PE-XA Tubing, Plumbing System, Water Safety, Water Saving Technology

5 Plumbing System Design Features Water-Wise Engineers Need Today

As of 2018, one-third of the freshwater sent to residents in Hong Kong is lost in transit. That’s 321 million cubic metres of water lost between reservoirs and user’s taps.

Half of those losses are from leakage, inaccurate water meters and theft. According to experts, another 14% may be lost in the pipes of property owners.

Property owners and engineers are responsible for dealing with the issue of water wastage. For water-wise engineers, this means finding a plumbing system design that conserves water while protecting consumers.

Learn more about Uponor’s Quick & Easy System’s plumbing system design features and why it’s the smart choice to address Hong Kong’s water concerns.


Water Loss in Hong Kong


Hong Kong, an economic powerhouse, has an unbelievable water loss of 32.5 percent from leakage and theft alone.

While places like Tokyo and Cambodia have worked to minimise their water losses to single-digit percentages, efforts to reduce wastage in recent years by water authorities in the city have only seen the percentage figure continue to rise.

In particular, 14 percent of production is lost on private property.

Water waste on private properties falls outside the purview of government authorities. This means it’s the responsibility of landlords, engineers, residents, and businesses to conserve water by stopping leaks.

Luckily, it’s easier to manage water waste and ensure water hygiene with Uponor’s flexible plumbing system. PE-Xa piping along with the Quick & Easy (Q&E) plumbing system gives engineers the tools to create a system that reduces the chance of leaks, is corrosion resistant, safe for consumers, easy to install and cost-effective.


5 Quick & Easy Plumbing System Design Features & Benefits


1. Easy to Install & Integrate into Current Systems

New Uponor Q&E ring

Uponor’s PE-Xa flexible plumbing pipes are manufactured for hot and cold water installations. Both Q&E joints using a hand expander or compression joints are acceptable with this system.

The Q&E system offers a wide range of fittings to allow adaptation to other plumbing systems including copper, traditional valves, plastic, and old Uponor PE-Xa pipes.

Installation takes place using one of two means: a manifold plumbing system or a branch system.

The manifold system is Uponor’s suggestion as it provides joint-free pipe runs from a centrally located manifold. Joints situated only where radiators or taps are means less risk of leakage. Small pipe diameters in addition to fewer fittings save on labour and installation time.

The branch system is another option. This is a traditional “Tee” system that uses Q&E fittings. Although less pipe is used in this method of installation, joints are far more numerous. This may pose a leak risk in residential plumbing systems.


2. Reliable Jointing Technology

Uponor Q&E Master

The PE-Xa and Q&E system relies on PE-Xa pipe’s inherent thermal memory.

The result?

Strong resilience for joints.

All the installer needs to do is expand the pipe using the proper tool and attach it to the fitting with the required ring.

Q&E fittings are available as couplings, elbows, tees, reducers, tap connectors, and threaded adapters.

Here are a few rules when working with Q&E joints:

  • Fittings must only be used with PE-Xa pipe. No other pipe material should be used.
  • A Q&E ring is necessary for all joints.
  • Only the properly-sized Q&E rings and fittings should be used.

If installed as directed, the Uponor Q&E with PE-Xa pipes is the safest way to protect a home or business from water leaks and wastage.


3. Appropriate for Heating, Hot Water and Cold Water


Water safety is crucial. Having fresh water is an essential component of a home’s comfort.

Uponor’s Q&E system was created from years of experience to transport water safely and sustainably. The strong PE-Xa material can withstand the following temperature extremes:

  • 200°F (93.3°C) at 80 psi
  • 180°F (82.2°C) at 100 psi
  • 120°F (48.9°C) at 130 psi (½” tubing only)
  • 73.4°F (23°C) at 160 psi

Uponor PE-Xa flexible plumbing pipes

PE-Xa piping is appropriate for:

  1. Indirect and direct water mains
  2. Both vented and unvented hot water
  3. Vented and sealed central heating
  4. Chilled water

This resilience to heat and cold means a lower chance of burst pipes that lead to water waste and damage.




4. Unique Elastic Features


PE-Xa has what is called thermal memory or “memory effect.” The Q&E system relies on this characteristic to ensure strong seals in joints. For the installer, the seal is created quickly, using little more than an expander tool and Q&E ring.



For consumers, soldering and welding materials can leach into a drinking water supply which poses a health risk. Workers are also at risk when exposed to the fumes created when soldering.

But, with the Q&E system water safety is of the utmost concern. Joints are reliable and easy to create. The days of navigating unsafe soldering and welding are over.


5. Versatile Expander Tools


Again, since there’s no need to weld or solder joints in the Q&E system, there’s no need for all the equipment that goes along with it.

Uponor suggests one of the following tools for the job:

  • Expander Tool Milwaukee M18 (pipe dimensions from 18-32 mm)
  • Expander Tool Milwaukee M18 VD PEX (pipe dimensions 10-75 mm)

What else do you need?

Uponor has a wide variety of products that include fittings, rings, pipe-in-conduit, manifolds and accessories.


The Bottom Line


If preventing water waste and ensuring hygiene are a top concern for you, then Uponor’s PE-Xa flexible piping and the Q&E system is the clear solution.

Here’s a quick recap of the main advantages:

  • Fewer joints mean fewer risk of leaks and water wastage
  • Plastic manifolds centralised to make finding leaks easy
  • Pipe contracts onto the fitting forming a secure seal
  • No soldering flux means no mess
  • Flexible piping means fewer joints
  • Low risk of pipe corrosion with PE-Xa pipes
  • Costs of PE-Xa pipe are one-third lower than copper
  • Easy installation means lower labour costs

Uponor’s PE-Xa and Q&E system is a complete water safety solution and currently the best product line available on the market.



Learn more about Uponor’s PE-Xa pipes and Q&E system here!

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