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March 14,2019

How to Properly Cut Plumbing Tubes and Pipes

Do you need to perform a basic pipe repair, but feel intimidated about cutting PVC, copper or steel materials? Then youll be excited to know there are tools available that can help you with the task. At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pittsburgh, we work hard to ensure our local customers have dependable, quality plumbing systems for their homes and businesses. Over the years, weve repaired, replaced and installed countless miles of pipe for nearby residents. We understand the importance of having a nice, clean cut for fittings. Messy cuts can lead to major leaks, water damage and a dysfunctional plumbing system. Here are a few tips on how you can properly cut plumbing tubes and pipes and avoid problems down the road.

PVC, Plastic Tubing and Flexible PEX

Tubing and flexible PEX pipes can be easily severed with help from a specialty tool designed specifically for cutting tubes. You can find adjustable rotating tube cutters, ratcheting cutters and single stroke cutters that can easily slice through these materials like butter. While you can use a basic PVC saw, the precision and swiftness thats possible with the specialty tools makes it well worth the extra cost. These tools will also help you avoid the need to deburr or remove shavings after cutting.

Copper

Copper pipes are soft when compared to galvanized steel or cast iron, but are more sturdy than PVC, PEX or plastic tubing. Therefore, its important to find a cutter thats capable of cutting copper. Most standard tubing cutters are sharp enough to use with copper, just make sure you read the product information before purchasing. If youre using a rotating cutter that is manually adjusted, be careful when turning the cutter to ensure a straight cut and try not to put too much pressure on the pipe. Doing so could bend the metal, which can cause problems with fittings. You may want to consider purchasing more advanced cutting tools that automatically adjust the pressure with each turn. Ratcheting cutters can also help ensure a smooth, straight cut every time.

Steel

Steel pipes can also be cut with traditional style cutters, but you have to make sure it is specifically designed for steel. Steel pipe cutters have heavy duty blades that are capable of slicing through the thick metal. Alternatively, you can also use a hacksaw or reciprocating saw. If you use this method, be sure to secure loose pipes with a vice to avoid damage or injury. Youll also have to be more careful about keeping a straight edge.

Cast Iron

If you have an older home and need to work with cast iron pipes, then conventional tools may not be strong enough to handle the job. A cast-iron pipe cutter uses a cutting chain that can be wrapped around the pipe. A ratchet handle allows the user to pull the chain tight against the pipe, and will snap the pipe into two pieces with a little effort and elbow grease.

Need Help from a Licensed Plumber? Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pittsburgh

Do you need to repair, replace or install pipes in your home or business? Then get help from the certified experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our licensed and insured plumbers are ready to help you tackle any plumbing issue. We proudly serve residential and commercial clients in Pittsburgh, Bethel Park, Cranberry, Aliquippa, Greensburg, McKeesport, Irwin, Canonsburg, Penn Hills, Washington, Beaver Falls, South Hills, Ross Township, PA and other nearby communities. Contact our office today to schedule your next appointment.

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