Home plumbing systems use pipes to carry water supplies and waste away from fixtures and appliances. Several different types of pipe are used in homes, including copper, PVC, and PEX.
Getting the plumbing part of a home remodel or new construction project right is vital to ensuring that all fixture and drain lines work properly. Here are some top plumbing installation techniques to keep in mind.
1. Pipe Cutting
When a plumber cuts pipe, it must be done with care. A deformed pipe will not fit well with other pipes and may even leak. Using hand tools and larger machines, plumbers and construction workers cut pipe to the proper length for use in a project. This is known as rough-in plumbing. Rough-in plumbing involves putting in the water lines, sewers, connections, and vents that are required for a home to function. It does not include the installation of fixtures such as sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtubs, which are installed in a second phase called finish plumbing.
The most common type of pipe used by plumbers to supply water is PVC (polyvinyl chloride). PVC pipes are inexpensive, strong enough to withstand water pressures, and flexible enough to weave through walls, ceilings, basements, and crawl spaces. Professionals prefer PVC over other piping materials because it is durable and easy to work with. PVC pipes are also usually color-coded for hot and cold water, making them easier to identify on a jobsite.
When working with PVC, a plumber should use a pipe cutter to ensure that the cut is straight and clean. This tool is a little different from a traditional hacksaw; instead of clamping the PVC with a vise, it uses a ratchet to gradually increase pressure on a blade as it cuts. This prevents damage to the tool and makes it possible to cut PVC with a saw without changing its shape. After cutting, the end of a pipe should be smoothed with a utility knife or file to remove plastic burrs that could affect how well it fits into another pipe or fixture.
2. Drain Cleaning
Drain cleaning is a very common plumbing service and it involves removing obstructions from your drain pipes. This is a very important service because clogged drains can cause severe water issues in your home and they can also damage your plumbing pipes. This is why it’s best to hire professional plumbers to perform the drain cleaning service.
If you’ve ever had a clogged drain, you know that it can be quite a pain. Not only does it make your home smell bad, but it can also lead to mold and bacteria growth and backed-up waste. This is why it’s important to prevent clogs as much as possible by practicing proper plumbing maintenance and using the right tools.
To clean your drains, you can use a variety of different tools. The most basic tool is a plunger. However, you should always make sure to use the right type of plunger for your pipe material. For example, if you have plastic piping, you should use a soft rubber plunger with a wooden handle to avoid scratching the surface. You can also try using a drain snake to break up and remove stubborn clogs.
Another option is to use hydro jetting, which uses a high-powered water hose to clean out your pipes. This process will eliminate clogs and will also help to prevent future ones from forming.
However, it’s important to note that drain cleaning is a temporary solution and it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. For this reason, it’s best to hire professional plumbers who will use the right tools and equipment to ensure a thorough job. In addition, it’s also important to choose a licensed and insured plumber who will provide you with a guarantee for their work.
3. Pipe Threading
Pipe threading is the process of cutting a series of grooves, similar to those found on a screw, into the end of a length of pipe. These threads fit into a matching pattern of threads found on a connector or other piece of pipe, creating an airtight seal that prevents leaks. This is a crucial technique for plumbers and builders when connecting pipes together, and it helps ensure that the pipes are tightly fastened and will not leak or burst.
The first step in this process is to prep the pipe for threading by removing any dirt and using a tool called a reamer to smooth out the edges of the pipe and remove any burrs or debris that could cause problems when screwing the pipe into a connector. You should also make sure that you are wearing all the proper safety gear while performing this task to avoid any accidents. Once the pipe is clean and ready for threading, it’s important to set it in a vise to keep it secure while you work.
Depending on the type of pipe you’re working with, there are different types of pipe threading tools available for use. For example, small tabletop machines can handle piping with very small diameters, while professional plumbers often use tripod or truck-mounted tools that can thread larger pipes. Once you have your tool set up and the die head is attached, plug it in and turn it on. Then, position the die head against the pipe and begin ratcheting. It’s important to apply lube periodically during the ratcheting process to make it easier and help preserve the teeth in the die head.
4. Pipe Threading Tape
Pipe thread tape is a common tool found in every plumber’s toolbox. Also known as plumber’s tape, PTFE tape, or Teflon tape, it can be used to help create a seal in a pipe’s threaded connections. This can be useful when repairing a leaky connection, as it can form a watertight seal that can hold up to pressure.
To use this tape, first make sure the threads of the pipe are clean and free of any debris. Then, place the end of the tape on the thread and hold it still. Then, begin wrapping the tape around the thread in the opposite direction that the pipe will turn. The tape should be wrapped about three times to ensure a good seal. When the tape is finished, cut it off and smooth it down over the threads.
PTFE tape is often wound on a spool, which makes it easier to apply. It can be purchased in different thicknesses and widths to fit any pipe size. It is also available in colors to match a specific type of plumbing work, such as yellow for natural gas or green for oxygen lines.
The main thing to remember when using PTFE tape is to wrap it in the right direction. If you do not, it can unravel and cause an improper seal. Also, it is important to use the correct amount of tape, as too little can break down or loosen over time. If you are unsure of how much tape to use, consult with your plumber. They will be able to give you a recommendation for your specific project. They may also suggest other techniques that can be helpful.
5. Threading the Fittings
The threading of fittings adds strength and reliability to a pipe system. However, it can also be a source of leakage. This is due to stress concentration in the area of the sharp notches at the base of the threads. In addition, vibration can cause fatigue damage to screwed connections.
There are two common pipe thread standards: parallel and tapered. Tapered threads narrow as they extend from the body of a fitting, while parallel threads are straight from the shank to the end. Parallel threaded connections do not need sealants, but tapered threads require sealants to create a completely leak free connection. The sealants fill any voids between the threads that could allow spiral leaks to form.
Both parallel and tapered threaded connections can be sealed with gaskets or O-rings, but the use of the right type of thread is crucial for a leak-free connection. There are also many different types of thread dimensions, which can affect the fit of a part. A key factor in choosing the right thread is the diameter of the part and the pipe it will be used on.
When choosing the proper thread size for a pipe, it is important to know whether it will be used for liquids or gases and if it will be used for low pressure or high temperature applications. It is also important to be aware that there are different thread standards for different intended uses such as garden hose and fire hose, so the thread type must match for a leak-free connection. The threads on the end of a fitting can be male or female. A bolt has male threads, and a nut has female threads.