Unless your house is very old plumbing pipes are copper or plastic. Plumbing used galvanized steel pipes in homes early twentieth century but gradually changed to copper because it is more sanitary and less prone to corrosion. Early galvanized pipes were still part of open-air pipes in 2010. Early 21st century drain lines are made of ABS or PVC plastic but the main stack leading to the sewer is cast iron. Each of these types of plumbing pipes has a different method of connection.
Galvanized steel pipes
- Screw galvanized steel pipes together. Place plumbing tape clockwise around the threaded end of a tube, insert into a connection, and turn it clockwise by hand until it does not light up. Finish tightening with a pair of pipe wrenches. Keep the connection with one wrench while turning the tube with the other.
- Introduce a joint in a galvanizing line anywhere you may need to separate pipes in the future. It has two halves, connected by a central nut.
- Separate the halves and screw the tubes. Connect the tubes and connect the union by tightening the nut with a socket wrench. You can separate the tubes whenever you have to loosen and remove this nut.
- Clean the end of a copper tube that should be attached to a wire brush to remove the oxidized metal. This is preparation for soldering, or sweating, pipes. Spread the flow at the end of the pipe and inside the connection you want to connect with the brush that comes with the flow.
- Insert smokes the pipe into the fit and joint with a propane torch until the heat flow.
- Remove the heat and the final touch of a lead coil from the solder joint. It will melt and wick into the tube with the fusion fixture.
- Select the type of pipe cement to bond ABS and PVC plastic pipes. Each type of tube has a specialized glue but you can purchase a variety of multiple uses running on either.
- You can spread the glue on the outside of the pipe and the inside of the connection using the applicator that comes in the glue.
- Join the tube with the fitting immediately. The glue forms an airtight seal in less than a minute.
Copper compression accessories
- Unscrew the connecting nut and remove the brass ring in preparation for joining copper pipes for copper water lines with compressions fittings. You will find that the fittings are usually already installed in the tubes.
- Place the nut along the pipe with the thread facing you, then slide the ring on the end of the pipe.
- Fit the threaded end of the tube onto the tube, then slide the nut and screw into the thread. Tighten with a wrench.
Tips & Warnings
- Bolt stack of waste cast iron pipes together. They are constructed with flanges with preformed holes for this purpose.
- Join copper for PVC pipes with threaded adapters. An adapter for copper welding tube, then screw in the appropriate PVC adapter. Glue the plastic tube to the PVC adapter.
- Connect copper to galvanized steel pipes with a Dielectric Union. It has a washing machine and insulation to keep the pipes from touching and corrosion with each other.
- Plastic p-trap shower sink assemblies have compression fittings that can be tightened by hand.