After the wash basins had been removed from the top floor I then had to remove the copper hot and cold water pipes that fed the basins and the PVC waste pipes that took the waste water away.

The pipes were laid under the original floorboards of the house, so I had to lift a few floorboards. This was made much easier by who ever installed the plumbing as they hadn’t bothered to secure the floorboards correctly after completing the job (who ever worked on the house was a bodge job expert, nothing done to a high standard)!!

Under floor copper pipes

The hardest floorboard to lift was wedged between two skirting boards, I didn’t want to remove skirting boards just to lift one floorboard (we might replace the skirtings, but that’s another story) so a little brute force was needed to get access.

I’ve not done anything like this before, so I didn’t know what to expect or exactly how I should do this well. I realised all the pipes are horizontal to the floor, so there must be water still left in them. Which would mean as I cut the pipes water would leak into the ceilings below!! I solved the water problem with the humble black bin bag :-) I opend up a bin bag, slid it under the pipe to be cut so when water leaked from the cut pipes it would be caught inside the water tight bin bag.

Waste pipe draining into bin bag

As I cut a pipe I’d hope that not too much water would pour into the bag as pulling a thin plastic bin bag from a relatively small hole surrounded by wooden splinters and freshly cut copper piping could easily result in a burst bag. I’m happy to report not one bag split and from the three rooms I removed around two buckets of water from the hot and cold copper pipes and the PVC waste pipes (the latter being very smelly stagnant water!). 

Interestingly the hardest part of the job was pulling the waste pipes joints apart, even though they are just pushed together some of them just didn’t want to seperate. I ended up hitting one of them apart with a hammer!

Capped copper pipes

This just left capping the hot and cold water pipes that came from the bathroom. I used the new plastic caps that require no real plumbing and they seem to be working OK. They aren’t very tight though, so in two minds to go and buy some copper caps and solder them shut.

That mean all the plumbing from the top floor that we didn’t want is gone now. Next is the next floor down with practically identical plumbing setup.

Tags: