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Give a copper washer a second chance

To anneal a copper washer, heat the ring until the metal assumes a plum colour.

Copper washers like those used on a sump plug should be renewed every time the oil is dropped out. This is necessary, because the soft copper is compressed by the plug so will no longer seal as tightly if reused. However, if there is no other option than recycling the old washer there is a way you can freshen it up.
Slide the washer on a hook and heat it with a lighter until it changes its colour. The copper absorbs the heat very quickly and reaches a temperature of more than 100°C, which is enough to anneal the copper so it will give nearly the same degree of sealing as a new washer.

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Last updated: 17.09.2014
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