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Author Topic: Copper Tubing Lengths  (Read 555 times)
dtl
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« on: July 16, 2020, 03:28:56 PM »

Hi,

I have a leak in my central heating pipework between the boiler shed and the house.

The pipework, 2 x 35mm and 1 x 15mm coppper are in a soil pipe below the ground.

I have an inspection hatch thing and I was able to localise the direction of the leak based on how wet the insulation was on, on either side of the inspection hatch.
There are soldered connections in the inspection hatch but no leak.

So I dug it up 3m from the last connections in the inspection hatch, but there were no connections on any of the three pipes.
I have felt in to elbow length on either side of my cut but no connections.

I thought copper tubing only came in max. 3m lengths.

Back in the day was it possible to get it in longer lengths, probably 1970's/80's, and if so what lengths?

Thanks

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smegal
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 04:37:53 PM »

Hi,

I have a leak in my central heating pipework between the boiler shed and the house.

The pipework, 2 x 35mm and 1 x 15mm coppper are in a soil pipe below the ground.

I have an inspection hatch thing and I was able to localise the direction of the leak based on how wet the insulation was on, on either side of the inspection hatch.
There are soldered connections in the inspection hatch but no leak.

So I dug it up 3m from the last connections in the inspection hatch, but there were no connections on any of the three pipes.
I have felt in to elbow length on either side of my cut but no connections.

I thought copper tubing only came in max. 3m lengths.

Back in the day was it possible to get it in longer lengths, probably 1970's/80's, and if so what lengths?

Thanks



It could be up to 6m lengths? Never heard of longer.

https://www.wolseley.co.uk/product/the-lawton-tube-x-en-1057-copper-tube-15mm-x-6m/
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kdmnx
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2020, 04:47:05 PM »

You can get copper tube in 6m lengths. It is unusual because it is very unwieldy and difficult to transport, but some plumbers dont like joints in inaccessible places. The old imperial copper tube was phased out for new installations by 1972. The old 1 1/4" copper pipe had an outside diameter almost exactly 35mm it came in 10ft and 20ft lengths (almost exactly 3m and 6m).

Basically: You might have a joint 3m from one end, but you might not. The joint will be in the same place (within 5cm) whether it is imperial or metric.

(American and Irish imperial copper tube is different).
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dtl
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2020, 05:16:52 PM »

Thanks for the responses.

It seems the pipe lengths are probably 6m.

I measured back from the next connection, which it is in the house, and it was exactly 3m from where I cut.

It then seems the outside inspection hatch is at the 6m connection point.

This then means my leak is not at a connection but somewhere on the pipe lengths.
Unless, one of the pipe runs is made up of odd pipe lengths.

Would a leak on a straight length be strange?
I thought pinhole leaks only happened when flux was left on the pipe after a pipe joint was completed?

Hopefully, the drying out of the insulation will tell me which direction to head in for my next cut.
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kdmnx
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2020, 05:25:48 PM »

Thanks for the responses.

It seems the pipe lengths are probably 6m.

I measured back from the next connection, which it is in the house, and it was exactly 3m from where I cut.

It then seems the outside inspection hatch is at the 6m connection point.

This then means my leak is not at a connection but somewhere on the pipe lengths.
Unless, one of the pipe runs is made up of odd pipe lengths.

Would a leak on a straight length be strange?
I thought pinhole leaks only happened when flux was left on the pipe after a pipe joint was completed?

Hopefully, the drying out of the insulation will tell me which direction to head in for my next cut.

Copper pipe can corrode causing pinhole leaks. This is usually caused by elevated sulphate levels in the soil or mortar/concrete coming in contact with the pipe (in combination with water).

 
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Antman
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2020, 06:59:17 PM »

I have had a couple of brand new 3m copper pipes with a pinhole along the length over the years.
One was in a section under a bath and did not show up for a couple of days. Because I had already installed the bath (the pipes tested OK beforehand) it was easier to cut a piece of plasterboard from the kitchen ceiling below to access it!
Had a fitting or two with pinholes as well, so not unheard of, but unlucky if you happen to be "the one"
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2020, 08:16:54 PM »

As kdmnx states copper pipe can corrode and develop pin holes where they pass through a wall if  not protected .  I have seen this when I removed my old boiler stove and replaced some of the pipework when my heatpump was installed. It was only on the lower of the two pipes that passed through the base of the chimney - I suspect there was some damp lower down. The plumber insisted on wrapping the pipe in insulating tape to isolate it from the brick work it was passing through, pretty sure he said it was a requirement for copper gas pipes passing through brickwork - he was gassafe registered.

Roger
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2020, 09:28:31 AM »

I had a house that I built where the suppliers/manufactures of the tube paid to rip out and redo the whole house because of pinholes in the tube. It was a very big house as well.
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Philip R
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2020, 02:41:23 PM »

The house  live in was plumbed with 6m lengths of copper pipe. The only problem was that two of the upstairs radiators upstands were not solderred to the pipework below the floor. The house was then 28 years old! The pipework downstairs was screeded in without adequate protection. We bought the house having been empty and drained down for nine months. Needdless to say, we moved in 4 days before christmas. I filled the F&E (header) tank and water issued from the floor in the lounge, hall and dining room Shocked.
I re-plumbed the whole house, new heating system and hot water system plumbing, radiators. cylinder and condensing boiler.
Last year, a length of DHW pipe I installed back then failed due to a pinhole failure.(Not due to solder residue).

A former colleague of mine told me about failure of copper pipework at the power station I used to work at, due to pinhole failures. Turned out that the the copper was imported and was full of iron inclusions. (from the furnace used.) These has rusted out due to different electrochemical potentials and left pinholes in the copper pipe wall.
The water would literally spray out in the finest mist, I found it with an inspection mirror.
 
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