination, compromising water quality to an extent that it may be unfit for human consumption. The potential presence of hydrocarbons therefore may require selection of a barrier pipe to provide long term protection against contamination (read about Protecta-Line barrier system).

Is it acceptable to specify PE barrier pipes for laying mains in contaminated site without undertaking a site investigation?

Yes, as stated in the UKWIR Guidance for the Selection of Water Supply Pipes to be used in Brownfield Sites, PE barrier pipes is the only solution that provides an effective barrier for all brownfield conditions (including highly corrosive ground) . Specifying barrier pipes at brownfield sites negates the need for a desk study or intrusive and expensive site investigation.

My site report indicates elevated levels of contaminants. Can I use PE barrier pipe (Protecta-Line)?

Yes. According to the UKWIR Guidance, PE barrier pipes provide an effective protection against all recognised brownfield contaminants, even in their maximum concentrations, and in all brownfield conditions (including highly corrosive ground).

Can standard butt-fusion and electrofusion procedures be used for Protecta-Line?

Standard butt-fusion and electrofusion procedures still apply; however, there are several additional points (such as the requirement for end preparation with special tooling), which should be followed.

How can I connect Protecta-Line to other barrier pipe systems?

A mechanical connection should be used: a threaded connection for service pipes or a flange connection for larger sized pipes.

Are the flow characteristics of the Protecta-Line barrier pipe systems as good as ductile iron?

The bore of ductile iron pipes does deteriorate over time, whereas PE their bores does not. Polyethylene-based pipes like the Protecta-Line barrier pipe have a very smooth initial bore, which remains virtually constant with ageing. This means that a smaller bore Protecta-Line pipe has the same flow capacity as a larger ductile iron pipe.

Can I use mechanical strap saddles with Protecta-Line pipe?

Yes, but only the approved Protecta-Line strap saddles. We offer Protecta-Line Self Tapping Ferrule Off-Takes in main sizes 63mm to 355mm (with 25mm and 32mm outlets) and Ferrule Off-Takes in main sizes 90mm to 355mm (with 63mm outlets).

Can Protecta-Line be installed trenchlessly?

Yes, Protecta-Line shares all the installation advantages of PE pipe and is the perfect choice for trenchless or ‘no-dig’ installations.

Do I have to use Protecta-Line electrofusion fittings on small sizes?

Electrofusion fittings should not be used on pipe sizes up to and including 63mm.  Protecta-Line mechanical fittings should be used, since these prevent contact between the aluminium barrier layer and the water supply.   Alternatively, in size 63mm fluid compression fittings may be used.

Do I have to wrap the fittings/joints made with Protecta-Line?

No. When made in accordance with GPS PE Pipe Systems' recommended procedures, butt-fusion and electrofusion joints of the Protecta-Line system have been independently shown to meet the requirements of WIS 4-32-19 without any need for subsequent wrapping. This does not exempt installers from local regulations and the local Water Company preferences must be adhered to.

How can I tell if this pipe is for contaminated ground?

Protecta-Line pipes are extruded with four longitudinal equally-spaced brown stripes to identify a multi-layer pipe and also contain the wording ‘PROTECTA-LINE PE PIPE WITH AL BARRIER’, repeated at 1 metre intervals.

How do I fit meter boxes etc to Protecta-Line system?

Stop-cocks and meter boxes, both ground and wall types, can be installed using the appropriate Protecta-Line fittings.  For example, BSP iron connections, in conjunction with Protecta-Line x male iron or female iron end connectors.

Is the failure rate of the Protecta-Line barrier pipe system any lower than ductile iron?

Yes. The Protecta-Line barrier pipe system for contaminated land shares many of the system integrity advantages of traditional polyethylene pressure pipe systems over ductile iron pipe, which is more prone to failure, particularly in corrosive contaminated soils. According to the results of the UKWIR Water Mains National Failures Database research, PE pipe systems have the highest durability of all systems used in the UK.

Protecta-Line has been requested by a local Water Company. Can you give me details of a local distributor?

We have an extensive distribution network across the whole of the UK. Simply click here to find your nearest GPS PE Pipe Systems approved distributor.

Since it has a metal barrier layer, can Protecta-Line be traced later?

It is possible in certain circumstances – read the relevant Protecta-Line leaflet.

Why Protecta-Line is a system?

WIS 4-32-19, the Water Industry Standard relating to polyethylene barrier pipe systems for potable water in contaminated land, requires that each combination of pipes and fittings must pass the appropriate testing. Pipes and fittings have to be proven to comply with the WIS in combination. If not, the result will certainly not be WIS 4-32-19 compliant and the performance of the installed pipes and fittings will be in question. For this reason, when choosing barrier pipe systems it is crucial to insist on fully compliant and approved systems. 

The Protecta-Line barrier pipe system is both compliant and approved to WIS 4-32-19. Its second-to-none approval status brings complete peace of mind ensuring water quality is not compromised. Extensively independently tested, it was the first to receive formal approval to WIS 4-32-19 by obtaining a BSI Kitemark for the entire system.

