Well that's the most bastardy bit of the plumbing done...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/timjwatts/sets/72157648592717720/
You can all laugh now that that took 3 days (not whole days, had kids and stuff, it's half term).
Have not air-pressure tested yet because I'm out of JG 22-15mm adaptors. If any of those joints are faulty there will be some swearing!
Just got to pop the first level assembly on one end (secondary stop valve, pressure reducer and take off for garden taps pre-secondary house stopcock. Think I'll just leave a 22mm compression coupler on the end and add the rest of the take offs later.
The connection to the mains riser will require one 90 deg bent pipe and a compression elbow.
But I was impressed with 2 things:
The Surefire 2 blow torch recommended here with propane worked really well - as promised, any angle and the pick up, ignite, use and put down no flame is a boon to not setting the roof on fire.
and
http://www.screwfix.com/p/monument-soldering-mat/45563
is actually a *very* effective heat mat. Zero charring on the purlin and good protection of walls and ceilings.
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On 27/10/2014 21:33, Tim Watts wrote:

Oh, I have one of those, but its not got the pipe hole... that looks rather handy.
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John.
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Na, BTDTGTTS with that sort of situation :-) And now it is done :-)

Ah, I've seen those in the local plumbers merchants, never quite got to buying one. Maybe I will replace my old typical black DIY one next time.
Nice eclectic collection of piccies on your photostrem, what's the header image?
--
Chris French


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On 28/10/14 00:38, Chris French wrote:

The pipes one?
Garden taps I did last year :)
Hot feed to the tap (shorted to cold up top right now) - will be useful for car washing and odd things.
Right side is a 3/4" take off for hose.
The other 3 are washing machine valves for garden auto watering devices.
The plan is, hopefully by next year, is to have the main plumbing done in copper so I feel confident in it. Then I can isolate the house while away but leave a feed to this lot which comes off before the secondary stopcock and have lots of wall-basket plants and stuff :)
The brick pointing is now repaired so no reason not to now.
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On 28/10/14 07:26, Tim Watts wrote:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/timjwatts/sets/72157634844418238/
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On 28/10/2014 07:26, Tim Watts wrote:

That wouldn't work around here, I had two water timers explode due to mains water pressure. Now they live on a spur with a pressure reducer fitted. Did you fit a double check valve as you can get bib taps with one but not washing machine taps AFAIK.
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On 28/10/14 09:21, Dennis@home wrote:

I have a PRV upstream due to excessive mains pressure - I reduce the whole house to 5 bar from 7-8.

Yep - inline double checks just up inside the dormer area, in a nice accessible and un-freezy location.
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Tim Watts wrote:

The brass hospital clips look nice where they're on show, but using them instead of plastic (talon are nice and chunky) when they're out of sight seems excessive!
Did you consider a pair of 135° elbows to get round the coving? Probably just me but they look rather 'cooked' ...
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On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 8:16:08 AM UTC, Andy Burns wrote:

y

In that situation I usually try the pipe bender. If the bends are too close for that, I'll do one side with the bender, the other side with the 135 el bow. The only thing is, I tend to waste rather a lot of pipe using the bend er - both attempts that failed, and extra length that needs trimming.
Simon.
Simon.
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On 28/10/14 09:29, sm_jamieson wrote:

I started with a double offset bend:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/timjwatts/15622214721/in/set-72157648425173110
But, as I would have to solder a coupler on the top to marry to the pipe from the roof space (impossible to feed a single long pipe through that area) I decided my final way looked less instrustive.
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On 28/10/14 08:16, Andy Burns wrote:

Where were you thinking of Andy?
If you mean the main riser, I wanted that well supported. If you mean the purlin, that will be on show.

