Tag Archives: Plumbing

How to Repair a Plumbing Capillary Joint

Poor initial soldering is usually the reason why a capillary fitting leaks. You can try and rectify this by ‘sweating’ in some more solder but if this doesn’t work you’ll have to remake the joint.

Play the flame of the blow-torch over the fitting and pipe until the solder begins to run from the joint. At this stage you can pull the pipe ends out of the sockets with gloved hands. You can now reuse the fitting as an end feed joint or replace it with a new integral ring capillary connection.

If you reuse the fitting clean the interior surface and the pipe ends with abrasive paper or steel wool and smear them with flux. Then follow the procedure for making an end feed capillary joint.

capillary joint repair How to Repair a Plumbing Capillary Joint

Instructions: Repairing a capillary joint

1. Drain pipe and wrap a damp cloth round nearby joints. Play flame on fitting and pull pipe from rim using gloved hands.

2. If you remake both sides of joint use a new fitting. A spent integral ring fitting, thoroughly cleaned, can be used as an end feed joint.

3. Use steel wool to clean end of pipe and inside of fitting. Brush with flux and push pipe into socket. Apply blow-torch to melt solder.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

As we all know, water freezes when the temperature goes down to 32ˇŻ F. There are those that say, “So what! It will eventually melt.” Au contraire. Frozen pipes often lead to burst pipes that can lead to floods, which lead to thousands (of dollars in damage to other parts of your home.

Here are some ways to prevent freezing:

1. Wrap all exposed pipes. Pipe wrap is not all that expensive and is easy to apply if pipes?are accessible. If there’s a sudden freeze and no wrap is available, wrap several layers of newspaper around the pipes and secure with duct tape.

2. Running water is slower to freeze, so turn on faucets to a slight drip.

frozen pipe How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

3. If the kitchen is on a north wall and you’re not sure of the protection to the pipes, open the cabinet under the sink to allow heat from the room in to help prevent freezing. You can also add a 100-watt bulb in a droplight to hang in the cabinet.

4. Remove all hoses from outside faucets, drain them, and store them inside.

5. Outside faucets should have a shut off valve. If not, or if it’s not operable, wrap the faucet with several sections of newspaper, held in place by rubber bands. Cover this with a plastic grocery bag to keep the papers from getting wet.

6. Place a bucket or small garbage can upside down over the faucet. The dead air trapped inside is added protection.

7. If you have outside faucets that come out from the wall, buy special dome-shaped foam units that attach over the faucets.

What if it is too late? If you do have frozen pipes, you can help prevent a bursting pipe with these steps:

1. Open the nearest faucet to prevent a build up of pressure as the ice thaws.

2. Starting at the faucet and working away from it, apply heat to cause melting. Use a heat gun, heat lamp, hand-held hair dryer, heating pad, or electric heat tape.

Unfortunately, a burst pipe won’t show up until the ice melts, so be prepared to quickly shut off the water supply at the main cut-off.

How to Make a Plumbing Capillary Joint

A capillary joint is simply a copper sleeve with socket outlets into which the pipe ends are soldered. It is neater and smaller than a compression joint and forms a robust connection that will not readily pull apart.

Because it is considerably cheaper than a compression joint it is frequently used when a number of joints have to be made and is particularly useful in awkward positions where it is impossible to use wrenches.

Some people are put off using capillary fittings because of the need to use a blow-torch. But modern gas-canister torches have put paid to the fears associated with paraffin lamps and are not dangerous.

capillary joint How to Make a Plumbing Capillary Joint

How a capillary joint works

If two pipes to be joined together were just soldered end to end the join would be very weak because the contact area between solder and copper would be small. A capillary fitting makes a secure join because the sleeve increases this contact area and also acts as a brace to strengthen the connection.

Molten solder is sucked into the space between the pipe and fitting by capillary action, and combines with a thin layer of copper at the contact surface thus bonding the pipe to the fitting. To help the solder to ˇ®take’ the copper needs to be clean and shining. Therefore flux is applied to prevent oxides forming which would impair the solder-copper bond.

Types of capillary joint

The most common type of capillary joint has a ring of solder pre-loaded into the sleeve. It is known as an integral ring or ‘Yorkshire’ fitting – the name of a leading brand.

The ‘end feed’ type of capillary joint is virtually the same as an integral ring fitting, but you have to add the solder in a separate operation. The sleeve is slightly larger than the pipe and liquid solder is drawn into the space between by capillary action.

Instructions: Making a capillary joint

1. Make sure the pipe end is square, then clean it and the inner rim of the fitting with steel wool or abrasive paper until shining.

2. Flux can be in liquid or paste form. Use a brush, rather than your finger, to smear it over the end of the pipe and the inner rim of the fitting.

3. Push pipe into fitting so that it rests against pipe stop, twisting a little to help spread the flux. Remove excess flux with a cloth.

4. When you’re making up a whole pipe run, it helps to make corresponding pencil marks on pipe ends and fittings as a guide for correct lining up.

5. Make other side of joint in same way, then apply blow-torch. Seal is complete when bright ring of solder is visible at ends of fitting.

6. For an end feed fitting, heat the pipe, then hold the solder to mouth of joint. A bright ring all the way round signifies a seal.

How to Improve Domestic Plumbing System by Joining New Pipework into Old

Improvements or additions to a domestic plumbing system inevitably involve joining new pipework into old. How you do this depends largely upon whether the existing pipework is made of lead, iron or more modern materials -copper, polythene or even unplasticised PVC.