Can a squeeze-off be carried out on Protecta-Line?

Yes, Protecta-Line can be squeezed off in the industry-approved way, as summarized in the squeeze-off section of our Technical Guide.

Can a standard gas pipe be installed in contaminated land or do we need to use Protecta-Line?

It would be very unusual for the level of contaminants to be sufficient to pose a risk for PE gas pipe.  Protecta-Line is intended only for potable water in contaminated land.  

Can I still use Protecta-Line pipe if I scratch both the other layer and the aluminium barrier layer?

Wrapping the compromised area with aluminium foil and protecting it with a proprietary waterproof petrolatum tape (equivalent to Denso) will afford the pipe barrier properties which are comparable to that of Protecta-Line.

Care should be taken to ensure the area is clean and dry before wrapping the affected area with adhesive aluminium foil (using 50% overlap)  and applying a proprietary waterproof petrolatum tape (equivalent to Denso) to protect the foil.

What depth is the Protecta-Line's aluminium layer?

The aluminium layer is 100um thick (0.1mm) and this is protected by a nominal 1mm thickness of PE.

Could the Protecta-Line's aluminium layer be damaged by abrasion during installation?

The aluminium layer has some resistance to abrasion, but it could be cut by impingement from a sharp stone. In the event of occasional superficial damage to the outer protective PE layer and underlying aluminium barrier, there is no need for concern over general pipe properties or indeed permeability. 

The effects of any damage are restricted to the small area of concern – groundwater does not penetrate between the bonded layers of Protecta-Line – and the significance of any permeability by the exposed pipe is negligible in the context of the pipe system. 

How much of the outer barrier layer needs to be removed to form a butt weld?

We recommend that the layers should be removed to a length equal to the width of the debeading tool on the end of each pipe. This should be increased by 50% when carrying out dummy weld procedures prior to final jointing

Can similar post weld checks as the standard PE butt welded pipeline be applied to the butt welded Protecta-Line barrier pipeline?

Yes, the same debeading and inspection process may be employed as for standard PE pipe.

What is the bending radius of Protecta-Line pipes, is it similar to the standard PE pipes?

Yes, the bending radius of Protecta-LIne barrier pipes is the same as for standard pipes.

Can fuel oils, heavy metal or PCB contaminants in the ground permeate affect buried PE pipes/Protecta-Line?

This is very unlikely.  The organic species listed above have relatively high molecular weight and are very immobile, which significantly limits their potential to permeate PE pipe. Heavy metals are unable to permeate PE pipes.

DuraFuse and FRIALEN electrofusion fittings

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How do I join electrofusion fittings?

GPS recommend that electrofusion jointing is only carried out by operatives that have attended an electrofusion training course. Read how to perform electrofusion correctly in our Technical Guide.

How to join pipes using FRIALEN Large Diameter Electrofusion Couplers?

Follow the jointing instructions for FRIALEN electrofusion couplers in GPS PE Pipe Systems Technical Guide

Can black GPS electrofusion fittings be used for gas installations?

In general,  PE100 black fittings can be used for gas supplies only outside the UK. A limited number of black PE100 fittings which are unavailable in Yellow PE80 may be installed in the UK under special concession from the Gas Utility Company. Please contact GPS for information. 

Can I use DuraFuse transition fittings for gas applications?

No, DuraFuse transition fittings are not approved for gas use.

What does the barcode on electrofusion fittings do?

The barcode contains fusion time and other data, for example the fitting brand and size, in a format that can be understood by the ECU (Electrofusion Control Unit). Once the bar code has been scanned by the operator, the ECU will usually display a description of the fitting and its size which should be checked by the operator before proceeding with the electrofusion process. The bar code system will automatically adjust the fusion time by small amounts to compensate for variations in ambient temperatures.

What is the second barcode on GPS electrofusion fittings?

The other barcode has traceability information regarding the manufacture of the product, such as the name of the fitting manufacturer, the SDR ratings, the production batch number etc.

What terminal pin size do the GPS electrofusion fittings have?

Most of the GPS electrofusion range has 4.7mm pins to suit standard UK welding machines. For those GPS fittings  (FRIALEN range) that have 4mm pins, GPS can supply 4mm-4.7mm adaptors to ensure that satisfactory connections are achieved (order code 53EW0002).

Excel 3c

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Are GPS coiled pipes available in all sizes?

PE coiled pipes are available in sizes up to 180mm only.

Are GPS coils low ovality?

Yes. A significant investment has been made by GPS PE Pipe Systems in 2009 and we are now able to deliver pipe coils in dimensions 125mm to 180mm with an ovality, immediately after uncoiling, of better than 5%*. This gives a significant advantage during installation, as it makes the pipes useable far more quickly, in keeping with the needs of the installer, particularly when electrofusion jointing is being employed.

