An experienced plumber knows that a rigid ½ inch copper pipe fitting cannot be fitted to a flexible ½ inch copper pipe fitting. The same principle applies to other types of materials – a 1 inch ABS pipe cannot be fitted to a 1 inch PVC pipe. In cases like these, a plumber should buy an adapter to connect the two pipes.
Step 1 – Use a Pipe Cutter
When you are installing Copper pipe fittings, you need a metal pipe cutter to cut the correct length of pipes. The cutter is easy to use, simply insert the ABS pipe inside the cutter and turn down the knob. Hold the knob firmly and turn it down gradually until the pipe is cut 360 degrees across the diameter.
Step 2 – Choose a Connection Method
After cutting the pipe, you must then connect the two pipes together. There are two methods of connecting the pipes. You can solder the two pipes at the joint or you can use compression fittings. The advantage of soldered fittings is that they are less costly than the compression fittings.However, the drawback is that it takes a lot of time and effort to join soldered fittings and seal the leaks.
Step 3 – Installing Soldered Fittings
Before you connect the fittings, you must clean the ends of the pipes. After that, apply flux on the pipes and the fittings. Place the two pieces in position with their ends joined and apply heat to the joint. You will need a propane torch to apply the heat. When the joint reaches a specific temperature or simply warm enough, you must apply the solder. The joint will suck in the solder as soon as you apply it and in the process the two pieces will be sealed together. This step is very critical and needs utmost attention and skill. You must make sure that the joint is completely sealed to avoid any leaks. If the joint is not properly sealed, you will have a leak and when there is a leak you will need to start all over again. No repair can be done at this stage because it is practically impossible. What you should do is to replace the fitting and use a new one. Professional plumbers often use a torch that is more powerful than a normal bottle propane torch. If you use a more powerful torch, you should be careful when you are working in small spaces. Have a fire extinguisher ready in case of possible fire outbreak.
Step 4 – Installing Compression Fittings
A compression fitting is installed in a different way. You do not need a torch as soldering is not required. A compression fitting is normally fitted at the joints between the water shut-off valves and the pipe under the sink or to a toilet water closet (w/c).This type of fitting can be used in many places besides the sink and w/c.
To make a compression fitting, use a pipe cutter to cut the required length. Fix the compression ring and nut at the end of the pipe. Slide the pipe into the compression socket. Use a wrench to hold the Copper fitting and another to tighten the nut. As you tighten the nut, the compression ring will cover the pipe and thus creating an air-tight seal that stops water from seeping through the joint. As with soldered joints, the ends of the pipes should be cleaned as dust and dirt can cause leaks.
Picture Credit >> Popular Mechanics >> http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/skills/4213319
Video 1 : Plumbing – Soldering Copper Pipes
Video 2 – How to Sweat Copper Pipe Fittings
Video 3 – Easy Copper Soldering- Copper Water Lines
Video 4 – Dumb Plumbing Tips From Lady Plumber