The principle of joining into existing pipework is quite straightforward. You decide where you will need your new water supply – at a bedroom basin or an outside tap, for example – and then pick a convenient point on the plumbing system to connect up your ‘branch line At this point you have to cut out a small section of the old pipe and insert a tee junction into which the branch pipe will be fitted. That’s all there is to it: laying the branch pipe will simply involve routine cutting bending and joining of new pipe, and final connection to the new tap or appliance at the other end.

domestic plumbing How to Improve Domestic Plumbing System by Joining New Pipework into Old

Before you can begin the job, however, you have to do some reconnaissance work to identify what sort of existing pipework you have. You might be tempted to relate the plumbing to the age of the house, thinking that an old house will have an old system with lead or iron pipework But this isn’t a reliable guide Many old properties have been modernised and so may actually have a more up-to-date system than a house built relatively recently.

Until the 1950s the only types of pipe used in domestic plumbing were lead and iron, but then these were superseded by thin-walled copper piping. Today there are other alternatives too: stainless steel is sometimes used as an alternative to copper, and polythene and UPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) pipes can be installed for cold water supplies only.

Check the table for the type of pipe you can use. While copper is the most common one for new work, it must never be joined to galvanised iron because of the severe risk of electrolytic corrosion of the iron if the galvanising is not in perfect condition

First things first

Before cutting into a pipe run you’ll first have to turn off the water supply to the pipe and then drain it by opening any taps or drain cocks connected to it. But this need not be too inconvenient if you make up the complete branch line before you turn the water off so you are without water only while you make the final branch connection.

Connecting into lead pipe

Inserting a tee junction into lead pipe involves joining the run of the tee into two ‘wiped’ soldered joints Join short lengths of new copper pipe into opposite ends of a compression tee. Measure the length of this assembly, and cut out 25mm (1 in) less of lead pipe. Join the assembly in with wiped soldered joints – a job that takes a lot of practice, and one you may prefer to leave to a professional plumber until you have acquired the skill. You then connect the branch pipe to the third leg of the tee

Connecting into iron

Existing iron pipework will be at least 25 years old, and likely to be showing signs of corrosion. Extending such a system is not advisable – you would have difficulty connecting into it, and any extension would have to be in stainless steel. The best course is to replace the piping completely with new copper piping.

Connecting into polythene pipe

If you have to fit a branch into a polythene pipe it’s not a difficult job, especially if you use the same material. Polythene pipes are joined by compression fittings similar to those used for copper. Polythene hasn’t yet been metricated in the UK and each nominal pipe size has a larger outside diameter than its copper equivalent. So you’ll have to use either special gunmetal fittings for polythene pipe (still made to imperial sizes) or else an ordinary metric brass fitting a size larger than the pipe – 22mm for 1/2in polythene.

You also need to slip a special metal liner inside the end of the pipe before assembling each joint to prevent the pipe from collapsing as the cap-nuts are tightened. In addition, polythene rings are used instead of metal olives in brass fittings. Apart from these points, however, inserting a tee in a length of polythene pipework follows the same sequence as inserting one into copper.

Connecting into UPVC pipe

As with polythene it’s an easy job to cut in a solvent weld tee – a simple collar fitting over the ends of the pipe and the branch After you’ve cut the pipe run with a hacksaw you have to roughen the outsides of the cut ends and the insides of the tee sockets with abrasive paper and then clean the surfaces with a spirit cleaner and degreaser. Solvent weld cement is smeared on the pipe ends and the insides of the sockets, and the pipe ends are then ‘sprung’ into the sockets.

You have to work quickly as the solvent begins the welding action as soon as the pipes meet. Wipe surplus cement off immediately, and hold the joint securely for 15 seconds. After this you can fit your branch pipe to the outlet of the tee.

How to Identify Old Plumbing Pipes

Here are some examples of pipework that you may find in your home. Most plumbing these days is done with plastic pipes and fittings, but it is still important to be able to recognise the type of plumbing you have in your home before work can begin. It is also worth noting, that although it is not illegal to still have in your home, lead pipes should be replaced with modern plastic pipework. If you find lead pipes in your home, we strongly reccommend that you contact a reputable plumber for advice

1. Lead pipes are grey and give a dull thud when knocked. You can nick the surface with a knife. Look for smooth bends and neat even swellings – these are ‘wiped’ soldered joints. Repairs are now made using copper pipe.

2. Iron pipes have a grey galvanised or black finish and give a clanging sound when knocked. A knife will only scrape along the surface. Look for the large threaded joints which appear as a collar on the pipe or at a bend.

plumbing pipe How to Identify Old Plumbing Pipes

3. Copper pipes are recognised by their familiar copper color. Changes of direction are often made by bends in the pipe itself or by using angled fittings. The joints will be either the compression or capillary type.

4. Stainless steel pipes have a bright silvery surface. They come in the same sizes as copper and can be joined in the same way. Bends are only found in sizes up to 15mm. These pipes are not commonly used in the home.

5 Polythene pipes are usually black and are soft enough to be slightly compressed between the fingers. Joints are made with metal compression fittings which require special gunmetal olives and liners.

6. UPVC pipes are grey and rigid. Connections and changes in direction are made by angled joints which fit like slim collars over the ends of the pipes. These are fixed in place using solvent weld cement.

Powered by WordPress | Maintained by: Expert How | Thanks to Mega HowTo