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canuck the pro
canuck the pro, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2886
Experience:  Plumber and Handyman
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Hi, Here is some background info: I need to repair a

Resolved Question:

Hi,

Here is some background info:

I need to repair a few copper pipes that have small holes in them (caused by screws).
I think I know what I need to do in theory:
1. Either cut the pipe on the hole itself or make two cuts to remove a section
2. Use 1/2 pushfit coupling(s) or solder 1/2 normal one(s)
However, all the advice I have found so far refers to a situation where you can freely pull the pipe sections apart to insert the couplings and then push the pipe sections back into the couplings. Unfortunately, my pipes just won't move. I don't want to push too hard because I don't want to risk breaking a joint somewhere else...

Question 1:
What would you do in this situation?

As I can't find any repair sleeve for sale, the only solution I can think of would be to make two cuts and insert a shorter section between 2 couplings. Is it OK if in a coupling, the two pipes don't go until the middle of the coupling? Do you think this would be doable with pushfit couplings (they would be of the removable kind, but I hear they are hard to move and reposition)?


Question 2
The pipes are above a concrete floor and beneath floorboards. If I use a blow torch, as long as the flame only touches the pipes, do I risk damaging either the floor or the boards? Also, the pipes are all wrapped in some king of wool; is this flammable?

Thanks!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 3 years ago.

canuck the pro :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been in the plumbing and plumbing repair field for 20 years. I will be glad to help you today. Are you planning on soldering the pipes or are you using the push fittings?

Customer:

Hi Mike,

Customer:

I would rather use pushfit fittings if possible to avoid buying soldering equipment.

Customer:

(However, because I am working beneath floorboard, the thickness of the joints is important so might have to solder after all)

canuck the pro :

Is there an elbow you can cut out and replace also?

canuck the pro :

Does it have to be straight?

Customer:

Yes. I realise that I can atttach pictures, let me go amnd make one, this will be easier.

canuck the pro :

Very good

Customer:

Image 1
Full Size Image

Customer:

Here you go, hope this helps. I can make more and zoom in if you like.

canuck the pro :

Full Size Image

canuck the pro :

You may have to click on the image that I sent. I marked some arrows with a question on the image.

Customer:

Hi, there is no elbow, it is a short slope. The 2 parallel pipes have a shape smilar to that of a suitcase handle.

Customer:

sorry meant to say soft slobe by the way.

Customer:

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Customer:

a bit like this:

Customer:

ah sorry doesn't work

canuck the pro :

like a 45 degree angle?

Customer:

more like 30 degrees.

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

It is the same on both sides

canuck the pro :

That was great. I was just typing to see if you could send another picture. The easiest thing to do would be put 4 - 90 degree turns in each. Just put them as level as you can so it does not trap air. The bend was made with a bender so unlikely you can find a fitting to make that same bend. You will have to cut it back a bit to do so but that would be the easiest.

Customer:

regarding the two parralel pipes, why not leave the two slopes as they are and just work on the higher flat section in the middle, where the holes are?

canuck the pro :

Oh yes leave those for sure but if you put 4 elbows you put an elbow turning away in the same direction and a piece of pipe in each then a piece of pipe in between the two elbows you have left over and then just put that piece on so you do not have to pull the pipes apart.

canuck the pro :

Did that make sense? I can draw a picture and send it again if it does not make sense.

Customer:

I would be grateful if you could draw a picture.

canuck the pro :

No problem. Working on it now

canuck the pro :

Full Size Image

canuck the pro :

It is a bit crude. I am not so great on the computer machine.

Customer:

Hi this is very clear thanks. Just so I fully understand, how is this better than the solution I am suggestion?

Customer:

suggesting?

canuck the pro :

It is the same except if you just put two couplings there is no safe way to pull the pipes apart for the fittings. If the pipes move side to side you could do a similar thing as this with only two elbows.

canuck the pro :

The way I suggest in the picture you don't have to pull or push on anything. You just might have to cut a little more pipe off the make room for the fittings.

Customer:

I understand. How about using 2 couplings + 1 section of pipe in the middle? The section in the middle would be a bit shorter that the space betwen the 2 pipe ends. I would make it short enough that I could slightly move one pipe end to the side, put one fitting + the mid section + thee other fitting by pushing as far as I can so that when i let the pipe come back in position, the end of the second fitting barely reaches the other pipe end. Do you see what I mean?

canuck the pro :

If you have no play in the pipe that would not work because the pipe has to make up all the way in those push fittings.

Customer:

ok I get it

Customer:

and what about the couplings for soldering Do I have to push the pipes all the way as well?

canuck the pro :

If you have about 4 or 5 centimeters of play then you could do it.

canuck the pro :

If you solder it there are couplings without stops in it that will slide all the way onto the pipe then put the pipe in place and slide the coupling into place.

Customer:

Unfortunately I couldn't find those couplings, only couplings I could fiund have some kind of bump in the middle. But from your answer I understand that I don't need to push pipes all the way in order to make a good joint?

canuck the pro :

You should technically have the pipe make up all the way in the fitting. I am not sure what you call the coupling with no stop in it maybe coupling without stop? Slip coupling? Surely they have them at a local plumbing supply. Then when you solder put some protective cloth under it something like this:

Full Size Image

Customer:

ok perfect sounds like what I need.

Customer:

So what about the 3rd pipe? What would you recommend?

canuck the pro :

Same right? If you get the slip couplings just cut out the holy piece and replace?

Customer:

OK. Looking at the picture, do you think that the floorboard might be too close for using a blow torch or does it look ok? And also, there is some kind of protective wool around the pipes, could that catch fire just because of the heat on the pipe?

canuck the pro :

Remove the insulating wool and be sure you get a good torch tip. The cheap one will take forever and even if it is the only time you ever solder it is well worth it. The cloth will protect along with how you direct the flame. You don't have to get the flame all the way around the pipe. Not sure if you have soldered before.

canuck the pro :

Need any soldering tips?

Customer:

I haven't done so myself but have seen other people do it before so I am not scared of trying. Just don't wat to torch the place! Any tips welcome!

canuck the pro :

Ok here you go. It will take me a bit to type. Not complaining just warning.

Customer:

ok thanks no problem.

canuck the pro :

Clean the inside of the fitting and the pipe with sandpaper roughing the surface. Clear any burrs on the ends of the pipe. Use water soluble flux and brush flux on the pipe and in the fittings. I also sand the solder because sometimes it is a little dirty. Just unroll some and sand that section. Put it together and add heat from the torch using the little flame inside the big flame. The tip of the little flame to the fitting not the joint. You heat where you want the solder to go. Touch the solder to the opposite side of the fitting at the joint. The solder will wrap around and be sucked around to the flame. Remove the heat if it seems to be getting too hot. Get some extra fittings and pipe and practice a couple solder joints to get the hang of it. If the joint does not look good like it heated too much then brush with flux paste when it is hot.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX Solder it is then. Any shop you would recommend for buying soldering stuff and fittings?

canuck the pro :

That I have no idea. I am a Canadian in the US. Should be available at any hardware store.

Customer:

Ah OK. You guys have better choice over there.

Customer:

Well thanks a lot for your help!

canuck the pro :

You are very welcome!

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