If you have an older plumbing system, then you may end up having to fix copper pipe parts when they become clogged. You may be tempted to call in a plumber to get the problem fixed, but this is something which you can do yourself. Before you start working on the pipe, you will need to work out how it has become clogged, and then take action. There are a few reasons why the pipe may have become clogged, and you may end up having to remove a soldered fitting. Once the pipe has been unclogged, you can then add a new fitting. None of this is very complicated, and if you have some basic tools, you should be able to complete it easily.
Step 1 - Check the Problem
One of the biggest reasons why you have a problem with your copper water pipe is cold weather. Cold can freeze the water inside the metal pipes, and this will clog up any liquids. This can be uncomfortable if the copper pipe is an old waste pipe, and difficult if it is the main water supply pipe for your home. The best solution is to warm the pipe up enough to get the water flowing. Later, when it is less cold, it is a good idea to lag, or insulate, the pipe, in order to prevent this from happening again.
Step 2 - Drain Snakes
If the problem is a definite solid in the pipe, then you should consider renting a pipe cleaning machine. Drain snakes can remove the trouble from inside the pipe. Many professional companies use small jets of water which are fired into the water system. This can be an effective way of getting rid of the problem, although you will have to pay for it to be done.
Step 3 - Remove the Fitting
On the other hand, you could try doing this yourself. The intention of this step is to get access to the blockage in the pipe. Go to the nearest fitting to the blockage, and take it off. Most fittings are soldered on, so you will need to use a blow torch to heat up the solder, and get rid of it. Then, place a pair of locking pliers around the fitting, and put your wrench onto the pipe which is blocked. Turn the pliers and the wrench in opposite directions until the pipe is released.
Step 4 - Remove the Blockage and Refit the Pipe
In order to fix copper pipe blockages, you now need to scrape it out of the pipe. Use a plastic drain cleaning tool and take out the obstruction. You may need to do this several times, until the pipe is clear. Put the new fitting onto the pipe, and then re-seal it using the blow torch, and some solder. Make sure that the pipe is properly sealed before leaving it.