How to Fix a Dented Copper Pipe
When a copper pipe has been dented it can become prone to causing leaks. Fixing a dented copper pipe is therefore a priority to avoid any leakage from occurring. Whilst there is a degree of skill involved and previous experience is required (particularly when using the pipe cutter), fixing a dented copper pipe is a relatively straightforward procedure which will not take up more than a couple of hours of your time.
Step One - Switch off Water and Prioritize Safety
Before fixing dented copper piping, it is imperative that you switch off the water at the mains. Failing to do so may result in a serious leak occurring with notable implications. Be sure to put on safety goggles and protective gloves to protect your eyes and skin. It is also advisable that you place a fiber shield on the nearby walls before you embark on soldering the joints together to protect the walls from sparks.
Step Two - Remove the Dented Area of Copper Pipe
If you are comfortable with a copper pipe cutter, perform a straight cut on either end of the damaged area. If you are not confident in using a tubing cutter or if the pipe is in an area where there is not much room to use such an appliance, cut the pipe with a hacksaw.
Step Three - Measure and Cut a Replacement Piece
Take a measuring tape and measure the length of the replacement piece of copper pipe. The new rod of copper pipe needs to be the same size as the piece you have just measured. Using a pipe cutter usually guarantees a neater cut, but only use this if you have had previous experience with the tool. If not, rely on a hacksaw again to cut the new piece of copper pipe.
Step Four - Fit the Replacement Copper Pipe into Position
Before you insert the replacement piece, pick up a wire brush and proceed to clean the ends of the copper pipe and the couplings. Apply some flux to a flux brush and gently add the flux liberally to each coupling. Slide the couplings to each side of the cut copper pipe. Place the new piece of copper pipe into position and slide the couplings back halfway, ensuring they are evenly positioned over the joints in the pipe. You may want to twist the copper pipe slightly when you position it to ensure a good, tight fit.
Step Five - Solder the Fitting
Carefully aim the propane torch so that the flame comes in contact with the middle of the fitting. Hold the torch for no less than 5 seconds until the flux starts to crackle. Do the same on the opposite side. Once the flux has been heated, apply solder to the joints.
Step Six - Wipe away Excess Solder
Once the solder has sealed the joints, take a dry, clean rag and smooth the joint, wiping away any excess solder on both sides. Leave for 60 minutes and check the fitting for visible signs of gaps in the joints. If the joints are secure, you may now switch the water back on.