LOCTITE® products turn pipe dreams into reality for Mayfly Group

West Yorkshire-based Mayfly Group Ltd is the latest among a growing number of plumbing specialists to replace PTFE tape with the latest LOCTITE® products from Henkel. By adopting LOCTITE® 55 pipe thread sealing cord and LOCTITE® 577 anaerobic thread sealant, the company has “put PTFE tape to bed” once and for all.

Predominantly serving Leeds and the area to the north of the city, Mayfly Group is fast gaining a reputation as a provider of high-end plumbing solutions. Company Director Grant Gundelfinger and his business partner, Karen Matthews, can provide clients with around 30 years of experience in the plumbing sector. As a point of note, Mr Gundelfinger was named national runner-up at the Heating Installer Awards 2019, highlighting the levels of professional expertise on offer. Today, such has been the success of the business that it has even added a couple of apprentices to its ranks.

“Over the years we’ve acquired a sense of what products work, and which ones don’t,” states Mr Gundelfinger. “We are always looking to put previously untried products to the test in order to drive continuous improvement, which is a key ambition of the company. We want to win business on the back of our reputation, but we’re not going to do that if we use poor-quality products.”

Like many plumbing businesses, Mayfly Group has always harboured a sense of frustration surrounding products such as PTFE tape. Often, a threaded joint that was thought to be sealed using PTFE tape, subsequently leaks, which in turn means it has to be dismantled and the sealing process re-started. On other occasions, when a seal has been achieved, the lubricating properties of PTFE tape prompt fittings to loosen under dynamic loads, causing loss of clamping force and leakage. Use of the tape also encourages over-tightening, adding stress and leading to potential fracturing. In short, a lot of experience is needed to ensure consistent results with PTFE tape.

“At Mayfly Group, we are advocates for the use of materials that are going to provide clients with a long-lasting end result,” says Mr Gundelfinger. “We began taking notice of LOCTITE® products about two years ago, when we attended the PHEX plumbing and heating exhibition. At the show, the Henkel team were giving demonstrations on LOCTITE® 55 and LOCTITE® 577, and really educated us on how to use the products. We were given free samples, so went away and tried them for ourselves.”

LOCTITE® 55 pipe thread sealing cord has taken the plumbing trade by storm, sealing threaded fittings quickly, cleanly and cheaply. Importantly, no special training is needed to achieve an instant leak-proof joint; simply wrap the sealing cord around the male threads using the recommended number of turns for the thread size, and assemble. LOCTITE® 55 also allows fittings to be backed-off to achieve special alignments for bends, elbows or gauges without fear of leakage. The product is ideal for sealing against hot or cold water, gas, LPG and compressed air.

Those looking to seal against heating oil, or perhaps mate metal-to-metal joints made from brass, copper, iron or stainless steel, are increasingly discovering that LOCTITE® 577 anaerobic thread sealant provides the perfect solution. This single-component product is clean and easy to apply, protects the mated threaded areas against corrosion and, unlike other sealing systems, locks the fitting and resists vibration loosening.

“Discovering these products was a watershed moment,” says Mr Gundelfinger. “We thought, hang on a second, you mean we can use what is effectively an adhesive [LOCTITE® 577] that not only seals every time, but can be wiped away without leaving any residue on show? Likewise, we found that LOCTITE® 55 will actually seal what we describe as less robust joints, such as a radiator and tail that do not marry-up nicely. In such situations, our experience is thatLOCTITE® 55 does the job every time. We see it as our ‘get out of jail free’ product. It has basically put PTFE tape to bed as far as we’re concerned.”

In 2019, Mayfly Group as a company went through 12 tubes of LOCTITE® 577 and many reels of LOCTITE® 55, giving an indication of uptake across the business.

“Moving forward we are looking for more business growth,” concludes Mr Gundelfinger. “We’ll achieve this by pursuing increasing numbers of high-end projects, as these jobs allow us to complete our work properly without feeling the pressure of having to rush to the next one. The products we use are pivotal to our success, and we really feel that LOCTITE® has a lot of mileage. Every plumber I’ve met who uses these products swears by them, including us.”

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