ZOOMLOCK – PROJECT MANAGER LEE RUMBLE REVIEWS THE PROS AND THE CONS

ZoomLock is a tool for connecting pipework using a simple crimp design. It is a press-fit system that eliminates the need for brazing, offering a safe method of joining pipes.

Brazing is the traditional method of joining two or more metal items together, in which metal is melted and used to fill a joint and secure the components. The joint must be nitrogen-purged to prevent oxidation and left to cool naturally. Brazing is a risky, time-consuming process that requires adequate safety training.

ZoomLock was created as a safe, alternative method of joining copper pipes, avoiding the hassle and fire risks associated with brazing. ZoomLock is supplied in a carry case containing all the equipment required to complete the job.

The Benefits of ZoomLock

1. Delivers quality results

“Brazing is time-consuming, inconsistent, and comes with multiple risks. ZoomLock provides a safe, clean alternative that is quick, easy and delivers exceptional results.”

With a unique design that allows the tool’s jaws to apply even pressure around the copper tube, the risks and constraints of brazing can be avoided.

Since its launch, over one million ZoomLock fittings have been successfully installed in live installations with Artic engineers praising the tool’s simplicity and speed.

2. Reduces risks

Brazing requires the use of highly flammable oxy-acetylene or oxy-propane gas, meaning a fire warden must be present and fire alarms must be isolated during the process. On the other hand, ZoomLock eliminates the risk of a fire because there is no flame or gas involved.

“Zoomlock is better in some cases as you don’t need a HWP (Hot Works Permit), do not need to purge the pipework with nitrogen or obtain fire/smoke/suppression isolations etc. I have used zoomlock on various Split installations and it has been very successful in eliminating several risks usually associated with hot works.”

3. Less Equipment Required

Without the use of gas and or a flame, ZoomLock requires far less equipment than brazing. There is no longer a need for a torch kit, fire safety equipment, fire extinguisher, or tinted goggles. No hot works permit is required, and a fire warden does not need to be present.  Everything needed for using Zoomlock is conveniently provided in one carry case.

4. ZoomLock is fast and Cheap

Connecting two pipes using ZoomLock is significantly quicker than brazing the pieces. Using ZoomLock can reduce the time and labour costs associated with joining pipes by up to 50%.

“With ZoomLock, a two-man job becomes a one-man job because you don’t need a fire warden. This reduces the labour cost associated with connecting pipes together.”

5. ZoomLock is long-lasting

ZoomLock has an expected shelf life of over 30 years, with the jaw of the tool having an estimated life of 10,000 to 12,000 crimps. This longevity paired with the associated cost savings make ZoomLock a sensible investment.

“It is too early for me to comment on the longevity of the product, however so far I have had no problems”

6. Less Training Required

Brazing is a skill built up over years of experience and in-depth training. ZoomLock is incredibly simple to use with far less background knowledge required, reducing the time and money spent on training.

“If you are short on technicians trained in brazing and purging, ZoomLock is a perfect alternative.”

Disadvantage of ZoomLock

Despite its benefits, leaks can occur in ZoomLock fittings, which are easy to replace. While brazing creates hermetically sealed joints, ZoomLock fittings are mechanical parts. Although pipework is pressure tested and evacuated upon completion of the installation, leaks can occur in mechanical fittings created by ZoomLock.

“If a join were to leak in an AC split system, refrigerant would be released into the atmosphere. Many refrigerants are potent greenhouse gases that damage the ozone layer and contribute to global warming. However, the environmental impact and costs associated with rectifying the issue wouldn’t be as severe if the leak occurs on a VRF/VRV system.”

How Are Artic Engineers using ZoomLock?

Compared to the brazing process, there are far fewer steps using the ZoomLock concentric crimp system, allowing our Artic engineers to join air conditioning installation pipes in seconds, securing significantly more fittings every hour.

ZoomLock offers us more flexible access to job sites, without disrupting the buildings we operate in. Because we are not working with a dangerous gas, and do not require oxy-acetylene leads, we can work during site opening hours.

“I am not the only Project Manager using the product, Artic engineers can use ZoomLock for work involving live cables, where brazing would not be possible. Without ZoomLock, working near live wires would be more complicated and carry greater risk. ZoomLock can also be used within power stations where there are strict health and safety rules and restrictions around hot works.”

Summary

Here at Artic we use ZoomLock because it is faster than brazing, requires less equipment, and carries little risk. ZoomLock creates a secure seal that rarely leaks, without the need for a hot works permit, fire warden, and fire safety equipment. Our engineers simply take the carry case containing all the equipment they need and join pipes together in seconds.

If you’d like to find out more about what Artic can do for you, please contact us.