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amakarevic 06-09-2008 03:50 PM

misfits b/ween copper supply pipe and fittings
does this happen to me only

i keep getting misfits between copper supply pipe and fittings. one classic example is with 1/2 inch caps. i have been an amateur plumber for over a year now and, when i look back, the chances that a 1/2 inch cap will fit comfortably on a pipe is somewhere around 40%. most of the time, the pipe is either too wide or the cap is too narrow, or either or both are disfigured.

happens with other fitting types.

what the heck is happening here ? are the pipe or fittings getting disfigured (oval in cross-section) ? or am i doing something wrong ???


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bob22 06-09-2008 06:04 PM

how are your cutting your tubing? perhaps you are distorting the round shape? I assume you are buying correct sized fittings.

DUDE! 06-09-2008 06:37 PM

Bob may have hit on something with how your pipe cutter is working, had a problem with a tube cutter at work, brand new, the wheel wasn't right and it left a burr on the end of the cut. Just throwing this out there, trying to help, be sure to clean the ends good with steel wool or emery cloth to get a good smooth finish. And to actually answer your question, I don't have call to do alot of soldering on a regular basis but haven't come across that problem of fittings.

Termite 06-09-2008 07:30 PM

I've had it happen, but rarely. It is usually when I use a sawzall or hacksaw to cut the pipe.

I'm with the other guys in thinking that you're cutting your pipe wrong. It is reasonably easy to distort a pipe, even with a pipe cutter. Only advance the cutter wheel a little at a time and don't crank it down in the same position every time. I always give the cutter at least two turns before cranking it down. If I tighten it once at the 180* position, after a couple turns I'll next crank it down at 360*, and so on.

majakdragon 06-10-2008 10:15 AM

My guess is that you either have a cheap cutter (with no roller or bad cutter wheel) or you are trying to cut too fast and "cranking" so hard you are disfiguring the copper ends. The cutter wheels don't last forever so you need to look and see if it is flat on the edge or has a piece out of it.

amakarevic 06-10-2008 11:01 AM

you are probably right. when i look back, i do twist that thing kind of fast to minimize the number of spins. i will be gentler in the future. also, as was said above, reaming and sanding the edge could certainly help, rather than just doing the round brush cleaning thing.

skymaster 06-10-2008 12:39 PM

also carry a small flat metal file to hit the rolled burr on the outer edge that I think you are getting. Totally agree it is cutter or the way you are using it.
IMHO if n it dont say Rigid or Imp toss it and get a new one :}:}:}:}

amakarevic 06-10-2008 03:58 PM

i have a RIDGID and the top screw was getting undone so i rarely use it. i also got a much bigger (up to 1 3/4 inch) Lennox for when i was doing 1.5 inch pipe for radiators last year and just use that now.

could it be that a large cutter is not applicable for 0.5 inch pipe ?

JDC 06-10-2008 08:39 PM

I sometimes use my Rigid #20s which cut up to 2" copper on 1/2". It does work, but it is also VERY easy to overcrank the cutter and distort the smaller copper tubing sizes. Thats my guess as to what your trouble is.

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