DIY do-it-yourself copper pipe installation: copper pipe installation technology

Plumbing domestic network, made on the basis of copper pipes, should be considered one of the best options for construction. Of course, installation of copper pipes is not a cheap pleasure. But even taking into account the high cost of the copper plumbing, there are plenty of reasons to choose this particular material.

Durability, pleasant appearance, pronounced anti-corrosion properties and even the ability to resist the reproduction of certain types of bacteria - all this is an absolute reason to choose copper pipes for the construction of various household and industrial communications.

Copper as a material for the manufacture of pipes

Copper is the optimal material that ensures the efficiency of systems at high pressures and temperatures. Therefore, the copper pipe is used not only for the construction of hot water supply pipes or heating lines, but also for other purposes.

For comparison, you can take polypropylene pipes and copper.The former are able to withstand temperatures only up to + 97 ° C at pressures of no more than 25 ATI. The latter are capable of operating at T = 300ºС and pressures up to 400 ATI.

Copper pipes for installation of water supply
Plumbing specialists characterize copper pipes as the best material that is recommended to be used for the construction of water supply networks and residential heating systems.

Copper is the main material from which the French, the British, the Australians, the Swedes prefer to install the water supply and heating systems. High mechanical strength, ease of machining - these properties have made seamless copper pipes popular in the construction of various kinds of communications.

Modern production of such products involves the application to the surface of pipes of a protective polymer layer, which excludes the appearance of stray currents in zones of magnetic fields.

The nuances of mounting copper pipelines

Plumbers with a set of tools and experience with copper, perform a number of actions in the process of installing copper pipelines:

  • cleaning, calibration, cutting;
  • giving the necessary form;
  • compression, soldering, connection.

The same actions can be done by hand with each owner of an apartment (private house).

Preparation of copper pipe for soldering
The key to high-quality installation of copper pipes using soldering is a thorough preparation for the process. The connected elements must be processed - cut to size, clean, adjust the joint, thereby creating the conditions for high-quality installation

The main thing is to know the nuances of technology and the secrets of such work. To perform each action requires the appropriate tool. As a rule, the tool kit includes:

  • copper pipe cutter (or hacksaw);
  • files, sandpaper, rags;
  • wrenches wrench;
  • gas key number 1;
  • manual calibrator, pipe bender;
  • gas burner, flux, solder, tape fum.

The beginning of the installation work is always preceded by measures aimed at calculating and plotting the water supply system (heating system).

Scheme of water from copper pipes
The presence of the layout of pipelines and connecting plumbing devices greatly facilitates installation work. The scheme allows you to accurately determine the financial cost of installation and efficiently distribute the time of execution of works

Based on their scheme, the required number of copper pipes, their length, diameter, and the number of additional mounting parts are calculated.

Methods for connecting copper pipes

In practice, one of the two methods of assembling copper pipelines is used - by soldering or mechanical crimping.

The secrets of soldering gas torch

When choosing a soldering method for mounting the system, it is necessary to consider the following: all connections made in this way are one-piece. Soldering provides a high percentage of density guarantee, but imposes some limitations on maintenance. It is often impossible to upgrade the system without additional difficulties.

So, in case of need to change some part of the water supply system (heating system), for example, due to the introduction of new equipment, difficulties may arise. We will have to re-apply the gas burner and soldering technique only in order to be able to introduce a coupling, tee or other part into the system. Therefore, soldered joints are used in projects of hidden water supply (embedded in the walls, under the floor).

Brazing of copper pipes in the water supply system
Brazing of copper pipes is an action that is quite accessible even to a non-professional. But soldering requires equipment - a gas heater of professional performance. With a single installation, the purchase of a gas burner seems to be an inexpedient action.

The soldering process is inextricably linked with the operation of a gas burner (open fire and products of combustion).Therefore, this technique is not always suitable for installation, especially in areas where finishing has been previously performed.

Step-by-step soldering process:

  1. Two pipes are cut to size. The end area is deburred.
  2. The end part of one of the pipes is expanded with a calibrator - a socket is made.
  3. A metal brush and emery paper cleaned the soldering places to shine.
  4. The cleaned surfaces are treated with a flux solution.
  5. The machined parts are inserted one into the other.
  6. The junction is heated by the burner to the melting point of the solder (350-500 ºС).
  7. The end of the solder bar touches the bottom edge of the socket.

Under the influence of high temperature, the solder melts and rushes into the gap between the walls of the nozzle and the socket due to the capillary effect created by the flux fumes. So it turns out neat and high-quality solder connection. This is just one example of soldering the pipe-in-pipe connection. In the same way, soldering with fittings and other elements is carried out.

Crimp fitting connection

It is much easier and easier to do the installation of copper pipes with your own hands, if you use another widely used technology - mechanical crimping.In this case, special fittings are used to create the connection of copper pipes. Approximately the same elements are used in work with polypropylene pipes. But for copper, they make a slightly different construction of the ferrule - integral, without a cut.

Installation of copper pipe crimp
A set of parts involved in the process of creating a joint by mechanical crimping. The method of mounting copper pipes without soldering is widely used in the domestic sphere. This method creates high-quality schemes of water supply and heating systems.

