German HVAC&R component manufacturer Conex Bänninger has introduced a range of new press fittings, designed to combat legionella bacteria in heating and potable water systems by reducing the risk of so-called “dead legs.”

The fittings are available specifically for the Australian market, and are being distributed through Reece.

“Dead legs” are sections of piping with stagnant water, where legionella bacteria can breed when the temperatures are between 25° and 45°C (77°F to 113°F). Legionella bacteria causes Legionnaires disease, a potentially deadly atypical form of pneumonia.

“Despite best intentions, inadequate water circulation can occur in almost any building over time,” said Pietro Cardente, International Sales Director for Conex Bänninger, in a statement. “Health and water hygiene are obviously of the highest priority in hospitals and in settings that care for the elderly, but they can occur almost anywhere where there are hot and cold water outlets.”

The new press fittings have a specially designed looped plate wall, and a 180° return bend. They have been added to Conex Bänninger’s existing >B< Press copper press fittings range.

The looped plate wall is used in a looped system, which “avoids stagnation in sections of pipework connected to feed lines that are infrequently used,” Conex Bänninger said.

This is particularly useful in smaller applications, where the loop system will help pull through and circulate the water, even when just one tap is open. Traditional systems direct water only to the outlet opened by the user, not flushing water through the pipework for services or outlets not in use, thus increasing the risk of stagnant water or “dead legs.” This also means that with a looped system, maintenance engineers only have to open one tap to clean the entire system, saving time compared to having to open every tap in traditional systems.

The 180° return bend can be used to reverse the direction of pipework with just one fitting, rather than the two elbow joints previously required 

Conex Bänninger also markets >B< MaxiPro fittings, which are suitable for refrigeration, heat pumps and air conditioning applications using hydrocarbons like R290 (propane) and R600A (isobutane). The fittings are also suitable for systems using water (R718) as the refrigerant. They can withstand pressures of up to 48bar (696.18psi).

“Despite best intentions, inadequate water circulation can occur in almost any building over time,”