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Installing a Water Supply System

By Francine L. Huff
Installing a Water Supply System

If you plan to install a water supply system make sure you purchase the correct pipes and other supplies. Some people make the mistake of using pipes that are too small. Before installing a water supply system, turn off the main valve to your house and make sure all water supply lines have been drained to the lowest point of the house.

Solder Pipes

Installing a water supply system will require you to solder copper pipes. You'll need a small plumbing torch so be careful to avoid burning yourself or starting a fire. You can buy leaded and no-lead solders but it's best to use no lead if possible. Copper pipes need to be cleaned with steel wool, sandpaper, or a wire brush before attempting to solder them. You'll use a chemical called flux on the inside of pipe fittings to help solder them.

Heating the Pipe

The flux will begin to boil and evaporate as you heat the pipe. If the flux stops boiling it's usually not hot enough to solder. When you touch the solder to the pipe it will begin to melt in a few seconds. If you don't have the right temperature you may end up with soldering leaks. Other causes of leaks are soldering only one side of the joint or failing to leave the solder on long enough.

You also want to make sure the pipes are clean before soldering them and that there is no water in the lines or they won't solder properly. If water seems to be draining from above while you're soldering you'll need to open all the valves and flush toilets.

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