That was the problem facing me earlier today. Needed to replace a 15mm
pipe coming off a tee. Problem was that it was below the lowest drain
point on the water circuit, so I knew the pipe had water in it that
would most likely cause problems when applying a blowtorch.
Solved the problem after sleeping on it overnight. I'm passing the
following on in case it might be useful to someone else one of these
I drained the pipework as far as I could, leaving a few feet of 15mm
containing water - with the tee midway along.
Then connected up my Acquvac vacuum cleaner configured in wet mode,
stuck the hose on the tap on the end of the circuit, opened the tap at
the other end of the pipework, and sucked the water out.
Within a couple of minutes I had nearly-dry pipework which allowed me
to break and remake the 15mm solder tee without problems.
I suppose a complete job would have seen me put a drain valve on this
pipework for good measure. Didn't bother - now that I know my trusty
Aquavac can do the business I don't need the drain valve :)
On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 20:54:39 +0000 (UTC), "Rick Hughes"
Possibly. Only there was a problem with taking that approach. The tee
was about centrally placed in the pipework - and on one side the pipe
disappeared through a hole in the brickwork, without there being any
access to the remote side. And the distance between the tee and the
wall would have made the freeze too close to the flamethrower.
I was replacing just one section of the tee - the pipe that branches
off - the straight through pipe was being left in-situ.
I did think about replacing the tee and pipework, but unfortunately
the main feed coming in (which is the bit I would have had to cut) had
only a couple of inches before it disappeared into the brickwork, and
being low down gave no room to be able to swing a hacksaw. Couldn't
possibly get a pipe cutter in the space available so it was do-or-die
with the 15mm tee.
There's another trick for situations like this, I picked up here in
uk.d-i-y AFAIK: Shove a bit of bread in the pipe. This is supposed to
seal the pipe and soak up any water for long enough to solder the
joint, and the dissolve as you flush the system. Never tried it...
Never tried it myself, but allegedly this can also be solved by
stuffing the open end of the pipe with bread; you then have until the
bread plug becomes saturated to complete your soldering. When you
turn the water on again, the bread disintegrates and comes out the tap
or next junction in the pipework.
On Wed, 01 Oct 2003 18:27:40 GMT, email@example.com (Simon
Whilst I can see the bread trick could work, it wouldn't have done for
me. Reason being that there was something like an 18in head of water
above the tee which I wanted to unsolder - that would be a lot of
bread, and no way could I get this down past the tee anyway.
Sucking the water out with an Aquavac did the business on this
occasion. I think I got about a pint and a half out of the pipe using
The simple solution is to bung the vent and feed pipes in the attic, or
wherever (see elsewhere for details) and cut the pipe, catching the 1/2 pint
or so that flows out into a container. An automatic pipe cutter will cut a
pipe within an inch of a parallel wall, and is less that a tenner. You then
might need a straight coupler to repair the cut pipe - less than 75p.
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
Remove NOSPAM from address to reply
It's still a good trick. I've used an injector pump to do the same
thing. (Or whatever they're called: one of those things that attaches
to a mains water outlet and sucks when you turn on the water. Jet of
water entrains the air, and "pulls" it out). Found in waterbed stores,
nonelectric, cheap, fine dirt and sludge don't bother it.
It'll also pull a lot more head than a wet-n-dry, so beware crushing
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