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  • THREADING STEEL PIPE

    I am a small mech contractor. I am, for the most part, a self taught pipe fitter. I have fitted more than 100 small pipe jobs. I offer this service everyday to my customers. I have been fitting pipe professionally for over 10 years. I raerly have leaks. However, there are still many of the deeper things about threading I would like to know, i.e., when can you tell when the dies are due to be replaced. How often should I change my cutting oil. I am looking for a manual that answeres some of these type of questions.

  • #2
    p@1503,

    There are a couple of things to consider with die life. Those include but are not limited too hand threading, power threading, high speed power threading, condition of threading oil, type of pipe and size of pipe.

    What I would recommend would be to physically check your dies before each use. If you see chips in the dies it is time to change them. You will also notice damaged or dull dies will start to tear threads.

    As for the oil you change it when it becomes dirty or contaminated. When you are threading it is normally in a dirty environment and you get dirt into your oil. I also have a problem with getting pipe joint compound in my oil from making up fittings on the machine.

    Usually if you oil starts to smell bad and thicken you are ready to change it. Of course my old rough-in trucks use to spill so much oil all I had to do was replenish what oil spilled and it stayed clean. However, it sure made a mess of the trucks.

    Mark

    [ 07-22-2005, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: ToUtahNow ]
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      ToUtahNow pretty much summend it up. The physical inspection need not take more than a few seconds. It will be obvious when you see the chipped die.

      For the really deep things you need to see a yoga master. J/K
      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by p@1503:
        I am a small mech contractor. I am, for the most part, a self taught pipe fitter. I have fitted more than 100 small pipe jobs. I offer this service everyday to my customers. I have been fitting pipe professionally for over 10 years. I raerly have leaks. However, there are still many of the deeper things about threading I would like to know, i.e., when can you tell when the dies are due to be replaced. How often should I change my cutting oil. I am looking for a manual that answeres some of these type of questions.
        Here's a few of the things I have learned.

        DIES

        The most important part of preventing leaks are the quality of the threads. The dies should be in good condition. As stated by others, if they appear to be chipped they should be replaced. You will also find that worn dies will begin to become hard to start on the blank end of a pipe, will begin to produce slightly deformed threads (chips missing, rough appearence), the machine will begin to bog down, or even with proper oil, begin to smoke.

        I recommend keeping an extra set of dies, particularly if you use a non-Ridgid die which may be hard to locate.

        THREADING

        Even with proper dies they must be adjusted properly and lubricated during the proceedure. I find that a fitting that can be hand tighted 31/2 to 4 turns on a clean thread produces the best results (I know, some my disagree, but it works for me).

        The lubrication should be of good quality (I prefer dark), clean, and not broken down. If the machine is being used constantly over 8 hour shifts, I usually change it about once a week.

        The pipe should be:

        1) Cut, reamed, threaded.
        2) Wiped free of oil.
        3) Cleaned. This is important. I like to keep a small fitting brush at the machine. I don't get insane about it, but I hit the threads to remove small chips.
        4) Allowed to cool. This is often over looked. A hot fitting will melt the pipe dope, and in this expanded condition will not allow the proper tightening.

        TIGHTENING

        1) Thread sealant should be applied to the threads. I like to use both tephlon tape and pipe dope. This is because alot of the fittings we get in my area are foreign made pieces of s**t. This double protection seems to help. For pipe dope I recommend "Key-Tite". It's messy, gooey, and disgusting, but it works. If not available a tephlon based dope is the best.

        2) When tightening the fitting it is important to keep in mind that a torque of 1,000,000,000 foot pounds is not necessary. The fitting should be tight but not over-tightened. I have for instance, seen apprentices tightening 1/2" iron pipe with a 24" pipe wrench. This results in the firring being expanded, and in some cases cracked.

        For beginners I recommend using the proper wrench for the job. In my opinion the following are correct:

        1/2"-3/4" 10" or 12" wrench
        1"-1 1/4" 14" wrench
        1 1/2" 18" wrench
        2-2 1/2" 24" wrench
        3" 36" wrench
        4" 48" wrench
        above 4" chain tongs

        Obviously the above applies to beginners. I can usually get most jobs below 3" done with a couple pairs of Channel Locks and an 18" and 24" pipe wrench.

        It is extremly important to note, that the threads are critical. Some guys figure they can make up for poorly formed theads by tightening the crap out of the fitting. This is a mistake.

        LEAKS

        Leaks in threaded systems are labor intensive to fix, and, let's face it, a down right pain in the ***. I've made it a point to figure out why systems leak. Any step you can take to prevent them is time well served, enen if the installation takes longer. Here's the major causes I've found:

        1)Bad Threads: If the threads are too tight, too loose, don't feel right, look bad, take the time to re-cut and thread. Over tightening a loose thread, or getting a bigger wrench to force a fitting on a tight thread will not work.

