Lead and Galvanized Steel Pipework

Lead and galvanized-steel pipework, found in older houses, needs special skills to join and manipulate. Joining the old to modern metals may not produce altogether satisfactory results.

Where galvanized pipe is connected to copper pipework, corrosion problems can arise. This is likely to occur in hard-water areas, where there is danger of electrolytic corrosion taking place if these two metals are joined, as this sets up a chemical reaction. A special fitting has to be used to separate galvanised and copper pipes.

Old pipework is often heavily scaled or calcinated which impedes the flow of water.

Heat or penetrating oil may be needed to remove stubborn fittings, but heat will only be effective where water has been fully drained from the pipes.

An easier way, with stubborn joints, is to saw through the pipe on either side of old fittings.

Steel barrel pipework is still used in some cases but requires the use of stocks and dies in order to join sections together. A set of dies is relatively costly to buy but can be hired. Barrel pipe is relatively cheap compared with copper or stainless steel, and is sometimes used to provide gas services to domestic appliances.

To manipulate steel barrel pipe, you need a firm bench, with a heavily anchored pipe vice or an engineer’s vice with fibre jaws. It also needs a fair amount of physical strength to cut threads on this type of pipe. A metal lubricant should be used to ease the cutting operation.

Copper and stainless-steel tube

Copper plumbing tube is of the light-gauge hard-temper type, known as Table III tube. Bending springs used have to correspond with the gauge of tube. A thicker tube called Table I, while of the same inner diameter, can only be bent using a Table I spring. For stainless-steel pipe use a Table III spring.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lead and Galvanized Steel Pipework

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