Pipe Fitting Work Hazards

Written by steve sloane
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Pipe Fitting Work Hazards
Power saws can be used to cut plastic pipe. (construction image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

Working with pipe carries with it the risk of injury. Mishaps involving saws used to cut pipe, becoming dizzy while gluing pipe in a poorly-ventilated area, soldering-related fires and leaky gas pipes are all potential hazards. However, cutting and fitting construction pipe is relatively safe if precautions are taken.

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Sawing Sewer Pipe

When cutting PVC or ABS sewer pipe with a hacksaw or power saw, make sure the saw blade is face down and facing away from you. Wear eye goggles and work gloves at all times. In the case of power saws, especially in confined areas, wear head phones to protect your ears from high-decibel noise.

Gluing Sewer Pipe

Whether installing ABS, PVC and CPVC pipe, cement gives off an odour that can cause nausea. If you are installing many sewer joints at one time take regular breaks to breathe in fresh air. And wear thin gloves; spilt PVC/ABS cement can irritate the skin.

Soldering Copper Pipes

When soldering copper coupling to copper pipes, avoid flammable objects. Place a heat-resistant cloth behind the pipe to shield the surrounding area from excessive heat. Keep a water bottle nearby, in case of a fire.

Checking Gas Pipes

Always perform a safety check after installing gas pipes. Turn on the gas. Brush a mixture of soap and water over each joint in the pipeline and check for air bubbles. An air bubble means gas is escaping from a joint. Turn off the gas and tighten the joint with a pipe wrench. Turn the gas back on and recheck for any leaks.

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