Fire and Sewer Gas

I'm replacing a bathroom sink. The first segment of the drain trap is soldered to the copper sewer pipe. There's not enough protruding from the wall to comfortably sawzall the pipe off so I'd like to melt the solder to remove the trap.
Easy enough to do, but am I going to blow the whole damn thing up when the sewer gas in the pipe hits the torch flame?
I'm a little worried about trying this. Considering the grand scale of good and bad ways to die, I'd really not like to go out that way. Not what I'd want on my tombstone! "Here lies the reverend natty light. Blown to bits by a flaming poop pipe."
-rev
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I seriously doubt thatr would happen provided your sewer is properly vented!
Might put a vacuumn cleaner hose into the end of the pipe to clear out any gas, but with it vented to the roof any methane which is lighter than air should be long gone
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

ROFL, that reminds me of a funny episode of cartalk where the guy was vacuuming his spark plug hole, but the intake lifter happened to be open. you can imagine what happened when that air hit the spark of the vacuum motor.
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You could heat for free. Or better yet, use the sewer gas to power the torch you use to melt the solder!
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I think you would smell the methane if it were there. Or am I confusing this with another gas?
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Methane is odorless. But in a sewer, there are other aromatics that help let you know there may be something present.
Methane was a problem in mines and that is why they used to take canaries into the mines as detectors. Canary dies, get out.
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wrote in message

So you're saying stuff a canary in the pipe first??????
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Yes. Be sure to tie a string on the feet so you can pull it out to see if it is alive.
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Edwin Pawlowski posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

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No, that's a spud gun.
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wrote:

That's right. I get it now.

Still is.

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I think you're onto something here. Good thing I went to Taco Bell for lunch today. That should add a few thousand BTU's to the old oil burner!
-rev
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not normally, but it's not impossible. properly pitched, sewage in the sewer moves downhill from your home and venting sends related methane up above your roofline. but if your main trap is leaking and dry between your home and the street sewer main, that methane and whatever else accidentally got poured or spilled into the sewer such as a car accident with a gasoline spill uphill from your house becomes your rare problem you describe.
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How about if he connects the *blow* end of a shop vac to it? Push air into the pipe and the methane gas away from where he's heating.
Or would it also just cool the joint too much?
Btw, how are you going to put a pipe back on once you've taken this off?
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10. phaeton Jan 24, 12:48 am "How about if he connects the *blow* end of a shop vac to it? Push air
into the pipe and the methane gas away from where he's heating. "
I wouldn't be that worried about it, but doing as you suggested for 15 secs or so before starting to unsolder it sure wouldn't hurt. That would blow any methane away from the area, at least for awhile. Of course, this presumes the line is properly vented. If not, you may turn the toilets into bidets.
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Thanks for the advice, folks.
FYI: It's a septic system, properly vented, I have no clue how the new pipes will attach but I'm just rebuilding the wall at the moment. I think the key here is that methane is lighter than air. So I'm going to try it. If it kills me than I'll come back and tell everyone not to do it.
-rev
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So I'm going to try it. If it kills me than I'll come back and tell everyone not to
do it.
HO HO HO THAT WOULD BE A GOOD ONE!
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