Small Hole In Copper Pipe !

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Cyberman, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Cyberman

    Cyberman New Member

    My wife tried to bang a small nail into our kitchen wall last night in order to hang a clock only to find that there was a copper pipe buried in the wall. Is it common practice to bury pipes into a wall and then plaster them over so that its impossible to see that they are there ?

    I now have the water turned off and have exposed part of the pipe with the small hole. Fortunately, its not much more than a large pin *****. Removing any of the pipe from the wall will be an absolute nightmare as wall paper plaster and everything else will have to co off.

    Is there a way of repairing the pipe ?

    Thankyou for any helpful advice.
  2. Before banging nails into a wall you should check that there are no pipes or cables in the wall.

    You have to find out what the pipe carries although it sounds as if its mains water from what you say.

    If thats the case you can only legally repair ir properly with a soldered fitting or a compression fitting.

  3. Cyberman

    Cyberman New Member

    Thankyou for the reply Tony.

    Yes, the pipe does cary mains cold water. I thought that pipes were usually boxed in so that they could be accessed if a leak ever occured.

    As the pipe is bedded into the wall, there is absolutely no movement up, down or sideways and so, without pulling the wall apart from top to bottom, there is no way to either cut the pipe or insert a fitting. I first thought that I could cut about 3 inches of pipe out and renew just that section but, because of no movement in the pipe, that is impossible. Even to cut the pipe with a pipe slice would mean digging about two inceh deep into the wall just to be able to get behind the pipe.

    I accept that legally I must repair using either a compression or soldered fitting but, as I'm doing it myself as a DIY'er, are there any other options ?

    Thanks again.
  4. BibTap

    BibTap New Member

    Just an idea,
    Dig out the wall cut out a small section of pipe use 1 or 2 slip couplings and a new bit of tube, nice solid job, and no need to get any movement on the existing pipe.

    There you go you've just learnt the hard way, I generally always remember to check, as have been bitten before. There are always gas and electric cables too, so I think you went into the safest of the 3 :)
  5. Moss

    Moss New Member

    If you can drain the pipe, insert a brass self-tapping screw and solder the screw into the pipe. Setting fire to the wall is optional.
  6. TicklyT

    TicklyT New Member

    You could try cutting your pipe with a 'padsaw' made from a hacksaw blade (32TPI for preference) well bound with tape as a handle at one end. Use the end that cuts on the pull stroke. You just need enough room for about an inch of travel to cut the pipe, so a bit of a groove in the plaster either side. not easy, but possible. Cut either side of the hole, as the pipe is probably out of round there, and fit a new section with slip couplings.
  7. Cyberman

    Cyberman New Member

    Thankyou for the further responses.

    I had thought that, as the whole was so small, I might be able to fill the hole with some solder. The brass screw sounds a good solution if not.

    Will plaster burn under the heat of a gas torch ?
  8. TicklyT

    TicklyT New Member

    If you can drain the pipe, insert a brass
    self-tapping screw and solder the screw into the
    pipe. Setting fire to the wall is optional.

    Watch out what type of screw you use - some of the plating on them doesn't take well to soldering. Maybe a small brass wood screw would be better.

    Put in a long enough screw, and you could hang something like a clock on it afterwards :)
  9. PDPS

    PDPS New Member

    Put in a long enough screw, and you could hang
    something like a clock on it afterwards :)

    Before you start chipping away any plaster hold the clock against the wall and draw round it.

    Then you'll know where to stop chipping and you'll be able to hide the hole with the clock.
  10. Cyberman

    Cyberman New Member

    Thankyou for the posts.

    I'm going to give the brass screw option a try first but have a couple of slip fittings on standby in case it doesn't work.

    Thanks again.
  11. If the hole is that small, then just one cut, at position of hole is fine, then use one slip socket, no need to cut out a section. Using a slip socket is a proper repair, soldering in a brass screw is a bodge job.
  12. ponty 01

    ponty 01 New Member

    a slip coupler would be my choice.soldering a brass screw in would give me sleepless nights.
  13. pvc_pvc

    pvc_pvc New Member

    Surely a small hole can be soldered over with a heat gun?
  14. nope, the "small" hole is huge compared to the capillary gap in end feed fittings that soldering is designed to seal.

    The blowlamp may discolour plaster, but wont damage it in the time to solder a fitting or two.

  15. Walterfilter

    Walterfilter New Member

    would've thought your insurance would cover this and to redecorate.........

    If you hold the clock up to a position where a new fixing would miss the pipe and draw a line around have an area where you can work and cover up the damage to wallpaper etc... You will need to expose about 4 inches of pipe, using a hacksaw blade cut away about 25mm including the hole and replace the section with 2 soldered slip couplings.......

    My answer pretty much the same as the others.. ;)
  16. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    ...and a properly soldered joint is the only joint you are allowed to bury in plaster.

    That's true chaps, isn't it ?

    Mr. HandyAndy - really
  17. very true, and should be corrosion protected from wet plaster.
  18. r2d2

    r2d2 New Member

    Surely a small hole can be soldered over with a heat gun?

    You can silver solder a hole like this or just braze it using oxy/Acetylene.
    Though I appreciate this is not much help for the OP.
    The slip coupler is the best option.
  19. Jimbo

    Jimbo Active Member

    I found some 8mm copper that had been "soldered over" on my heating. It had obviously been there for years. I think basically the fitter had kinked the pipe, then it had split when straightened and hence the solder.

    I think a slip coupler is by far a better option though.

    Hardly permanent but don't the DIY stores do "press-fit" repair systems for this kind of problem? Basically two rubber gaskets and some metal work to put right around the pipe.

    Also, plaster only attacks coppper whilst setting and it's negligable. Not like cement, which can do real damage.
  20. Northwest gas svc's

    Northwest gas svc's New Member

    just solder over the damn thing, good clean, bit of powerflux,good blob of solder, jobs a good un, be honest lads ,that'll never leak.

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