        2)Over Tightened Fitting: This is often the result of using the pipe machine to install fittings. There is nothing wrong with this practice if one knows what they are doing. But watch the bigginers.

        Keep in mind that I have seen very few fittings leak because they were slightly under tightened.
        This is evident when you spot a leak and attempt to give it another turn. It rarely stops the leak.

        3) Bad Fittings or Pipe: I've seen more and more pipe that is out-of-round, fittings with poor threads, etc. Not much you can do but retun it, ***** at your supplier, change suppliers. If you feel there is a problem, stop and get new material before you pipe that 2,000 foot system.

        Well that's about all I know.
        the dog

        Comment


        • #5
          PLUMBDOG, IT'S AMAZING TO SEE WHAT A DISTEMPER SHOT WILL DO.
          VERY IMPRESSIVE WITH THIS POST. YOU TOOK THE TIME AND YOUR KNOWLEDGE TO GIVE ALL OF US AN EDUCATION ON THIS SOMEWHAT LOST ART. HOPEFULLY WE WON'T GET A QUESTION ABOUT POURING A LEAD JOINT. NOT TOO MANY OLDTIMERS OUT THERE. JUST PICKED UP 5# OF LEAD WOOL THE OTHER DAY. NOT BAD AT $2.50 A POUND.
          PLUMBDOG, ONCE AGAIN VERY IMPRESSIVE. GIVE THE DOG A BIG BONE.
          RICK.

          Comment


          • #6
            "HOPEFULLY WE WON'T GET A QUESTION ABOUT POURING A LEAD JOINT. NOT TOO MANY OLDTIMERS OUT THERE."

            Hey Rick, If you really want to go back how about CI Soil Pipe w/lead joints and Galv. back venting? Remember tucker fittings anyone? If you need some packing irons, I've got a bucket full sitting in my garage rusting away. They have not been used in 20 years. I was at a flea market yesterday and saw someone had a few bars of half & half wiping solder for sale, that was before my time but I definately poured my share of lead joints when I was an appprentice. Its use was being fazed out then in favor of No-Hub and push joints, and No-Hub or ABS plastic were the materials of choice (on commerical work anyway) for back venting in my area (late 70s). The State(NJ) was one of the last hold-outs for CI w/lead joints underground in their specs, that went away sometime in the early 80s I think.

            Comment


            • #7
              Would you happen to have the ropes and clamps to go with your yarning tools. If so I would possibly be interested in taking those tools off your hands. The furnace and ladles would be nice also. Mine were confiscated by some fool thief who probably didn't even know what they were for.

              Actually worked with a journeyman not too long ago who thought a packing tool he had come across was just a funny looking chisel that needed to be sharpened. It was good for a chuckle.
              Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Bob,

                There are actually a few places that still want the old lead and oakum joints. Historic renovations that want everything as original as possible and a few industrial places that want something to stand up to the acids, temperatures and petroleum residues.
                Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by plumber:
                  Bob,

                  There are actually a few places that still want the old lead and oakum joints. Historic renovations that want everything as original as possible and a few industrial places that want something to stand up to the acids, temperatures and petroleum residues.
                  I know I'm going to get some disagreement with this, but I still prefer the lead-in closet rings. The "insta-set" closet rings sometimes crack if over tightened, and work loose if under tightened. I'm refering, of course, to cast iron installations, which are the most common in new and existing commercial buildings in California.

                  There are also a few floor mounted mop sinks that we still lead-in.
                  the dog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No disagreement here I prefer a lead-in over an insta-set. I still have all of my lead tools and I'm not afraid to use them
                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cast iron is a much quieter system than plastic and in most situations there are always places where there is no room for sound insulation over plastic. Can you imagine a prayer room under a nursery at a church or a Generals office on the first floor under an upstairs Plumbing wall with uninsulated plastic drain systems. No hub systems usually work fine for those applications but there are times when oakum and lead get speced, most often on industrial applications and as Dog mentioned floor sinks, mop sinks and janitor sinks. At least with all the lifts and jacks available today we don't have to make overhead pours anymore.

