Solder joints beneath floor - safety?

Rick wrote:


That's why Lassie was a dog and why Perendale Rescue never made it as a tv series, even in New Zealand
Owain
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
kmillar wrote:

You will be fine. As long as its not hermetically sealed. You will produce fumes faster than a few soldered joints with a torch will.
Anyway teh first signs of anoxia and CO2 overdose is feeling dizzy and headachy, so just watch out for feeling rough, and if you do, break for a cuppa.
In fact, do that anyway. wortkng in 15" of rubble infested space you will need it.
Or if really paranoid use a fan. Coal miners work in less than 15" sometimes. Forced air keeps them alive.

Peace of mind? Or a piece of my mind?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Given all the additional precautions other posters have recommended this does seem a high risk undertaking.
If you are averse to pushfit, have you considered compression joints?
The slightly higher cost will probably be offset by the lack of risk and general issues over using a naked flame in a flammable substrate under a wooden floor with a limited escape route.
Of course, real plumbers only use solder :-)
However, normal human beings can sometimes take alternative approaches.
HTH Dave R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think that is very good advice. If I were making some joints in a rather inaccessible location where I couldn't be certain that I have cleaned the pipe all the way round, or was unable to inspect the joint either, I think I'd opt for compression fittings which I have done before on some occasions.
Its not a case of being a real plumber at all, just horses for courses, otherwise why do you think they still make 'em?.....
--
Tony Sayer


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmm. I'd like to be sure the pipe was clean and undamaged with compression fittings too. And a scratch which might cause a problem with a compression fitting won't with a solder type. Then there's the problem of tightening a compression fitting in an inaccessible place.

They allow dismantling.
--
*The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
tony sayer wrote:

I don't think I could make ANY joint on a piece of pipe I couldn't wrap a strip of emery around and burnish, or get a pipe cutter around to cut, or a small mirror behind to inspect afterwards...and CERTAINLY if I couldn't get those around I'd be hard pressed to actually screw a compression fitting on.
I've had FAR more trouble with compression fittings leaking than soldered ones as well.

AFAIAC the only good thing about a compression fitting is you can take it apart without cutting a pipe. Having learnt to solder, I simply won't ever use them unless I have to - generally when its not possible to do otherwise - e.g. its very hard to solder a tap onto thr end of a pipe....;-)
I haven't used pushfit, but I have used teh odd flexible pipe. I think they are extremely useful when retrofitting stuff to awkward places, and the joints can be pretty reliable, I still prefer copper and solder though. That IS prejudice - no reason to believe it's really any better.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Another reason for compression fittings in such a location in a retro fit job is water dribbles. Even when you've drained the system, there's often enough water dribbling around in the underfloor areas to make soldering impossible. I would do new bits in soldered, then put in a compression T to link into the existing.
At the very least I always have a few compression fittings to hand just in case of problems.
--
steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Open any plumbers van these days and you will find them full of plastic, the norm is to use plastic where they can, copper where its visible or necessary (rad tails etc)
--
David

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@chapelhouse.demon.co.uk wrote:

I've 2 plumbers in the family and they rarely use copper and only in the circumstances you and I mention. far too much faffing about, especially when time is money, especially OPM (other peoples money)
RT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Seems like a good reason to DIY, where time isn't money. The heating system I installed 3 years ago is all copper, with end-feed soldered joints. (It was last drained and filled 2 years ago, and has not needed topping up since.)
--
Andrew Gabriel

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yup. Surely the main reason to DIY is to get the best possible end result *and* save money?
Copper tube with solder fittings is cheaper than push fit plastic - and *proved* to last a lifetime and more.
--
*Reality is the illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is not so though Dave, the only plumbing failures I have had in my current house are pin holes in the copper pipe. I think the influx of cheap imported copper in the last few years is a bit of a time bomb, you must have compared wall thicknesses? some of this imported pipe must be difficult to bend without getting a kink, its so thin.
--
David

