Addressing faulty plumbing fixtures is important and requires inspection annually to ensure the life of pipes and grounding. We think that the connection that handles the flow of mere water wouldn’t get damaged because anyhow it’s just H2O.
However, water pipes carry huge and high volumes of water flow daily under pressure. A one instance pressure can burst a weakened pipe easily which is costly to repair otherwise. Pipe replacements are important due to the shift in the pipe materials. The older homes have metallic pipes such as galvanized and iron pipes installed with more durability than the current in-trend pipes.
Although the current pipes are more environmentally friendly, cheaper and stronger, and durable, the durability is still decreased by a good 10 years.
How to know your copper pipe is damaged?
The most common sign of deteriorating copper pipe is:
- Musty, stale smell, odor like pond water
- Wide bulges on walls and ceilings
- The pipes are corroded, green, and crusty
Copper pipes can be easily replaced with PEX in six simple steps:
PEX pipe is polyethylene composed of molecules that are cross-linked for flexibility, strength, and durable plastic tubing. PEX is also ideal for a DIY replacement. If DIY goes wrong, contact plumbing services in Dubai to rectify your problem.
For the DIY project you will need
- PEX tube cutter
- Deburring apparatus (for copper pipes)
- Mini copper pipe cutter
- 10-foot parts of ½ inch PEX tube
- Several ½ inch tees (push-fit type)
- Two ½ inch straight couplings (push-fit type)
Step 1: Turn off and Drain the Water Supply:
Pipes are under a lot of pressure during the water supply and cause a mess if you don’t turn it off before tearing the line apart. The first step is to turn off valves from the mainline. They drain the affected pipes by opening faucets from the lower floors.
If you don’t drain the pipes the remaining water will create a mess even before you do the DIY.
Step 2: Cut the Damaged Area of The Pipe
For removing the damaged part of the pipe start marking the areas where the placement is required. Cut the damaged or the old pipe with a metallic cutter from both ends and leave some inches beyond the corroded section on both ends. To cut the tight areas use a tube cutter.
While cutting out the damaged part make sure the vertical pipes don’t slide into the wall cavities.
Step 3: Cut the Supply Branches:
The copper wire you are trying to replace may have some branch lines that connect with the plumbing fixtures of showers, sinks, bathtubs, and toilets. For these fixtures, you will need to cut the PEX pipe with a tubing cutter to replace the branch connections.
Mostly the plumbers use soldered fittings but If your fixtures are made of compression fittings or couplings then you will need to disconnect them using a pipe wrench.
How to Cut the PEX Pipe:
Cutting the PEX pipe requires the perfect measurement for the fitting. Measure a length on the PEX tubing that will replace the area of the old copper pipe. You should always leave some inches for the pipe to expand, contract, and even for the deburring.
Step 4: Deburring the Pipe Ends:
Your pipe ends should have a clean and smooth cut to ensure that every connection fits perfectly. A deburring apparatus is used to smoothen the outside and inside of the copper pipes.
Step 5: Replacing the Copper Pipes:
After disconnecting the damaged piper and fixtures, it’s time to replace or reconnect the PEX pipes to the plumbing system. Make sure that you have prepared the PEX pipes beforehand for easy replacement. In the process, you can support the dangling pipes with a copper wire or the pipe strapper. Supporting the dangling pipes helps in connecting the pipes efficiently.
For replacement pipes first, take a straight push-fit pipe and force it into the existing copper pipe. The fitting of the connector into the pipe is important to prevent any future leakages. Take the PEX pipe and force it into the surface of the connector you just fixed on the copper pipe.
You can also install a push-fit type of ball valve instead of a push-fit pipe connector. The valve provides a lot of convenience in terms of maintenance. The valve remains open but can be manually turned off when the same line of pipe requires maintenance in the future.
Recommendation of experts: It is better to install the water shutoff valves in inaccessible areas as compared to valves in wall cavities. Internally it is near impossible to shut off the water valve even annually.
Step 6: The Final Adjustments:
If you remove any pipe section feeds, supply fixtures, be sure to reconnect them with the new PEX system.
To connect the tee outlet to the water supply line feeding the fixture first take the push fit type of tee fitting and patch through the PEX tubing. Connect the two tees as well to the PEX tubing.
Cautions before replacing:
Homes with older electrical fixtures have metallic pipes. When replaced with PEX pipes the grounding pipes get interrupted since PEX pipes are plastic and plastic does not conduct electricity. After replacement, if the grounding is lost, call an electrician to redo the grounding.
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