                      I'd like to see some of these young pre maddonas with a reciprocator and torpedo level make time with a three story pack joint system. Or more to the original point of this thread, a threaded Durnham system.
                      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        DOG, YOU WON'T HEAR ME BARKING ABOUT THE BETTER INSTALLATION A LEADED IN CLOSET FLANGE IS. ONLY ISSUE WITH MOST CONTRACTORS IS "TIME IS MONEY". TIME IS NO ISSUE ON A CUSTOM INSTALL. WHEN I WAS DOING PRODUCTION WORK, CONDOS, APTS, HOTELS, INSTANT SET WAS THE ORDER. I STILL KEEP A LADEL, IRONS , BLOCK OF LEAD, OAKUM AND EVEN LEAD WOOL.
                        OUR BUILDING/ PLUMBING CODES ONLY ALLOW ABS PLASTIC UP TO A 2 STORY BUILDING WITH COMBUSTIBLE FRAMING. AS I TRAVEL THE COUNTRY, I'VE NOTICED MANY A COUNTY THAT ALLOWS FOR PLASTIC IN HIGH RISE CONSTRUCTION. MAINLY WITH PVC PIPING. I GUESS THEY ARN'T WORRIED ABOUT NOISE OR FIRE?
                        THEN AGAIN THEY DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE CAST IRON PIPE SPLITTING LONG WAYS. CAN ANYONE GIVE ME AN EXPLANATION ON WHY OLD AND NEWER PIPE SPLITS LENGTH WISE? DOES'NT MATTER WHAT BRAND OF PIPE OR WHETHER STORM OR SANATARY PIPING.
                        RICK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rick,

                          It seems the codes in many areas are being stripped to suit contractors looking to squeeze extra dimes out of each job. These savings are not being passed on to the consumer so the only people winning are the ones paying the politicians for the weaker codes. And some States simply don't have or don't enforce the codes they have. Very bad for the consumer and the poor guy who has to make the systems work 20 years later.

                          A lot of splitting is caused by years of stress due to improper support of the pipe and fittings. Methane also eats it out over the years.
                          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK:
                            DOG, YOU WON'T HEAR ME BARKING ABOUT THE BETTER INSTALLATION A LEADED IN CLOSET FLANGE IS. ONLY ISSUE WITH MOST CONTRACTORS IS "TIME IS MONEY". TIME IS NO ISSUE ON A CUSTOM INSTALL. WHEN I WAS DOING PRODUCTION WORK, CONDOS, APTS, HOTELS, INSTANT SET WAS THE ORDER. I STILL KEEP A LADEL, IRONS , BLOCK OF LEAD, OAKUM AND EVEN LEAD WOOL.
                            OUR BUILDING/ PLUMBING CODES ONLY ALLOW ABS PLASTIC UP TO A 2 STORY BUILDING WITH COMBUSTIBLE FRAMING. AS I TRAVEL THE COUNTRY, I'VE NOTICED MANY A COUNTY THAT ALLOWS FOR PLASTIC IN HIGH RISE CONSTRUCTION. MAINLY WITH PVC PIPING. I GUESS THEY ARN'T WORRIED ABOUT NOISE OR FIRE?
                            THEN AGAIN THEY DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE CAST IRON PIPE SPLITTING LONG WAYS. CAN ANYONE GIVE ME AN EXPLANATION ON WHY OLD AND NEWER PIPE SPLITS LENGTH WISE? DOES'NT MATTER WHAT BRAND OF PIPE OR WHETHER STORM OR SANATARY PIPING.
                            RICK
                            Cast iron, which I have used my entire career (I am refering to no-hub) splits because it is not handled properly by the supplier (most common), or the installer.

                            If you tap lightly on a pipe you can hear the difference between a broken one, and a solid one. I don't think I can describe the sound, but it is evident. Try it.

                            I have never had a large problem with this. But it has happened. It is the result of a dropped pipe. Cast iron, like glass, is hard and has a lot of compression strenghth. This means that it will with-stand heavy loads,such as compaction, but will not suffer shock.That is were they become cracked, or as Rick put it, slit.

                            What I have experienced much more, has been sand holes, or weep holes. I ran a job about about ten years ago that involved about 400' of 6" roof drain piping. Upon testing we found drips all over the place. We finally found the cause. The pipe was weeping through tiny pours. There is no defense to this.

                            What I will suggest is to make sure defective pipe and fittings are marked (pink spray paint is my choice) so it is not reinstalled on the project.

                            While I think plastic is a better DWV system ( and you will hear very few construction plumbers admit this) I have hade few problems with the installation, testing, and inspection of no-hub.

                            There are proper proceedures involved with no-hub installation, but it would be better laft with another thread.

                            the dog
                            the dog

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I spoke at an ICBO meeting full of Inspectors a few years back. I mentioned how many code defects I had counted in their area just driving to the event at 65 mph. I was told they have been told by the City Manager to be nice to the builders or they will go some where else to build.

                              I explained the Codes are minimum standards and when they fall below minimum standards they are allowing sub standard housing to be built.

                              Mark
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                              Comment

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