*Ovality is defined as: (maximum individual pipe diameter minus the minimum individual pipe diameter) divided by the mean pipe diameter.

Can Excel 3c be installed trenchlessly?

Yes. Excel 3c coils are ideal for trenchless installations, particularly for the renovation of existing pipelines by for example pipe bursting. GPS now offer a version of Excel 3c with an integral towing head, further reducing any possibilities of pipe contamination.

Do I need any special equipment for Excel 3c coils?

No. Excel 3c can be installed in exactly the same way as standard coiled pipe.

Do I still need to sterilize the Excel 3c pipe before commissioning?

Excel 3c has been manufactured in such a way that as long as it is used within six months of manufacture, the lengthy disinfection (either by pre-chlorination or chlorination in-situ) and testing processes may be omitted, only requiring swabbing and a 30 minutes hypochlorite flush prior to commissioning.

Does Excel 3c cost more than standard coiled pipe?

Yes. Compared with standard PE100 coils, there is an additional manufacturing and approval cost, but there are significantly higher savings to the installer in terms of time, disruption and expense.

How do I tell the age of Excel 3c coils?

All Excel 3c coils have an expiry date tape applied at the point of manufacture.  After this period they may be used as conventional coiled pipe.

How do we keep the Excel 3c pipe uncontaminated and water tight when we remove the cap to connect a pipe bursting head?

It is recommended that a chlorinated swab be inserted behind the towing head to give added protection during installation.

How do we recognise Excel 3c coils versus standard coils?

Where standard coiled pipes have end caps plugged into the pipe ends, Excel 3c pipe coils have distinctive black caps heat-sealed over the pipe ends. If these seals are absent or damaged then the pipe should be treated as a standard pipe coil. All Excel 3c coils also have an expiry date tape applied at the point of manufacture.

Is any special handling required for Excel 3c coils?

Not really. On the whole, Excel 3c can be handled as with standard coils, taking care to store and move carefully so as not to damage the seals. To prevent contaminant ingress, do not remove the pipe seals until immediately before installation / connection. General recommendations for pipe handling are given in the GPS Installation & Technical Guidelines. If outer seal is damaged, check inner seal is still in place and repair outer seal immediately. If both seals have been damaged or there is any concern over the condition of the coil and caps, then the coil should be disinfected on installation as with a standard pipe coil.

Is Excel 3c available in straight lengths?

Not at this time. It would be possible to supply our factory-clean pipe in straight length, but since there is still a requirement for the installer to thoroughly disinfect all joints of a system, some of the economic and environmental benefits of using coils would be lost.

What chlorine concentration should be used when swabbing the main before commissioning?

Water Companies will have their own codes of practice in place to determine the appropriate processes for their regions. However, Water UK’s Technical Guidance Note 4 recommends a solution concentration of 1000 mg/l free chlorine.

What happens when Excel 3c is stored for longer than 6 months?

Nothing.  After 6 months the coils may be used as conventional pipe.

What is the sealing method for the caps?

The caps are heat sealed onto the pipe ends immediately after production to ensure contamination cannot occur.

Will GPS coils fit in my coil trailer?

To check if PE coils will fit in your coil trailer, please consult the relevant coil dimensions tables shown in our Product Brochure.

Will I still need coil dispensers for Excel 3c coils?

Yes. The installation procedures for Excel 3c are comparable with standard coiled pipe.

I have some pipe coils to install – what kit do I need?

Be aware that pipe held in coils is under considerable tension and can be hazardous if released in the incorrect manner, particularly if the end of the pipe is not kept restrained at all times. Relevant H&S guidance should be followed. It is recommended to use coil dispensing trailers and pipe re-rounder/straightener.

Pupped & Long Spigot fittings

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Are black Long Spigot fittings suitable for water applications?

Yes, except for Long Spigot formed bends. Our black Long Spigot fittings, that have replaced the blue Long Spigot fittings, comply fully with the same exacting performance standards as the blue fittings (WIS 4-32-14 / WIS 4-32-15 / BSEN 12201) and are approved for use with potable water. They are fully compatible with existing blue pipes and fittings and installation procedures are the same as for the fittings they replaced.

Are pupped Stub Assemblies, Flanged Short Branch Tees, Special Flange Assemblies and SlimFlange Assemblies supplied with backing rings?

Yes. Each fitting is supplied with a backing ring, drilled to BS EN 1092-1:2007 Table 13.

I need a custom fabricated fitting. Can GPS help?

Yes. Bespoke fabricated fittings can be made to order to suit the customer's requirements – please contact our Sales Office for further information.

What are the leg lengths on GPS Pupped fittings?

GPS Pupped fittings are manufactured with factory fitted half-metre pup in sizes up to 400mm and with one-metre pups for larger pipe sizes. This enables our fittings to fit most butt-fusion machines. We can supply longer legs for some butt-fusion machines or shorter (long spigot) for electrofusion.

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