Plumbing courses for beginners



They're great if you have to make one (maybe two) solder-ring connection, on clean pipe, in a cupboard full of firelighters and dynamite.
Otherwise they take an age to heat up, and they've got just enough oomph for one well-behaved connection before you're waiting for them to get back up to temperature.
They do reduce fire risk though. Last time I used one was on a pipe embedded in sheeps' wool insulation (posh hippy house). It wasn't a good idea to put a flame near that stuff, even when we'd been building it, certainly not after it was decorated, sparkling and fragrant.
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<snip>
"It does not burn, but instead singes away from fire and extinguishes itself (Wool has a very high inflammation point of 560°C due to its high Nitrogen content of ~16%) Wool is self extinguishing because of its high Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI=25.2), which means to completely burn wool an oxygen content of 25.2% is necessary whereas air only has 21%"
http://uk.sheepwoolinsulation.com/why_wool /
Jim K
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Yes indeed.
And have you smelled it while it's doing that?
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had you before you were at the hippies?
shurely even posh hippies wouldn't mind a passing whiff of something exotic? especially if was up in a loft anyway?
Jim K
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Pretty much everyone smells it singeing before they OK its use - otherwise the usual response is "we can't use that, it's not fireproof like rockwool!" As you point out, it singes and won't sustain burning, but no-one ever believes it until you torch a piece in front of them.
My soldering blanket is made of wool (fireproof Melton, from the Bristol fireman's jacket factory). It's less conductive than my Kevlar one, so there's less damage behind. The Kevlar one can get hot enough to scorch paint behind it. I tend to soak the wool one with a bit of water anyway, but the middle is pretty scorched now and no longer smells as much.
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wrote:

Ah yes, but the hippy house would have had proper organic wool, full of lanolin.....
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Never tried one - but that's what I'd heard too.
However I recently bought a Rothenberger SureFire2 blowtorch. Uses MAP- Pro gas rather the propane or butane.
If you're going to do more than a little bit of copper pipework, doing 28mm pipes, or reworking wet pipework - then a professional torch makes a *world* of difference in terms of easily making quality soldered joints.
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mo wrote:

I have a cunning plan to open a DIY school one day & run very basic, but hands on courses in basic plumbing, carpentry, fixing stuff to walls etc.
Books & the interweb are great, but practical hands on is much better at suppling that vital part - confidence.
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
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On Mon, 23 Aug 2010 13:43:33 -0500, mo wrote:

============================================================================= Plenty of good advice already, especially about buying books. Some books are free and although they're not by any means textbooks they're very useful sources of basic information - trade catalogues. Toolstation's catalogue has pretty good illustrations of most tools and fittings and Screwfix online has much the same thing. You can also browse freely in Wickes, B&Q, etc. and handle most items to get an idea of how they're used.
As far as the course is concerned I think that the money would be far better spent on buying appropriate tools (tube bender, special spanners etc.) which can be quite expensive; you'll need to buy them anyway so you might as well buy them and practise in the comfort of your own home.
Most of the skill of plumbing is probably related to using your tools properly but the specialised skill of soldering is best learned by practice with some basic instruction readily obtained by Googling or asking here.
Cic.
--
===============================================================================
Using Ubuntu Linux
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It's one of those skills that require many. Like accurate measuring when cutting or bending pipes, etc. Soldering. Having a 'feel' for screwing things together. Knowing how to fix to walls. General carpentry. And so on.
If you already have all those, the specifics could be gleaned from a decent book. Of course designing your own heating system would take more research. ;-)
I'm very glad I was keen on Meccano as a kid.
--
*Succeed, in spite of management *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I wouldnt waste the money or time. Whatever you need to know is available free online, and to get some practice you just need a few tools and fittings, which cost a fraction of that. Plumbing sinks etc is fairly basic. The issue with plumbing imho is unexpected issues along the way, that add time and curses to sort out.
NT
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mo wrote:

FWIW I did an electrical course there last year, C&G 2377.
Able is a well set up establishment with loads of trades (or wannabe trades) people getting their training and certs; all different nationalities as well, particulary the eastern europeans workers getting proper UK qualifications for their trades. Friendly atmosphere.
My course was just 2 days and mostly paperwork, but the other courses I could see going on had a lot of practical content - ye had to certainly walk about the site with safety boots, but luckily I saw no ambulance... :-)
--
Adrian C

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IMHO, there are two sorts of plumbing:
* New installations. The components are new, the right size, the same size and they go together without problems. They also arrive empty and dry, so you don't have to add water until the work is finished.
* Repairs. Some time in the late Victorian / Eocene, some cack-handed badger installed the wrong part, upside down, and soldered it to a piece of lead left over from the Romans. Then they built a wall in front of it to make access even worse. It's already leaking, so you _must_ fix it now. It would be easy to do so, except that the component you need is only available from a plumber's merchant 20 miles away, which in 5 minutes time will close to celebrate Kwanzaa for the next week. One piece of pipe is sized in cubits rather than mm, and plumbers all swear that such a component has never been made in such a size, or with the necessary connecting part - despite their shelves being full of them (the piece you already have, not the one you need). When you've finally installed the three new pieces you needed to get them to work together instead of just the one that was actually broken, you discover that your pushing and pulling on the pipe has then caused something else six feet away to start dribbling.
If you want a really good read on the theory and detail of plumbing (i.e. which bits to use and how to install them), Treloar's "Plumbing" is a great NVQ-level textbook. Obviously the hand skills will then need some actual hands-on time.
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Treloar - excellent.
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On Aug 24, 9:11 am, Andy Dingley wrote:

You think that was bad, you should have seen his wiring ;-(
Owain
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Oh, I have the wiring too. 240V running to microswitches above cupboard doors as a lightswitch, with just a bit of shrinkwrap over the terminals. There's hardly an (exposed) junction box here that still had its lid in place.
Hence my total rewire...
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On Aug 25, 1:42 pm, Andy Dingley wrote:

Ah, those jeanie switches. <tappity tappity> Oh look, they're still available! http://www.jeani-accessories.ltd.uk/switches/door.htm
Owain
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Nothing so sophisticated, just a bog-standard V3 http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Switches/Microswitches/V3-Microswitches/73516
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On Aug 25, 8:54 pm, Andy Dingley wrote:

I always find such combinations of quality and ineptitude perplexing.
Owain
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Search out your local building trades college and compare prices. This is vastly more than my local one used to be, but it may be they are no longer subsidised like they used to be.

Watched my dad initially. Was quickly on to things like descaling ballcocks and even servicing the cast iron gas boiler (brushing off the soot, cleaning all the burner jets, etc. as a teenager. I can't recall for sure, but I think I did some basic plumbing too. For soldering, I was already compitent at electrical soldering (self taught), and transfering that skill to plumbing is not a big step. I recall firing up dad's parrafin blowlamp on several occasions for soldering, but I can't recall exactly what I was soldering with it.
Actually, one thing I recall - I made up a new exhaust pipe for the lawn mower with soldered copper pipe when the original one rusted into a pile a dust. Looked really good. About 30 seconds after starting the mower, all the soldered joints melted apart. Still, that's how you learn things...

Two courses I did because I wanted the skills myself and had no one to teach me were plastering and bricklaying. Each was 2 or 3 days, and well taught. I've also done electrical courses and got a couple of C&G, but in that case I already knew most of the material; it was a question of getting the certificate to make me happier about doing electrical work at work, and work paid for the courses (after which I designed and installed a computer room, amongst other things).
--
Andrew Gabriel
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]
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