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Old 02-08-2011, 01:52 PM   #1
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copper or brass?


Hello:

I am redoing my bathroom and wanted to move the plumbing to the opposite wall. I plan on running copper piping but wanted to know what the best ball valve and elbows to use. I see copper and brass ball valves and drop ear elbows, which ones should I use?

Thanks,
Matt

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Old 02-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #2
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copper or brass?


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Originally Posted by zephed666 View Post
Hello:

I am redoing my bathroom and wanted to move the plumbing to the opposite wall. I plan on running copper piping but wanted to know what the best ball valve and elbows to use. I see copper and brass ball valves and drop ear elbows, which ones should I use?

Thanks,
Matt
Ball valves around here are brass. The drop ear elbows are used to secure the shower arm plumbing. I don't see why you would use them elsewhere as the rest of the fittings will be copper.
Ron

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Old 02-08-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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copper or brass?


I buy valves from a plumbing supply house, not HD or Lowe's, they are better quality. I always buy Watts valves, which are brass.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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copper or brass?


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Ball valves around here are brass. The drop ear elbows are used to secure the shower arm plumbing. I don't see why you would use them elsewhere as the rest of the fittings will be copper.
Ron
I have seen some brass ball valves and wasn;t sure about them I am using the drop ear elbow to secure the shower arm, I was also going to use it for the drop ell. Is that the correct thing to do?
It is a Moen A725 drop ell - http://www.faucetdirect.com/mediabas...spec_sheet.pdf
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:40 PM   #5
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copper or brass?


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I buy valves from a plumbing supply house, not HD or Lowe's, they are better quality. I always buy Watts valves, which are brass.

Which would be the best to use- the threaded valves or soldered?
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:42 PM   #6
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copper or brass?


If you are comfortable with soldering them, then I'd solder them. Besides, if you use threaded connections, you have to solder male adapters anyway to have a place to screw them on.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:18 PM   #7
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copper or brass?


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Which would be the best to use- the threaded valves or soldered?
I think one thing to consider is how good your soldering skills are. Soldering a valve on exposes the valve to a lot of heat. I saw a soldered on ball valve that could not be turned after the solder job was done (by a solar panel installer). I assume that the non-metal sealing part of the valve fused to the brass. When he tried to really force the handle to turn, he broke the stem right off. He had to replace the valve but was a little more careful with the heat the next time.

OTOH, you can solder a threaded adapter on with more heat than necessary with no effect on a threaded valve since the valve is installed when everything has cooled off. I personally use threaded ball valves when ever possible though I consider my sweating skills comparable (but not equal) to pro plumbers.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 02-08-2011 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:36 PM   #8
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copper or brass?


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I think one thing to consider is how good your soldering skills are. Soldering a valve on exposes the valve to a lot of heat. I saw a soldered on ball valve that could not be turned after the solder job was done (by a solar panel installer). I assume that the non-metal sealing part of the valve fused to the brass. When he tried to really force the handle to turn, he broke the stem right off. He had to replace the valve but was a little more careful with the heat the next time.

OTOH, you can solder a threaded adapter on with more heat than necessary with no effect on a threaded valve since the valve is installed when everything has cooled off. I personally use threaded ball valves when ever possible though I consider my sweating skills comparable (but not equal) to pro plumbers.

HRG

I have minimal soldering skills. So I want to do the simpliest way.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:02 PM   #9
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If you are comfortable with soldering them, then I'd solder them. Besides, if you use threaded connections, you have to solder male adapters anyway to have a place to screw them on.

I had a question about after you apply the solder. I see some people say to clean the pipe with a damp rag when others say to apply a little more flux while the pipe is warm and then they clean it. Which way is the best way?
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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copper or brass?


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Originally Posted by zephed666 View Post
I have seen some brass ball valves and wasn;t sure about them I am using the drop ear elbow to secure the shower arm, I was also going to use it for the drop ell. Is that the correct thing to do?
It is a Moen A725 drop ell - http://www.faucetdirect.com/mediabas...spec_sheet.pdf
This is a wall mount for a hand held shower unit. The hose connects to this and is either attached to an adjustable rod or the shower head sits in a holder.
The drop ell I was referring to sits behind the wall and the shower arm screws into it.
The Moen exterior ell is usually used with a 2 shower setup. One stationary head and 1 hand held unit.
To clean the pipe after soldering, I just wipe the pipe with a damp rag. I would use the threaded ball valves for now. You can practice soldering without subjecting the ball valve to any heat what so ever.
Ron
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:12 AM   #11
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copper or brass?


