Plumbing Basics

SKU: RVI-11509Duration: 20 Minutes

Confused about the difference between PVC and CPVC piping? Can you explain how copper pipe is swaged or sweated? How is PVC pipe joined or connected? This course looks at three types of plumbing piping: plastic, steel and copper. At the end of this training you will have general knowledge of the uses for plastic, steel and copper pipe. You will know what fluids each type of pipe can convey safety. Joining methods suitable for each type of pipe will be discussed. While the material presented in the training is not intended to lead directly to performing these joining techniques, you should be able to discuss the techniques and be able to inspect piping systems. With assistance and guidance from a skilled plumber, you should be able to start performing joining techniques, especially gluing of PVC pipe. Finally, you will also understand the potential hazards in each of the pipe joining methods.

Course Details


Training Time: 20 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the type of pipes be used in a pipe threading machine
  • Identify the three types of copper pipes and their usage
  • Sequence the steps to cementing two pieces of PVC
  • Sequence the steps in cutting copper pipe
  • Describe health and safety concerns with all the connection methods

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What are the three most common types of piping?
The three most common types of pipe are plastic, steel, and copper.

Which type of copper pipe is used in protected locations such as behind sheetrock?
Type M has the thinnest wall thickness of the three types of copper pipe and is often used in protected locations.

Which type of pipe is commonly used for natural gas application and fire sprinkler systems?
Black iron pipe is used because of its heat resistance.

What can be used to clean the inside and outside of a plastic pipe before joining?
Sandpaper can be used to clean the pipe.

What are the two methods of joining copper pipes?
The two methods are sweating and swaging.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Plumbing piping is akin to arteries and veins, conveying clean water to your building and wastewater to local treatment facilities. Given the labyrinth of plumbing systems in buildings and in distribution systems, piping needs to be built to suit the unique situations This requires the length of pipes to be connected to one another. In this course, three types of piping were discussed; plastic, steel, and copper. Two types of plastic pipe were discussed, PVC and CPVC. A higher temperature rating distinguishes CPVC from PVC. Check local plumbing codes for where each type of PVC is approved. Some codes approved PVC piping for water service piping (outside a building) but not for distribution piping (inside a building). The primary joining method of PVC is using primer and cement. Essentially, the primer and cement melt a thin layer of the pipe and fitting that results in a strong bond when the joint sets. Black iron and galvanized are two types of steel pipe discussed. Galvanized steel pipe has a zinc coating for corrosion protection; black iron does not. Black iron pipe can be used for natural gas and fire sprinkler system but not domestic water systems. The primary connection method for steel pipe is threading. Copper pipe is available in types K, L, and M. Types L and M are used in domestic water systems. Sweating is the process of joining copper pipe that uses heat to draw the solder into joints. Swaging is a mechanical process to enlarge a short section of copper pipe to eliminate the need for a coupling. However, soldering or brazing will be required to make a strong leak-free joint. Health and safety concerns must be considered with all the connection methods. Installers need to take adequate precautions to protect themselves and others when performing the discussed joining processes. A series FPU may also use a re-heater downstream of the fan if the application requires additional heat.
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