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Thread: Black water pipe

  1. #1
    Senior Member ladycrofter's Avatar
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    Black water pipe

    Can anyone tell me about old black water pipe (alkathene)? I have a lin ecoming out of an old underground toby and want to put a modern trough on it, but IIRC you can't use fittings for blue alkathene. TIA

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Not 100% sure but I think on some you can use the same fittings. If not there will be adaptor fittings available Ie. modern coupling with an insert designed for older pipe going into one end and a standard modern insert on the other.

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Thats right - you can use new 'blue' fittings but you'll need also to use an adaptor piece as well.
    You'll need to know what size of black pipe (use a magnifying glass, you might see it written on the pipe) and whether its thin walled or thick walled.

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Find your nearest Plasson stockist and they'll help you find exactly what you need.

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    Re: Black water pipe

    If you are going to join it to blue anyway, cut off an inch or two and take it in to your local plumbers' merchants. There is a good one in Tain. You'll need the plastic connector plus a red insert. I join the two regularly and its a piece of cake. No tools needed.

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    Re: Black water pipe

    all you need , but be aware if you cannot shut the supply off and use a squeeze off ,slid a slip coupler on too ,so you can slide it back over where you squeezed it off
    no need for an insert on the black or an adaptor either

    http://www.philmac.co.uk/products/3g-metricimperial/

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by ladycrofter View Post
    Can anyone tell me about old black water pipe (alkathene)? I have a lin ecoming out of an old underground toby and want to put a modern trough on it, but IIRC you can't use fittings for blue alkathene. TIA
    you can buy the adapter kit its the red coller for half inch black and green for three quarter

  8. #8
    Senior Member ladycrofter's Avatar
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    Re: Black water pipe

    Thanks everyone. I think I will cut a bit off and take it in. It is on a cut-off so no problem, to work with. Dry Rot can you PM me who it is in Tain? Not impressed with Inverness for unusual plumbing supplies.

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by d4c24a View Post
    all you need , but be aware if you cannot shut the supply off and use a squeeze off ,slid a slip coupler on too ,so you can slide it back over where you squeezed it off
    no need for an insert on the black or an adaptor either

    http://www.philmac.co.uk/products/3g-metricimperial/
    +1
    One of the easiest I have seen yet.
    No dismantling before assembling.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Footsfitter's Avatar
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    Re: Black water pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by d4c24a View Post
    all you need , but be aware if you cannot shut the supply off and use a squeeze off ,slid a slip coupler on too ,so you can slide it back over where you squeezed it off
    no need for an insert on the black or an adaptor either

    http://www.philmac.co.uk/products/3g-metricimperial/
    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    +1
    One of the easiest I have seen yet.
    No dismantling before assembling.
    Came across these last week, if its not the irrigation giving aggro then it was the Scottish & Southern contractors who had been upgrading the local 11Kv lines to "Scandinavian spec". The came back to one of our farms to do a double pole and transformer swop. They missed the BT conduit, found the old dead BT line and then scraped/nicked the old 1-1/4" black alkathene supply to the whole farm!!




    We have always had a lot of trouble sourcing fittings for this unpopular size so after stumbling over these fittings on Philmacs website I managed to locate some at the local Plumb Centre. approx 20 a piece+vat. Managed to cut the pipe on the nick and just use one slip over joiner, just don't stick a couple of fingers in an 1-1/4........they have some serious rows of teeth!!! Digger driver was chuckling as I tried to get it off as the water started rinsing around my feet!!


    They seem to have a wide tolerance because of the big soft doughnut oring that seals around the pipe. Very impressed


    ff

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    Senior Member fergieman's Avatar
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    Re: Black water pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by d4c24a View Post
    all you need , but be aware if you cannot shut the supply off and use a squeeze off ,slid a slip coupler on too ,so you can slide it back over where you squeezed it off
    no need for an insert on the black or an adaptor either

    http://www.philmac.co.uk/products/3g-metricimperial/
    +2. Makes repairs so easy, same fittings for black or blue pipe.

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Just be aware that there used to be two "classes" of black water pipe. Class C was the most recent before MDPE but before Class C there was a HD class that had an amazingly thick wall. Much easier if you can take a piece of pipe with you but Philmac etc. do all the conversion connections.

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    Re: Black water pipe

    This looks like the fitting I use to connect blue alkathene to black on the farm, but I always take a sample of the pipes with me. You can just see the red plastic insert that goes into the black pipe.

    http://www.plumbnation.co.uk/site/pl...lip-couplings/

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    Re: Black water pipe

    There are well over a dozen possible varieties of black alkathene pipe, and as others have said, Philmac nominal 20mm fittings will accept all varieties of black 1/2" (internal) but NOT '1/2" Normal Gauge' which still needs a special insert, which most plumbers merchants don't stock, unfortunately. The same applies for 25mm/ 3/4" and 32mm/ 1" including needing an adapter only for normal gauge.

    To find out what yours is, bizarrely, the best thing to do is go to the PhilMac website, then click on literature, and then download the pricelist. There doesn't appear to be an overt link to it, and it's a 48 page pdf document which takes some time to download and display, but towards the end it has tables of outside diameters and wall thicknesses for all the varieties of black alkathene: MDPE, class C HDPE, class C MDPE, class C LDPE, Class D LDPE etc. etc. and Normal Gauge as well, for the old internal nominal sizes of 1/2", 3/4" and 1" (which is near enough 1 1/4" external) plus some bigger ones.

    The one problem with the new Universal Philmac fittings is that they will NOT tolerate a sideways bending force from the pipe when the fitting is tightened: unless you hold the inlet and outlet pipes are exactly in line and parallel (or at right angles for tees or bends) the special O-ring WILL NOT SEAT PROPERLY, and you'll get a leak. In many cases it will be easier to regard tightening the fitting for larger pipes as a 2-man job: one to hold the pipes aligned, and one to do the tightening. Once the fitting is properly tightened, it doesn't do any harm to allow a bending force from the pipe, and the resulting join is entirely reliable. This seems to be the only snag of the multi-fit series of fittings, and it you're used to the old sort with special inserts etc. assembling a fitting and finding it leaks like mad is a bit disconcerting to say the least.

    By the way, you CAN use internal support inserts with metric (blue or black) alkathene pipe, but they aren't really necessary, and no support inserts are sold for the older black pipe varieties.

    If you've got a good man on the counter of your plumbers' merchant, taking the pipe in to shop can be a good idea, but beware: I had major trouble because the staff at a "Pipeline Center" (Sic) did not know of the need for special inserts to cope with Normal Gauge, and told me that the standard fitting would be OK, which it wasn't.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Footsfitter's Avatar
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    Re: Black water pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by RGSP View Post
    There are well over a dozen possible varieties of black alkathene pipe, and as others have said, Philmac nominal 20mm fittings will accept all varieties of black 1/2" (internal) but NOT '1/2" Normal Gauge' which still needs a special insert, which most plumbers merchants don't stock, unfortunately. The same applies for 25mm/ 3/4" and 32mm/ 1" including needing an adapter only for normal gauge.

    To find out what yours is, bizarrely, the best thing to do is go to the PhilMac website, then click on literature, and then download the pricelist. There doesn't appear to be an overt link to it, and it's a 48 page pdf document which takes some time to download and display, but towards the end it has tables of outside diameters and wall thicknesses for all the varieties of black alkathene: MDPE, class C HDPE, class C MDPE, class C LDPE, Class D LDPE etc. etc. and Normal Gauge as well, for the old internal nominal sizes of 1/2", 3/4" and 1" (which is near enough 1 1/4" external) plus some bigger ones.

    The one problem with the new Universal Philmac fittings is that they will NOT tolerate a sideways bending force from the pipe when the fitting is tightened: unless you hold the inlet and outlet pipes are exactly in line and parallel (or at right angles for tees or bends) the special O-ring WILL NOT SEAT PROPERLY, and you'll get a leak. In many cases it will be easier to regard tightening the fitting for larger pipes as a 2-man job: one to hold the pipes aligned, and one to do the tightening. Once the fitting is properly tightened, it doesn't do any harm to allow a bending force from the pipe, and the resulting join is entirely reliable. This seems to be the only snag of the multi-fit series of fittings, and it you're used to the old sort with special inserts etc. assembling a fitting and finding it leaks like mad is a bit disconcerting to say the least.

    By the way, you CAN use internal support inserts with metric (blue or black) alkathene pipe, but they aren't really necessary, and no support inserts are sold for the older black pipe varieties.

    If you've got a good man on the counter of your plumbers' merchant, taking the pipe in to shop can be a good idea, but beware: I had major trouble because the staff at a "Pipeline Center" (Sic) did not know of the need for special inserts to cope with Normal Gauge, and told me that the standard fitting would be OK, which it wasn't.


    Here you go..................http://www.philmac.co.uk/wp-content/...-2013-_web.pdf


    BTW, Bet our alkathene is blacker than your East Anglian variety



    ff

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by Footsfitter View Post
    Here you go..................http://www.philmac.co.uk/wp-content/...-2013-_web.pdf

    BTW, Bet our alkathene is blacker than your East Anglian variety

    ff
    Thanks Peter.

    I can't really comment on the blackness of black alkathene, 'coz it's not black at all compared with the dawg.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Huffy's Avatar
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    Re: Black water pipe

    Yea , just cut a tiny slice off and take it into the plumbers merchants . Someone will find something to bodge on it , even if it means getting the blow lamp on it
    In my expierience , after using a lot of conex compression fittings on old Class C and then the new Class c , the new Phimac fitting were a great idea .
    Fitted UP the pipe then the outer was squeeze /crimped up by the appropriate split ring ,pushing the simple O ring into the fitting centre !
    The for some reason they went off them onto the bulkier and IMO useless later type . Then onto the latest ,which are a step forward but are very expensive for what they do !! But what do I know?
    The philmac emergency joiners are very like the old original type , and well worth keeping in your box -

  18. #18
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    Re: Black water pipe

    Another vote for Philmac fitting blue to black very easily. Big variation in supplied prices so I have discovered. What has been annoying with Philmac is the number of design changes over the years leaving me with loads of odds and sods.

    Had a bit of grief in the past with Plasson particularly if there was any hint of damage to the outer pipe wall. I may have been unlucky?

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post

    Had a bit of grief in the past with Plasson particularly if there was any hint of damage to the outer pipe wall. I may have been unlucky?
    If the outside is scratched it helps if you scrape it smooth first or if bad they do white "repair inserts" for 20mm and 25mm MDPE. Also handy if a pipe is leaking and the damage is less than the length of the fitting body as you get away with one fitting and two inserts rather than two fittings and a bit of pipe. Tightening a Plasson will not make it seal any better but the new Philmacs have to be done up quite tight. I repair pipes for a living and we use Plasson mainly but carry the new Philmac fittings to cover odd sizes and for 50 and 63mm as they slip on so much easier. They will even seal on lead and galvanize as long as you can get the pipe in the fitting but sometimes you have to file the nut out a bit. As others have said the 2nd generation of Philmacs were the work of the devil but if pipes didn't leak I would be out of a job. The best pipe for leaking is the HD black alkathene which turned out to be too brittle. 1/2" HD house supplies keep us busy year round especially as more properties get metered.

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    Re: Black water pipe

    one thing to bear in mind , service gang are transferring a few services on the job where we have just laid 1500 metres of 400mm ductile

    dug out on black poly ,looked to be 27mm put squeese off on was not paying that much attention ,in with poly cutters to find it was a non armoured electric cable

    as said before any squeezing off of black poly has to have a slip coupler put over the squeeze off area afterwards ,as that is where the next leak will be

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    Re: Black water pipe

    Lots of the houses we do have gas, electric, telephone and water in one trench and often they are all sleeved in 1 1/4" black water pipe not conduit. Even after Cat scanning it is hard to tell which is which. So far I've only cut into a phone cable that was in a 1/2"black alkathene pipe but we see blue pipe being used as conduit all over the place. People who do this should be taken out and shot dead. TWICE.

  22. #22
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    Re: Black water pipe

    Buy plasson couplers, they fit onto black alcathene pipe and no need for inserts.

    Ritchie
    Dydd da pawb.Good day everyone.

  23. #23
    Senior Member ladycrofter's Avatar
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    Re: Black water pipe

    Just to say that I got one of those universal fittings you were all speaking about - what an amazing thing! No insert, no dismantling and adjusts to pipe size. Thanks. Someone should win a prize for inventing it.

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