Emergency plumbing kit

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Yorkshire Andy
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

Emergency plumbing kit

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:49 pm

Had a few bits for a while but following on from the bathroom refit I've added a few bits into stock in the shed......

Nothing is perfect when it comes to plumbing first things first ensure your stop tap turns off (go check it now before winter) they often seize up and you can't turn it off (plumber job of it won't often need replacing and needs isolation in the street to replace)

So it works good ;)

So most houses are plumbed in good old copper (new builds are often plastic Aka speed fit or PEX )

Standard copper size is 15mm or 22mm

So it's minus 5°c 6am and your awoken by water dripping through the bedroom ceiling (been there had it happen ) frost has frozen the water in the pipe burst the copper as dawn broke the temperature rises the ice melts and well drip drip drip.......

First thing make safe turn off the electrics .... water and light fittings / junction boxes can make your hair stand on end :o now been on here take 20 mins to select a torch :mrgreen: and go turn the stop tap off.....

Depending on your home you might have a BIG water tank to drain in the loft / airing cupboard ... Empty the sink and turn the taps on full of it's a tank supplied cold / hot water system to drain the water flush the loo anything to drain the system and reduce the escaping water to a minimum. If it's a leaky radiator shut off the valves at each end ... If pipework locate your drain cock turn off the boiler cobble the garden hose onto it and open the drain and open a few bleed points on the radiators upstairs .. ours drain points are opened with a radiator bleed key .... Some use a 8mm spanner eg
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But what if the water won't shut off :shock:

Speaking to a plumber by the time his client Google's his number he gets a phone call puts some pants on and rushes over and charges his emergency call out fee :o well the ceiling is usually down and a insurance claim is needed .....

Now this isn't a Infallible method but could help mitigate and reduce damage ..

A few tools are needed most are cheap the 15mm pipe cutter cost me £6 the 22mm is also £6 (well £5.99 if your going to be pedantic) and a push fit "service valve" £5 ISH each for both 15mm and 22mm this is a minimum kit so £22 ISH for 4 items and a £1.50 scotch pad ideally

Obviously access is issue if the burst is close to a joist you need to take a educated guess as to the direction of flow you need to cut the supply side of the leak... Pipe supplies the bathroom tap.... Cut the side of the burst away from the tap ;)

So we have a burst pipe spirting water out

Demo pics:

Stop tap won't work (or turn it off if it does) either way open all the taps this should reduce the pressure at the burst if it's on the mains water circuit and send a fair chunk of water down the drain.... If it's the heating system turn off the boiler / pump
Worst case

Use the rough scotch pad (car shops sell them for removing paint get the corse one (red) to clean the pipe on the supply side of the pipe
Nice and shiney :mrgreen:

You need to be about 2" ideally 6" from any joist on the supply side you will see why ... And have the ability to cut about 1 ft from the outlet end

Now pack the area with towels / blankets / whatever is to hand.....
and slip the pipe cutter on the pipe and rotate it smoothly in the direction of the arrow continue untill it cuts the pipe fully

I like the fixed size over the adjustable ones for emergency work ensure a minimum of 1" clean copper on the supply side and have the valve to hand with it open !

Why? Try shoving that on the pipe against water pressure :lol:
The pipe once cut needs the outlet end moving out the way either brute force bend it out the way or make a second cut to create space....

By now water will be to put it bluntly pissing out the pipe under force the cutter gives a nice clean cut with no burrs unlike a hacksaw which is important speed fit uses an o ring to seal.. so it won't rip the seal likewise cleaning the paint off ensures it seals well

Now grip the pipe that's spitting water and with your other hand grip the push fit valve and push them together firmly till it stops then yank the new valve back a bit as you do the lock ring pulls back a bit

Then rotate the valve to shut off the water...

Now you need to towel yourself dry and mop up as much water as possible :mrgreen:

And ring the plumbers :lol:

As a true diyer I also have some PEX pipe end fittings and some other none valve inline connectors and pipe cutters .
So the leak is stopped but the plumber can't come for a week or so :lol:

Remember saying about cutting about a foot out above ;)

Cut some PEX pipe about the distance between the new valve and the push fit inline connector ends add on the length of the 2 push fit inserts before cutting ( one for each end) as that's the amount that sits inside the new fittings

Ideally you need a bit of free play in the original pipework of about 1 1/2 inch to slip in the new

But ultimately..

You will now have 2 speed fit ends a bit of pipe prepped to fit between the 2 fitting ends and a permanent fix

It's worth checking if your putting plastic in place of copper you might need to add a earth (cpc) cross strap to ensure earth continuity of your water / central heating system throughout the house
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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Re: Emergency plumbing kit

Post by pseudonym » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:50 pm

Many thanks for the walkthrough. :)

Yorkshire Andy
Posts: 4884
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

Re: Emergency plumbing kit

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:04 pm

pseudonym wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:50 pm
Many thanks for the walkthrough. :)

No worries been 4+ days refitting the bathroom and getting to grips with the plumbing :lol:
Had to retain the original copper above the floor level to maintain the earth cross bondings in a visible location for the eicr electric inspection (tried to get the council to replace the bathroom before lockdown

"computer / funding says no"

So I'm installing it and they will send some council bod out to inspect my handy work :lol: so all been installed to Wras standards (pipe clips to follow ) and maintaining iee electrical installation regs and a dramatic improvement from the leaking bath (to the point the floor has wet rot leaking toilet pan ( wet rot) and mould all they do is come and bodge it my kids health is important : :evil: any issues with my work will expose an argument over out of date smoke detector bases (they have a date of expiry on them. I've got enough knowledge and qualifications to cost them a fortune if they get clever . :twisted: )

Next up is finish the tiling then start on the wood work hence no pipe clips yet
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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Re: Emergency plumbing kit

Post by korolev » Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:03 am

More advice for emergency plumbing, keep a push-fit flexible hose in your toolbox. If you don't want to stretch to that, make up a U-shaped bit of copper that you can "flex" into place.

And learn to do soldered joints (push fit is ok-ish but I don't trust it long term. Ask plumbers what they have in thier house) - plenty of tutorials on youtube.

Yorkshire Andy
Posts: 4884
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

Re: Emergency plumbing kit

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:04 pm

Know what your saying you go on any new homes building site it's very rare to see copper pipe been installed now

That said PEX pipe is ment to be more resistant to frost damage than copper as it has a degree of flex in it and is a bit more insulative (spl) over copper

Weak points of most installs seems to be the stainless braided Flexi tap fittings which you have no option but to use copper or plastic to the sink due to the small inlet bore and recessed fittings within the tap hence the isolation valves close to the copper as possible
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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