Re cooked: Probably - these are end feed and I'm not used to those and I was having to swap hands with the solder and the torch to make sure I fed all around while trying to stop a heat mat falling off. This is why I normally use yorkshires - heat, solder appears, job done :)
I was just heating it enough so when flame was removed, the solder wire would just melt on contact. I'm really not sure I could every do this much quicker unless it's on the bench - I'm just not that practised with pipe soldering. And I find lead free slightly more annoying than leaded.
I'm not sure I will ever improve with this skill.
I was assured it is hard to overheat lead-free solder (well it's nearly pure tin) so I'm not worried. The other thing is that I tend to use too much solder and flood the joint rather than risk too little. They'll clean up with a bit of wire wool. It might have been easier, if slower to use a pipe iron here.
Re: 45 degree bends - I did form an offset with double 45 degree bends into plain pipe the first time. It brought the bend so far down that it did look much more instrusive - so I went with the double 90.
It's only because there's a roof and lots of celotex right over that wall. If it was another floor over there, I would have gone straight up through the coving.
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On 28/10/2014 11:02, Tim Watts wrote:

FWIW, there is no need to "feed all round" with end feed - just touch the solder to an accessible point and its immediately sucked all round the joint if its up to temperature (at least for pipe 22mm and smaller).

Can't say I have found much difference between lead and lead free.

I found that its really just a case of doing enough. End feed are by far my preferred fittings (not least because when buying bags of 25 or 50 they are *much * cheaper), but I know I will get a reliable joint 100% of the time, and very quickly. I keep a few solder ring fittings for occasions where you have to work with only one hand free.
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John.
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On 28/10/14 13:32, John Rumm wrote:

Oh - I was basing this on a Youtube vid...
Weird really because my electronics soldering skills are impeccable and have been since I was 10. But then I'm working in comfort and good light with low thermal mass components...

I do so few joints that a 50% price hike on the fittings is nearly irrelevant :)
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On 28/10/2014 13:53, Tim Watts wrote:

I have seen some like that - usually American. You also need to avoid those showing hard solder brazing, where you will need to work round the pipe with the heat.
With soft solder and normal UK style fittings, if you clean the pipe well, add a small amount of a decent flux, heat for 5 or 6 seconds (mostly the fitting (but also playing the torch on the pipe end for about a third of the time) before touching the solder on, then keep heating as you apply the solder, and it should flow easily into the joint from anywhere you touch it. You need about a 1cm of solder on 15mm and about 1.5 to 2cm for 22mm (i.e. not much).
Its worth experimenting with some fittings on the bench - make some joints with what seems like too little solder - the cut the fitting in half length ways and look at the solder - you will see a nice full fill all round the joint.

Its the higher thermal mass that makes it harder (and the fact the bits are not pre-tinned and quite as "clean" out of the box). Its partly why I like end feed more than solder ring - they heat faster due to having less metal.

I don't do plumbing jobs that frequently, but find when I do, I can go through quite a large quantity of fittings in a session. Hence I normally keep a parts case full of fittings so that I can tackle most jobs without needing to buy more - then just buy enough to replenish it after.
[1] I did a bathroom refit for an aunt once - It was only a tiny room about 1.1m wide and 2.4m long. Also conversion of the heating system from vented gravity setup with cylinder, to sealed with a combi. Much of the existing pipework was lead, so needed re-pipe pretty much everything. That swallowed the best part of 50m of copper in one form or another, plus something like 70 to 80 fittings at a guess!
--
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John.
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On 28/10/14 16:03, John Rumm wrote:

That's probably about as much solder as I used.
I'm always worried that I have left a bit of the fitting underheated - hence going right round. If the solder melts on the rear, I'm good. But yes, I was heating for longer that 6 seconds! But I cut my flame back to medium rather than "cutting heat" ;-)
Another trick I did figure out was wrapping a small wetted towel around the pipe 5 or more inches back from the joint stops the Talon clips melting.
This time, I used Fernox heat activated flux - so I don't have to worry about not flushing the pipes out until next week...

