How to plug a pipe

Written by steve sloane
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How to plug a pipe
Solder end caps on copper supply pipes to seal them. (reel of core solder image by Alex from

Plugging or sealing pipes requires the installation of an end cap. This cap is simply attached to the end of the pipe to stop water/gas/sewer waste from pouring out of the end. At a later date, if desired, the cap can be removed and more pipe added. PVC and ABS sewer pipe, as well as CPVC water supply pipe, all have the end cap glued into place. Galvanised and steel gas pipe have the cap threaded into place. Copper water supply pipe has the end cap soldered into place.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • PVC primer
  • PVC Glue
  • ABS glue
  • PVC/CPVC/ABS end caps
  • Thread compound
  • Steel end cap
  • Pipe wrench
  • Emery cloth
  • Copper end cap
  • Soldering paste
  • Roll of solder
  • Propane torch
  • Old rag
  • Water spray bottle

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  1. 1

    Apply PVC primer around the end of the PVC/CPVC pipe, as well as the inside of the PVC/CPVC end cap. Wait for the primer to dry, usually 20 seconds. Apply PVC glue to both primed areas and push the end cap onto the end of the pipe. Hold it in place for 30 seconds. For ABS pipe, glue the end cap in place with ABS glue. No primer is required for ABS pipe.

  2. 2

    Apply thread compound around the thread at the end of the galvanised/steel gas pipe. By hand, thread the end cap onto the pipe thread. Tighten it in place using a pipe wrench.

  3. 3

    Sand the end of the copper water supply pipe, as well as the inside of the copper end cap--use emery cloth. Apply soldering paste (flux) to both sanded areas. Push the end cap onto the pipe end. Unroll 8 inches of solder from its spool, and bend the last three inches 90 degrees. Turn on the propane torch, and heat around the pipe/end cap seam. When the flux sizzles, touch the tip of the solder to the seam, and apply 3/4-inch of solder all around the seam. Clear away any soldering drips with an old rag.

Tips and warnings

  • ABS, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is a hard black plastic used to create household sewer pipes.
  • Turn the gas off before fitting the end cap to the gas line.
  • Make sure there is no water in the copper supply pipe before soldering because the end cap will not heat to the right temperature for soldering with water in the pipeline.
  • Have a water spray bottle close by when soldering, in case of fires.

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