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  • zip-sweat

    I'm trying to learn about a tool called zip-sweat. It is apparently used to prevent the need to flush/drain all pipes in a home when cutting into the water supply main.

    The device, as described to me is a retractable stopper that is inserted into the water pipe, expanded to block water flow back to the cut location thus allowing sweat soldering to the pipe without it filling with water or having to flush the system.

    If anyone can provide me with information, manufacturer, availability, etc. I would appreciate it.

    Bernard Worst

  • #2
    I have one for 1/2" copper in one of my toolboxes, I will look for it htis evening and dget back to you. I can describe how it works, and thinking about it you could make your own w/o much trouble.


    ^Approx.12" long ^

    OK, what we have here is a pretty crappy drawing, no really, what we have is a poor attempt to show how the device is constructed.

    From left to right;

    + = A 1/4" nut pinned on end of rod
    | = 1/4" flat washer
    === = ~1/4" OD neoprene tubing
    | = 1/4" flat washer
    + = another 1/4" nut
    -- = 1/4" all thread
    H = Handle

    OK, the sketch (if you could call it that) is pretty crude, but maybe it will help visualize how it works.

    You insert the end with the neoprene tubing into the pipe past the point where you need to solder, it is long enough to reach through an open valve or a fitting like a TEE. You tighten the handle and it compresses the neoprene tubing, making it expand and seal off to the ID of the pipe. Now it's time to solder. When done loosen the handle and pull the stopper out of the pipe (watch out for the build up of water behind it which may be HOT!!

    I'll try to remember to find mine and take a quick pic to post.


    • #3
      If a picture is worth a thousand words, a URL must be worth a million

      Jet-Swet is the name, and here is their web site

      [ 03-03-2004, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: Bob D. ]


      • #4
        Please forgive me my possible ignorance in asking the following question, but here goes anyway since I fail to see the utility of such devices as "Jet Swets" for my uses.
        The majority of my work done on existing water supplies entails fixing pinhole leaks in copper lines or replacing old, bad gate valves. Now, since the preferred way of doing this is sweating in a repair coupling (for pinholes) or replacing the valve, how does the Jet Swet help at all? It would need to be pulled out before making the final sweat on the line to complete the job.....unless of course one is using threaded connections using a union. Since I do not like using unions behind walls (and I'm not very sure it's even code to do so) then I find myself wanting to make connections by sweat only.....thereby relegating the Jet Swet thing to virtual uselessness, at least for making the final sweat.
        I know I'm probably being dense, but I'd appreciate any response concerning this. I am afraid that if I invested in a Jet Swet kit that it would spend most of it's life in my toolbox collecting dust (and these things are'nt cheap!).
        What happened to using a couple slices of bread or three? lol


        • #5
          David , first insert the Jet Sweat device, then solder on a ball valve. Then remove Jet Sweat ,close valve ,now your line that needs repairing is isolated thanks to the Jet Sweat/ball valve combination. No need to worry about that endless trickle of water.

          At least that is what I would do. I have never seen or used this tool but I just might consider getting a few>


          • #6
            Hi Murf. I suppose sweating on an unnecessary (is there such a thing as having TOO many isolation valves...even IF they might end up being buried inside a wall?) is better than beating one's head in the wall with an un-sweatable trickle problem! Thanks. I may now just go and get a set myself me an excuse to go tool shopping again anyway!

            [ 03-30-2004, 01:36 AM: Message edited by: David M. ]


            • #7
              David, I have in the past , used balled up bread (no crust) to temporarily plug the dripping water. It will partially disolve and flush down the pipe when water is turned on. I've often wondered if there is a commercial product that works along the same lines. The bread can clog a aerator screen but that's solvable.Murray


              • #8
                Hi Murray.
                I try and avoid using bread at all costs usually, and in over 10 years of sweating copper on existing lines I've only resorted to using it twice. I have seen other guys do it, and alot more can get clogged than faucet aerators, such as shower heads, shower and faucet valves, etc. Not to mention the contamination of the supply. I know it's preferable at times over waiting seemingly endlessly for a system to drain down slowly just to sweat a lousy joint or two, but I'll usually prefer doing that or trying to suck it out with a wet vac (with all valves above open) rather than resort to that.
                I've seen the commercial product you refer to in plumbing supply houses, at least one I've seen is in the form of little rubber-like balls shaped rather much like in an oval and made for differnt diameter pipes (1/2, 3/4, etc). The idea is to stuff these in the pipe just like you would with bread, about a foot or so back beyond your sweat point, and when the joint is made you point your torch at the spot the ball is in and the rubber-like substance will burst and disintegrate, causing no troubles to valves, aerators, etc.
                I tried using one of these once a long time ago, and my opinion of them is rather dismal I'm afraid. Perhaps I used them wrong, but I found them more a hasle than they are worth. For instance, you need to ream out the end of the pipe very well, or else these things will bust or break upon contact with the slightest sharp edge of the copper. Then you have to stuff them in there quite a ways away from your joint as I mentioned, or you will melt them prematurely. What a pain. I don't have patience for this kind of thing. I don't have patience for endlessly dripping supply lines either, but I digress.
                Maybe you'd have better luck with them.
                I think the Jet Swet could be just the ticket. I plan on picking up a set this week and giving them a whirl. I can't justify at this time one of the Ridgid line freezing tools, though that also may be in the forseeable future!
                Thanks for replying!


                • #9
                  Ive been in the heating business for over 20 years and have never seen one of those but I tell you I'm going to get myself one.


                  • #10
                    the freeze tool works super i've use two at a time once in an apt building on the boiler piping one thing ot remember is no flow any flow will not freeze or will take a long time that why i had to use two one was a prefreeze for the other


                    • #11
                      I have done a number of freeze-seals on pipe up to 6" using CO2 and not had a problem. as was said make sure you have zero flow or you'll have problems. One thing that can help is if you have a fitting such as a 90 in the line upstream put your freeze seal upstream of the change in direction of the pipe, this can help lock in the slug of ice so it can't slide down the line. what ever make sure your freeze seal is placed far enough away so that it will not be affected by the heat of your soldering or welding.


                      • #12
                        If we are taling about copper in sizes less than 1" I usually just use a compression fitting valve to block the trickle. Or quickly bend the pipe up, swaeat on an MIP adapter and screw on a valve.


                        • #13
                          I try to keep a half dozen ball valves in my truck at all times.. They are a little pricey but the time they save is worth it.

                          I still want to get one of those zip sweat tools. I may never use it but I'm the type of guy that believes He who dies with the most tools in his truck wins [img]smile.gif[/img]


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Heaterman:
                            I try to keep a half dozen ball valves in my truck at all times.. They are a little pricey but the time they save is worth it.

                            I still want to get one of those zip sweat tools. I may never use it but I'm the type of guy that believes He who dies with the most tools in his truck wins [img]smile.gif[/img]
                            As long as its the company paying for them who cares