A Leaky Copper Pipe, what happens when take for granted?
The home water system is something that most people take for granted. It is easy to turn on the water, take a shower and then close the tap. The only time you get to notice the system is when there is a problem in the form of a leak. Copper pipes are meant to be long lasting and durable, unfortunately that is not always the case. The pipes may develop a leak after a short period of use due to poor soldering of joints or by water corrosion. While copper pipes are supposed to be free from water corrosion, there have been some changes in water chemistry that have accelerated corrosion. When a leak occurs, it is time to consult your trusted plumber.
Having an emergency plumber London on your speed dial is a wise thing to do. This is because you never know when you may need to make the call. The repair of a copper water pipe is a fairly straight forward process that you can do, but like all other skilled jobs it is recommended that you have a plumber do it as opposed to trying it yourself. You may do it but later have to call the plumber after a recurrence. It is therefore a good thing to have it done correctly the first time. Once you have noticed the leak, the first course of action is to shut the water source to the house at the stopcock. You can find this valve under the sink. If not there should be another valve at the boundary of your home, that is the water entry point to the house. Once you have successfully shut down the water, you can now proceed to fix the leak.
There are a few tools required for the job. These include:
- A pipe cutter
- Wire brush
- Solder flux
- A piece of copper pipe
- Replacement fittings
- Gas/Propane torch
- Lead free solder
After you have assembled the tools you need to drain the water from the pipe by running the nearest pipe until it is dry. Next you have to cut the damaged section of the pipe using the pipe cutter. Make sure you drain all the remaining water to keep the pipe as dry as possible for the solder to work well. Then de-burr the pipe endings using a wire brush. Next brush flux the edges of each pipe and proceed to do the same interior edges of the couplings. Slide the couplings on in to each pipe.
With the expertise of your emergency plumber London, the next step involves measuring the replacement copper pipes and ensuring they extend about 1/2 an inch into the couplings on each end. Then apply the edges of the pipe with flux as well as on the interior edges of the fitting and fix them into position. Proceed to heat each joint using the propane torch to the point the flux smokes, then solder the joints with a lead free solder as the melting solder gets into the joints by capillary action. Leave to cool and wipe the joint with a piece of cloth. You can now turn on back the water and confirm that the leakage is fixed.
A good plumber will advice you on the proper use of a propane torch and will make a point of shielding any material that may be damaged by fire. You can now enjoy normal water services.