Crimp fittings are made of brass. Judging by the degree of plasticity of materials, these values ​​are almost identical for copper and brass. An important feature of the brass-copper pair ligament is the almost complete lack of galvanic coupling between the materials. This factor guarantees the purity of the compound during operation (absence of oxides, corrosion, etc.).

The situation is quite different with aluminum. This metal, unlike brass, is galvanically bound to copper. Under conditions when tap water is saturated with salts, that is, it is an active electrolyte, a favorable environment for the occurrence of an electrochemical reaction is formed.

Under the influence of such a reaction, aluminum is destroyed.Therefore, a direct connection of copper pipes and aluminum radiators (or other aluminum appliances) is undesirable. For example, steel transitions should be used.

Fitting fitting crimp:

  1. The end area of ​​the pipe is deburred.
  2. A nut, a compression ring, a fitting is put on the end of the pipe.
  3. A spanner under the desired size fitting is held in one position.
  4. The second wrench nut is wrapped around the thread of the fitting.

The density of the connection is achieved due to uniform clamping of the compression ring along the diameter of the copper pipe. It is not recommended to use extreme force in the process of tightening the nut. From the initial stop it is enough to stretch the nut 1-2 turns.

Connection of copper pipes with fitting crimp
Close-up: connection of copper pipe with brass fitting by mechanical crimping. Shows the crimp ring, which creates a tight connection after tightening the nut. Convenient and easy installation method

The advantages of compounds of this type - they can, if necessary, be disassembled and reassembled. But at the same time, the quality of compaction of such compounds is influenced by changes in the temperature of the external and internal environment.Often, due to temperature fluctuations, crimp connections produce leaks. Such a defect is eliminated simply and quickly - by tightening the union nut.

However, for concealed installation of water supply, the method of crimp connections of copper pipes is clearly not suitable.

Tools for mounting elements

It is not always possible to cut the pipe without breaking the wall structure. The thickness of the wall of copper pipes to a diameter of 28 mm is only 1 mm. Even the use of a disk pipe cutter does not give complete guarantees of the evenness of the cut. If wall irregularities are observed, apply a calibrator. This tool calibrates (aligns) the nozzle and socket.

Pipe cutters are available manual, electric, pneumatic, hydraulic. Structurally, the pipe cutter is a mechanical clamp, where two rollers act as supporting elements. One of the rollers has a cutting edge. The cutting process is carried out by successive pressing and scrolling the pipe cutter around the axis of the pipe. The more smoothly and more often the pressing is performed, the better the pipe section is obtained.

Copper pipe cutter manual
Copper pipe cutter for manual use. This tool gives a high-quality flat pipe cut.But at first it is desirable to undergo a training course - learn the technology of cutting on unnecessary pieces of pipes.

Installation work is often accompanied by bending of copper pipes. High-quality even bend with any radius helps to create a tool called a pipe bender. There are two types of pipe benders for copper pipes - spring and mechanical. The first tool has a simple but effective design. It is designed for bending pipes of small diameter. The second type includes several constructive varieties.

The spring tube bender is made in the form of a long casing, which is worn on a copper pipe. One end of the casing is slightly extended for greater ease of use. The copper pipe placed in such a springy shell is bent by hand without the risk of jams at the bend. Disadvantages - the bend radius has to be checked by eye, for a specific pipe diameter you need your own spring pipe bender.

Copper Pipe Spring Bender
Spring tube bender in action. Such a device is convenient to bend pipes of small diameter in a wide range of radius configuration. At the same time the spring pipe bender provides quite acceptable quality of a bend

Mechanical pipe benders (lever, segment, crossbow, hydraulic) allow pipes of different diameters (from 10 to 125 mm) to bend. Large diameter copper pipes are usually bent with a segment and hydraulic pipe bender. The bending angle when working with such devices can be 180º.

Characteristics of copper plumbing

The durability of the copper pipes of the water supply system is to some extent due to the fact that the chlorine in the reaction with copper contributes to the formation of a thin oxide film on the inner surface. This film additionally protects the pipe wall from the negative effect of the pumped medium.

Also, copper is considered the best material for the results of sanitary-bacteriological studies. This metal has a bacteriological effect, for example, against Staphylococcus virus.

Copper pipe insulation
The created system of pipelines on the basis of copper sleeves, as a rule, is isolated. There are materials specifically designed for use with copper pipes. Insulation saves heat, eliminates condensation

Copper has a high thermal conductivity.This moment forces to take measures aimed at isolating pipes from the external environment.

Non-insulated cold-water supply during the summer time can create a serious problem for the collection and removal of condensate. On uninsulated pipes of hot water there are significant heat losses. When installing the network of copper pipes with your own hands, you should take into account these points.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

How the installation of copper plumbing is done, you can learn from the following video:

Quality, reliability, durability - endowed with these properties, plumbing and heating systems often delight apartment and house owners, if copper is used for installation work. Indeed, when there is confidence that there are no leaks and is not foreseen in the future, that the impulses are not destined to be even in severe winter, this means a system of copper pipes is installed in the house.

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