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I have minimal soldering skills. So I want to do the simpliest way.
Then recommend soldering a threaded adapter and use a threaded ball valve.

It's possible to apply too much solder and have excess solder end up "inside" of the pipe/fitting. A rule of thumb my plumber brother taught me is to estimate the length of solder that "flows into the fitting" to match the diameter of copper pipe used. IOW, 1/2" solder for 1/2" pipe, 3/4" solder for 3/4" pipe, etc. (This is assuming that one moves the solder around the joint at the proper speed.) Note that external solder drips don't count. For example, one could melt 1-1/4" of solder for 3/4" pipe with 3/4" of solder in the fitting and 1/2" of the solder in external drips.

A good way to practice is to clamp a short length of copper pipe in a vise vertically and solder a copper coupler and another short piece of pipe to it keeping in mind the rule of thumb above. Apply heat only to the "fitting" and never the pipes. Then look inside of the pipe to see how much excess solder there is. Then take the joint apart and see if the pipes and fitting lacks solder. Do the same thing with the pipe clamped horizontally. Exercises worth doing for the cost of 2 copper couplers and some scrap pipes to have confidence that the real soldered joints are pro quality.

HRG
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:03 AM   #12
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copper or brass?


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This is a wall mount for a hand held shower unit. The hose connects to this and is either attached to an adjustable rod or the shower head sits in a holder.
The drop ell I was referring to sits behind the wall and the shower arm screws into it.
The Moen exterior ell is usually used with a 2 shower setup. One stationary head and 1 hand held unit.
To clean the pipe after soldering, I just wipe the pipe with a damp rag. I would use the threaded ball valves for now. You can practice soldering without subjecting the ball valve to any heat what so ever.
Ron
Don't you need to use the drop ear elbow to connect the Moen Exterior Ell? It is a two shower setup and one water line runs to the shower head and the other runs to the handheld connect to the drop ell...
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by zephed666 View Post
Don't you need to use the drop ear elbow to connect the Moen Exterior Ell? It is a two shower setup and one water line runs to the shower head and the other runs to the handheld connect to the drop ell...
It depends on the reach of the Moen threads. The top ell is threaded into by the shower arm which is straight and can reach into the ell for a distance. The Moen device can only reach in so far and it gets installed on top of the tiles. It needs to be screwed in enough so it doesn't leak, but enough so that the back is snug to the wall.
Use whatever set up will work. If you need to mock up a few setups, do it now. Once the pipes are soldered and the tile is up is not the time to find out there's an issue.
Ron
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:25 AM   #14
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It depends on the reach of the Moen threads. The top ell is threaded into by the shower arm which is straight and can reach into the ell for a distance. The Moen device can only reach in so far and it gets installed on top of the tiles. It needs to be screwed in enough so it doesn't leak, but enough so that the back is snug to the wall.
Use whatever set up will work. If you need to mock up a few setups, do it now. Once the pipes are soldered and the tile is up is not the time to find out there's an issue.
Ron

Have you ever worked with one of the Moen ells or any other brand setup like this? How would they normally be attached to the water line? the manual is very vague on the setup...

I planned on using the drop ear elbow and then using a brass nipple to adjust for the wall/tile thickness to connect to the Moen drop ell...

Last edited by zephed666; 02-09-2011 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:08 AM   #15
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copper or brass?


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Have you ever worked with one of the Moen ells or any other brand setup like this? How would they normally be attached to the water line? the manual is very vague on the setup...

I planned on using the drop ear elbow and then using a brass nipple to adjust for the wall/tile thickness to connect to the Moen drop ell...
I've used the Hansgrohe setup which looks the same. I also used the brass nipple setup, but you still need to mock up the setup. The nipple needs to be tight in the wall cavity and needs to project the correct amount through the wall. If I remember it's about 5/8-3/4" for the Hansgrohe. The instructions for the Moen should state the correct projection you need.
Ron

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