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Just broke old copper pipe to radiator

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by VioletG, 26 Aug 2020.

  1. VioletG

    VioletG

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    Hi,

    I was just vacuum cleaning and bumped into a very old copper pipe going to the radiator. Water gushed out, switched off the valves on the radiator. The water is now just dribbling out, looks like it's stopping.

    The boiler has an error (I gather the pressure has dropped).

    I don't know anything about how it works, am I ok to just leave it or is there anything I can do with the snapped pipe?

    Should I try and put pressure back in the boiler or leave it?

    Not great with no hot water and two young kids in the house.

    The pipes to this radiator are all above floor level, so all accessible.

    Thanks
     
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  3. pete50

    pete50

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    I would think that if it is a pipe to the radiator then the reason it has stopped gushing is because of the boiler pressure drop. I know it's bad with no hot water and two children but if you re-pressure the boiler I think water will start gushing again. It will be expensive but you need an emergency plumber to come and sort it.
     
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  4. VioletG

    VioletG

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    Thank you for the reply. Is it ok to leave until the morning? Is it doing any damage if I leave it?
     
  5. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    As above re the leak slowing down cos system pressure has dropped. Stick a bowl under the dripping bit if you can (radiator water can be black and stain carpets/floors), don't try and run the heating or refill the boiler, phone a plumber in the morning. This time of year you may be able to get a routine repair booking (rather than emergency repair, which will probably cost double).
     
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  6. VioletG

    VioletG

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    Thank you. I will do that, I think I may have a push cap somewhere. If I find it, would that help as a quick fix to cap the pipe?
     
  7. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Is the pipe broken as in snapped clean off? Yes if you've got a pushfit stop end handy then it'll help a lot. If the pipe has been painted you'll need to get rid of the paint on the last inch (wire wool or kitchen scourer or knife blade if you're desperate).
    I was just about to add, if the pipes are accessible & you're feeling brave and you have time you might be able to do the whole fix yourself. Pics would be handy...if you can get that stop end on & turn the radiator off you can try repressurising & restarting boiler
     
  8. VioletG

    VioletG

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    Thanks so much. I just found one and pushed it onto the end. I actually dont think it has snapped, looks like at some point the pipes were joined together using some wrap around metal, that has decayed so the pipes came away from that join. So sorry I don't know the technical jargon. I will get some pics. I actually wanted to remove this radiator to decorate next week, perhaps fate has helped this along quicker.
     
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  9. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Post some pics. Sounds like the pipe has come away from the valve.
     
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  11. VioletG

    VioletG

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    Here is a pic. Looking at it again, it looks like that connector has come loose. Someone did rip out the skirting, so I am wondering if they damaged it earlier and then my vacuum just dislodged it.

    Could I just clamp it back in?

    pipes.jpg
     
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  12. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Unfortunately that is a soldered joint ,probably not well made originally ,otherwise it would not have come apart so easily. The coupling needs removing off the pipe ,pipe cleaned and joint re made.
     
  13. VioletG

    VioletG

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    Ok thanks, I wanted to take this radiator off next week for some work that is being done. With that cap in place is it safe for the boiler to go on? I could try in the morning if that is the case.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  14. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Wouldn't be the first time someone has fluxed a joint up, forgotten to solder it and its held for ages!
    Take it the pipe with the stop on goes to the boiler & the loose bit goes to the radiator? If so then you can probably refill the system & get hot water and heating back on if you want to.
    No you can't just clamp it back together...do you have a blowtorch?
    Have you tried pulling the ribbed connector off the bit of pipe (it may only be paint & flux holding it, try twisting it, don't squeeze it too hard with pliers though).
    If it does come off, all you need to fix the job is one of these https://www.toolstation.com/made4trade-compression-repair-coupler/p46376and a pair of spanners. Or there's a pushfit version but thats £12 instead of £4, doesn't need spanners though.
     
  15. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Is the pipe without the cap going directly to a radiator valve ?
    The pipe that you fitted the cap to may ,or may not ,hold under pressure. That depends on the condition of the pipe ,in the section entering the cap. As it has been subjected to soldering in that area ,it needs inspecting ,cleaning smooth ,and re inserting into the cap to be sure .
     
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  16. VioletG

    VioletG

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    Yes, it goes directly to the radiator. That pipe goes to a left side valve with a red valve head on it that won't turn and the capped pipe was going to right side valve with a blue valve cap that does turn to on and off.
     
  17. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Sorry ,don't follow you ?? Can you take a pic, from a distance ,to show rad and the pipes relative to it.
     
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