DIY How To

Copper Tube

There are many different types of materials used in plumbing systems in the home. Lead is no longer used even though a large number of older houses still have a lead rising main. If there are any other lead pipes still being used in the plumbing system these should be replaced.

The most widely used material is copper tubing, it is lightweight, easy to solder, can be easily bent and can be used on both hot and cold water systems.

Copper tube, copper pipe

Copper tubing for use in domestic systems comes in three different sizes, these are 15mm, 22mm and 28mm. In older properties the original copper pipework will be imperial, this came in 1/2", 3/4" and 1". Although the difference in sizes seems obvious, metric pipework is measured externally while imperial pipework was measured internally, this makes the differences between the equivalent metric and imperial pipework very small.

When using soldered fittings to join imperial and metric pipework an adaptor must be used as an exact fit is necessary. The use of compression fittings is a bit more tolerable and an adaptor is not necessary, even though it is wise to buy imperial size olives for the imperial pipe.

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