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Why is it essential to cap a copper plumbing line, and how to do it?
Working on a copper plumbing system can be troublesome if you do not know all the right practices and techniques. However, some things can make the plumbing job easier. Caps for copper plumbing are among those. They come with some significant benefits. That is why our professional plumbers Tulsa prioritize using these.
So, if you are doing some copper plumbing job yourself, here is all you need to know about the importance of these caps and how to install them. Need a top plumbers Tulsa team, call us today!
Why is it essential to cap a copper plumbing line?
Capping a copper plumbing line means that when you cut a copper pipe, you install a cap at the end to ensure no leakage. Whether there is a supply of water in that line or not, it is essential because copper pipes can become harder to solder because of environmental factors.
In that case, a simple plumbing job will become a complex one. Additionally, capping a copper plumbing line makes it safe from all types of insects and dust/debris from getting inside the system that may contaminate your water.
A step-by-step guide to cap a copper plumbing line.
Now that you know why these are essential, here are the steps you need to follow when you cap a copper plumbing line.
1. Shut off the supply of water to that copper plumbing line
The first step of this process is to ensure that the copper plumbing line is dry. You not only need to shut off the water supply to that specific copper plumbing line but opening a tap present at a lower height will help remove any water. Count on us for the best Plumbers Tulsa results!
Our plumbing Tulsa professionals recommend waiting for some time to dry the pipes, leaving the least chance of making any errors while soldering. So, once the line is dry, you can start working on the next steps.
2. Cut pipe
Now you need to decide where you will cut the pipe and mark a straight line with a marker. Carefully cut the pipe with a copper pipe cutter. Make sure that you are not applying too much or too less of pressure as that will result in damaging the copper pope.
After cutting the pipe, you can ream the inside with a reamer. It is usually attached to the cutter, but you can also use a separate reaming tool depending on the area you have to work in.
3. Insert tubing into the pipe
While you have already drained water from the plumbing system, it is still necessary that you make your pipe dry from the inside, where you are going to attach the solder. So, you can take a rubber or vinyl tube and insert it into the open end of the pipes. When you insert the tube at least 24 inches into the pipe, start sucking from the other end of the tube and remove any water. Do it for as long as no water remains in the copper pipe.
4. Clean pipe and cap with steel wool
From this step, we will be moving toward the soldering process. The first part of the soldering process includes cleaning the copper pipe and the cap. You will need some steel wool for this step. Clean the end that you will be soldering for as long as the copper becomes shiny and bright.
Also, clean the cap on the side where you will be soldering it. A clean copper surface is essential for strong and leak-free soldering joints. So, once you are done cleaning, do not touch the clean surfaces as you may get some contaminants.
5. Apply flux
Now you need to apply some flux paste to the clean parts of the pipe and cap. Apply flux using a clean flux brush, and make sure to apply enough amount of flux as it is what’s going to attach solder onto copper. Once you apply flux on your copper cap and pipe, you need to slip the cap on the pipe. Double check that the cap is fully slipped on the pipe and there is no space left. Discover why we are among the best for plumbers Tulsa repairs.
6. Add fire protection if necessary.
Depending on where you are working, you may need some fire protection. Our plumbing Tulsa professionals recommend keeping a fire extinguisher along you while adding a cement backer board or metallic sheet behind the pipe to protect any combustible surfaces is also necessary. Some materials that necessarily need fire protection include:
- Wall Studs
Adding fire protection is important as you will be working with a blowtorch.
7. Heat copper pipe and cap
Before starting your blowtorch, you must unroll at least a 6-inch solder wire(lead-free) length. Now light your propane blowtorch with a blue center cone steady flame. Heat the pipe and cap fitting at the area of the joint. Meanwhile, avoid heating unnecessary parts of the copper pipe.
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8. Add solder to the heated parts.
Now you need to touch the tip of the solder on the pipe below your cap to see if it is hot enough or not. As the solder starts to melt, you need to feed it inside the cap, fitting the opposite direction of the flame from the blowtorch.
Keep feeding solder for as long as a silver ring is not formed all over the joint, and once it is formed, stop heat and solder. Having some excess drops of solder is always a better choice but having too much or less than necessary is not a good choice.
9. Let everything cool down and turn on the water supply
As you remove the blowtorch, you need to see the joint carefully so that the steam pressure inside the pipe must not create any leakages. Wait 5 seconds, then cool the pipe by wiping it with a damp cloth.
Lastly, you need to turn on the water supply, and you can use water normally without any leakages.
Capping a copper plumbing line may add a little effort to your plumbing job, but it can save a lot of time and effort the next time you work on the same line. It is one of the reasons our plumbers Tulsa emphasize the importance of installing these caps. While you are DIYing this, make sure to wear eye protection as well as gloves to stay safe.
Today’s Fun Fact:
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