HOW TO PULL A VACUUM – Apprentices – Quick TRV change – Plumbing Tips

Posted by in Plumber Talk, on June 28, 2017


How to pull a vacuum on a F and E or gravity fed heating system. Great for quick TRV, radiator valve changes and small jobs where draining the whole system can be problematic. Plus it will save you a bunch on inhibitor! This video is not for your average DIYer, more for the proper plumber and apprentice looking to learn, so don’t try this at home!

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Hey if you’ve been lucky enough to stumble across this plumberparts.co.uk video, all about how to quickly change a radiator valve over, then great, we’re gonna get to that any minute now. Before you do, please click on one of the cards that’s appearing right now, they’re available throughout the whole of the video, to subscribe to our channel. We do lots of photos, lots of videos of plumbing disasters all the time, and you’re gonna love it! So we’ll see you there. Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed this video, hold tight.
I suppose you’re here to learn about how to change one of these radiator valves real easy, real quickly. Well let’s get down to it, hold tight.
So this video is a little bit naughty, because I’m going to be telling you how to do something that maybe you shouldn’t need to know how to do. But sometimes, it’s actually easy to change a little radiator valve like this one here. You just have to slap this knot off and this knot off without actually having to drain the whole heating system down. Now, on a gravity-fed heating system, we call that pulling a vacuum. And it is one of those things you only do on a job where you’ve only got a very quick little bit to do. It’s not like when you change a radiator over and doing a lot of part work. It’s for actually doing just little valve changes like this. Quick and easy. And the pros of doing this is means you don’t have to drain the whole heating system out, which obviously saves you time, but it’s also saves the customer from having to put another tub of inhibitor in. Sometimes you get away with it, although on this job here, I’m always going to top that up. I always have so many tubs of inhibitor in the van. Just a good idea, whenever you do any work, just to pump a little bit in anyway. So then, what is a vacuum I hear you ask. And I’m kind of already while we’re doing this video coming back to the idea that really, this is just going to be interesting for those of you who are plumbers or apprentices, not so much for your normal DIY, because personally, I don’t recommend they do this.
You need to have real good knowledge of heating systems. You need to have a good idea of how to use all the equipment how to rug out, and all that sort of stuff. And it’s very important that you’re quick, because sometimes the vacuum can break, and sometimes you do that and you’ve got a three-story house on top of your water. It can be a bit bum-knippy, put it that way.
Especially when you’re an apprentice. So anyways, a quick demonstration about what a vacuum is. Imagine we got this straw here, okay, and we’ve got a glass of water like this. Now the top of the straw is if you’ve got an F and E system, so imagine there’s a tin cup here at the top and also a little expansion pipe going in there, the little vent pipe. If we’ve got a system that’s full of water, so like that, if we don’t bung the expansion or the F and E tank, which is what we’re going to do in a minute, when we start draining out, you’ll notice the water comes out straight away with that, just falls out.
Which means, if you’re going to take anything off, like a radiator valve or anything like that, then that water’s going to come out as well.
You’re going to have heating systems throughout the water, radiators, everything’s going to be coming out. You’re going to have be like Ayrton Senna to be able to get that off that quick. Put it back on without cracking a bit from problem, especially if you’ve got an old sludgy system or something like that, black water everywhere doesn’t make a happy customer. So let’s say, that we do bung our own expansion pipe and our F&E pipe. Now I’ll do that by just popping my finger over the end. So we gonna pop her in here just like that, pop our finger over the end like so, and then when we drain the system out, you see that, all that water stayed in the system. If the bung breaks, and the vacuum breaks, “blop”, like that, and that’s a whole heating-systems’ worth of water. So now we’re gonna pop up into the loft and bung the system and basically get it ready to put a vacuum on it. Steven! Can I borrow your steps mate? Cheers! Alright, so up in the loft, this is the sort of thing we need to look for. So we found our tank, there’s our expansion pipe and there is our vent pipe or whatever you want to call it.

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