How to Disconnect a Copper Pipe
The copper pipe that is usually used in homes is welded together using a flame. The heat from the flame causes the copper to melt and the two pipes are soldered together. These can be disconnected using a propane torch. The heat from the flame of the propane torch will melt the welding and it turns it brittle. This helps in dismantlement the copper pipe. Follow the instructions below to successfully complete the task of disconnecting a copper pipe.
Step 1 – Safety Precautions
Before you commence working with the copper pipe make sure you have taken all necessary safety precautions. Wear a safety glass to protect your eyes. Leather gloves for your hands provide additional safety.
Step 2 – Remove all Flammable Objects
This procedure as mentioned earlier requires the use of propane torch. Thus, it is imperative to move all flammable items away from the work area.
Step 3 - Removing Insulation
If the copper pipe has any insulation it has to be removed. Use an utility knife to shred the insulation from the copper pipes.
Step 4 – Turn on the Propane Torch
Make sure the gal valve is on as you ignite the propane torch. If the propane torch does not have a built in igniter you can use a match.
Step 5 – Direct the Flame on the Copper Pipe
The flame of the torch has to be four inches away from the piping. The flame should be targeted directly at the point where the copper piping needs to be disconnected.
Step 6 – Concentrate on the Welding
Once the direction of the flame has been set, it has to be used to heat the welding point of the solder which holds the copper pipes together.
Step 7 – Use a Wrench
Continue to apply the heat and once the copper pipes are hot, twist the copper fitting with the help of a strong wrench. This pressure will help in freeing the pipe. Getting a good grip on your wrench is important. Your body should be in a comfortable position only then will you be able to apply proper pressure with the wrench.
Step 8 – Freeing the Pipe
Increase the pressure on the wrench and keep twisting it till the copper fitting breaks loose from the pipe.
Step 9 – Disconnect the Pipe
The pipe joint can now be easily disconnected by pulling the copper fitting from the other pipe.
Step 10 – Cooling the Fitting
Place the copper fitting in a bucket filled with water. Be careful as you handle the fitting as it will still be hot.
Step 11 – Cooling the Pipe
Wipe the ends of the pipe with a wet rag to cool the pipe.
Step 12 – Multiple Jobs
In case you need to disconnect any other connection on the copper pipes, repeat the same process.