In 1987, engineer John Guest entered the Interbuild Exhibition with his Speedfit Plumbing & Heating System. Not only did it win the Best Product prize, but it also unleashed a concept that would revolutionise the plumbing and heating industry in a way that is still being felt today.
Guest invented the plastic Push-Fit system back in the 1970s, originally as a pipe connection system to meet the needs of the construction industry. Since it went mainstream in 1987, it has permeated a wide range of industries, including the automotive, telecommunications and water purification industries.
In terms of plumbing, before the Push-Fit method was invented, joining pipes was very time consuming and required a lot of effort and tools. Now, installing and assembly times for piping takes place in a matter of seconds and with minimal effort.
It has had a huge impact on new-build projects as the Push-Fit concept greatly reduces the total time spent to construct houses compared to years gone by. Push-Fit is also very beneficial for making upgrades to existing buildings because it doesn’t cause too much disruption to the interiors. Installation can be completed with a simple twist and lock, establishing a watertight system of pipes in seconds.
This technology has been used in over 30 million applications worldwide and has assisted in heating homes across the UK and beyond. Additionally, Push-Fit has been used by heating manufacturers in radiator valves, which has added a further 10 million heating installation fittings.
The Push-Fit concept has led to a wide range of breakthroughs and advances in technology, which is mainly due to the fact that it is incredibly simple yet unbelievably useful, as well as being flexible, reliable and low cost. Not the most exciting of inventions, but its impact across a huge variety of industries is immeasurable.
Article by Benjamin Clarke