Oh god - I have enough grief doing my own stuff in a house where I've been incrementally engineering things to be accessible. I could not imaging doing anything more than maybe a trivial job for someone else.
I think the only job I like is computers. They're clean (well, Ok, not after 5 years in the datacentre), accessible, the cables are bendy and it all looks neat. I merely tolerate other jobs.
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On 28/10/2014 16:29, Tim Watts wrote:

A quick way to know its all hot enough is to apply the solder to the opposite side of the pipe from where you were heating.

Yup good plan - I tend not to fit many clips before I have soldered it up, but sometimes you need one or two.

Can't say I was that keen myself either, but she was in hospital following a fall, and needed to come home to a place with a easy access shower, rather than a cramped 1930's bathroom. So I was going to get lumbered one way or another - so it was easiest to co-opt a retired builder I know to go do it with me, than trying to organise others to do it.

Its surprising how annoying even computers can be when you have just wiggled into the right space through a hole in the the floor, and someone else rings to ask you what their email password is ;-)
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On 29/10/14 13:25, John Rumm wrote:

OK. I was confuse but the Youtube vid. It was an English bloke, not american.

I have to make a manifold - a length of 22mm with mains in one end, boiler feed out the other and 7 tees with isolation valves for all the take offs (this cupboard under the stairs is very central - it makes sense to run direct feeds to everything, star topology.
I need it clipped to make sure it's soldered in a plane, but I am worried about solder running down the pipe right where I need to make a compression joint. So I am building it in the shed on a horizonatl bit of ply, then plan to clip it up as one unit.

Ah - your Xmas list needs to add "Bluetooth earpiece" :)
I guess it's difference you you run your own business but I've trained my lot to use a ticketing system (Jira - it's actually very good) - even for password resets[1]. In return I try really hard to clear the trivial stuff quickly.
[1] Since I rebuilt the LDAP server and added MIT Kerberos, I wrote a perl script that issues a 7 day password and emails it to the user with a link to a web page where the can choose a new one using the short lived temporary PW.
Can't tell you how many hours that has saved over the last 2 years!
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On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 1:25:48 PM UTC, John Rumm wrote:

Another trick I heard is to put a bend in the solder so you know how much you have used.
Simon.
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Tim Watts wrote:

They look good there

Oh, I assumed that was up in the attic somewhere!

Me too, Dad was gas board trained, and that's what he always used, and showed me how to use ... I never did try end-feed.

I remember the swept bends, just wondered if 45 elbows would get it in tighter, obviously you're not going to rip it out now ...
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On 28/10/14 16:20, Andy Burns wrote:

Over the stairs. I fiddled long and hard to find the easiest way to bridge the stairs. The original idea was in the eaves - but that would have taken the pipe (and thus the soldered joints) right over the CU and 2 major cable runs. And also further down into the eaves, so waving a flame would be even less fun.
Anyway, by the time I've varnished the purlin dark brown/black and the pipe has oxidised, it will be nearly invisible.
The purlin turned out to be a nice route (except having to put a 45 degree bend in one end to miss a supporting vertical).
And to some extent it shields the pipe from big things being lefted down the stairs (not so much up the stairs, but it's less likely you accidental hold something too high going up).
This house, having a dormer added badly is a minefield of lumps of wood and rusty nails. I had a gas fitter in yesterday for a CH quote. He was not too happy about running all the rad pipes along the dormer walls 12-18" off the floor[1] as I forbade him to notch any joists[2].
[1] To be fair he though I would box the wall in and he'd have trouble with air bleeding valves. He was less confused when I said the dormer face wall would have removable panels between floor and nominal dado height because all the plumbing and electrics shared that route.
[2] The joists are so badly butchered that the BCO was of the opinion that "it was OK, but don't go hacking anything else out".

No. Provided it works :)
I'm Mr Function. The wife is Mrs Form. I have at least established the principle that her Form will be achieved *subject* to the Function. So we're having pipes on show. Nowt wrong with nice straight pipes :)
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