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The only pin hole I ever had was in an end feed fitting bought as part of a bulk pack from Wicks.
So I only now buy tube and fittings from my local PM.
I've not had problems with tube kinking using a decent pipe bender.
--
*On the seventh day He brewed beer *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes I also only buy pipe from merchants now (after realising the difference) but the copper that the builder used to plumb my house is definitely of a poor quality, the comment about kinking was just a thought but if you're not using the thin stuff anyway its not applicable to you anyway
--
David

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You are lucky Dave. - I spent several hours on a job last week cutting out and renewing lengths of steadily perforating 28mm copper pipe under a bedroom floor, which was said to have been installed during refurbishment about fifteen years ago. Little green spots were developing about every 500mm along its length and a few were dribbling water. The householder assured me it was a heating pipe so having tied up the ball valve and drained the boiler the dribbling continued unabated. Ho ho we thought there must be a trapped drop section so having arranged a collection bowl and bucket I started to rotate a pipeslice. A jet of water appeared so I stopped cutting and started collecting water. Having filled the bowl I emptied it into the bucket and he took the bucket away to empty while I held the bowl again. Several buckets later I asked him to go and tie up the other ball valve and run the bath taps to drain the Cold water tank in case the cylinder coil was holed. The taps ran dry while I continued to collect water and the flow continued unabated. Another forty or so buckets after that with the water coming out getting steadily hotter the water flow finally stopped. After doing the job and untying the heating F&E ball valve the heating system filled up but the offending pipe remained empty. Untying the other ball valve resulted in the pipe cooling rapidly as it filled with cold water and creeping about in voids and under cupboards to trace it I found it was a long supply pipe from the loft tank to the cylinder but via a convoluted route. Oh how I do love old houses where standard methods are the exception rather than the norm!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wonder what the problem was? Chemical reaction or impurities in the 'copper'?
--
*Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

The following is copied from http://www.cda.org.uk/megab2/build/pub33/33_2000.pdf
Pitting Corrosion of Copper Tubes --------------------------------- It should be emphasised that the number of copper tubes affected by pitting corrosion is an extremely small percentage of the total amount manufactured and installed in the United Kingdom. The majority of copper tubes give satisfactory service over many years. Two forms of corrosion to which copper tubes are susceptible under specific circumstances are recognised and described in the literature.
A1 Carbon film -------------- This form of pitting, sometimes referred to as Type 1, corrosion can cause premature failure in copper cold water pipes carrying hard or moderately hard deep well waters. Two factors are involved in this form of attack. Firstly the water must be capable of supporting it: organic matter found in surface derived water provides inhibition against attack, and only deep well waters can support it. Secondly, attack occurs only when a thin film of carbon is formed within the bore of the tube during the manufacturing process. The cleaning processes now used by major manufacturers ensure that copper tubes meet the requirements of BS EN 1057 concerning the absence of deleterious films in the bore.
A2 Hot, soft water ------------------ This type of pitting corrosion, sometimes referred to as Type 2, is extremely rare in the United Kingdom: it seldom causes failure in less than about ten years. Carbon films are not a factor in this type of attack. It occurs in hot water pipes in some soft water areas specifically if the operating temperature is above 60oC. This should be borne in mind when specifying higher temperatures in an attempt to eliminate problems associated with Legionnaires Disease. (See also section on Commissioning and Appendix E).
A3 Flux ------- Excessive use of flux resulting in flux runs within the bore of the tube may cause corrosion and should be avoided. Hence the need to use fluxes sparingly and according to manufacturers instructions. </copy>
--
Andy

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

bit ambiguous that, does it mean that it doesn't include imported copper tube? I understand the thin walled stuff is all manufactured overseas

This sounds like my problem, not sure about the deep well waters though but we're certainly hard around here

--
David

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

SNIP
I don't think any of the options described in the article fitted with the pipe I dealt with. It carried cold water from a loft tank where oxygenation could take effect, it wasn't down to soft water since ours is pretty hard, and some of the pits formed at the top of the tube where carried over flux is unlikely to deposit although some of them were at the sides and the bottom.
I'd say free particles of a contaminant such as iron in the copper would be a more logical cause
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Presumably then that tube wouldn't meet the appropriate BS?
--
*Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.