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Old 04-24-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


Long story short, I am putting in a new toilet. The shutoff valve was seized so I cut it off and hoped to put on a 1/2" compression fitting. But it doesn't fit!! I measured the supply line (I think copper, but it looks more like brass) coming out of the wall with my digital caliper, and the OD is 0.675", as opposed to the standard 0.625" (5/8").

I've been to Home Depot 4 times today, Lowe's once and Ace Hardware once. Nobody seems to be able to help me or have an adapter or something that will fit, short of ripping the entire pipe out of the wall and replacing with a standard 1/2" copper pipe. I tried cutting a short length of copper pipe, attaching the shutoff valve to it, then connecting that to the supply line with a rubber hose and clamps. But that isn't working too well and I don't trust it not to leak. I need something more permanent.

Please help I have no toilet and I can't even turn the water back on to the house because my bathroom will flood if I do.

Thanks!

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Old 04-25-2009, 06:35 AM   #2
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


Was it thicker than a piece of copper?? It most likely was a 3/8 pipe, and is screwed into a fitting behind the wall, but the old valve should also have been screwed to the pipe.

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Old 04-25-2009, 08:29 AM   #3
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


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Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
Was it thicker than a piece of copper?? It most likely was a 3/8 pipe, and is screwed into a fitting behind the wall, but the old valve should also have been screwed to the pipe.
Yes, the wall thickness of the pipe is much thicker than a regular piece of copper. And yes, the old valve was screwed on. The old valve was seized, so I cut it off, including the threads.

The house is 75 years old, if that helps at all.

Last edited by dc4nomore; 04-25-2009 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:03 AM   #4
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


Is the other end of the pipe, the part still in the wall, threaded?

If so, you're probably going to have to remove it by unscrewing (hopefully you can do it with a small pipe wrench), and replace it with a piece of copper with a male fitting.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:17 AM   #5
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


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Originally Posted by LookoutRanch View Post
Is the other end of the pipe, the part still in the wall, threaded?

If so, you're probably going to have to remove it by unscrewing (hopefully you can do it with a small pipe wrench), and replace it with a piece of copper with a male fitting.
I'm not sure. I can't see it, but it probably is. Would I be able to rethread the part sticking out and use a 3/8" female iron pipe fitting?
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:05 AM   #6
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


Take the old nipple out. If your cut is that close to the wall you probably won't be able to get a die on the pipe in the first place and you will wind up messing up your wall. You are looking at a 3/8" threaded brass nipple and will probably have to stick with a threaded stop.
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:40 AM   #7
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I'm not sure. I can't see it, but it probably is. Would I be able to rethread the part sticking out and use a 3/8" female iron pipe fitting?
I'd think about going ahead and knocking a hole in the wall to have a look at the the other end of the nipple.

As someone mentioned, it's probably a brass nipple, and it could probably be replaced with any standard threaded pipe of the same size.

Could you rethread the piece you have? Yes, if you have room.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:48 PM   #8
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


I got it!!!

I went to a local plumbing supply store (thank god they were open on a saturday!), and the guy there gave me a couple ideas. I took a copper reducer coupling and slipped the smaller end INSIDE my brass pipe and soldered it in place. The other end of the coupling is 1/2", so I put a simple compression shut off valve on there. And it worked! NO LEAKS!!

The guy at the store said this isn't exactly the "proper" way to do this or anything, but it just happens to work. I'm not sure if it will meet code or not. I'm planning on doing a full remodel of the bathroom sometime this summer and will have all the walls torn out, so I will see about replacing that brass nipple with another one threaded on both ends, then I can just put a 3/8 iron size threaded stop on there.

Thanks a lot for the help!
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:34 PM   #9
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


Congrats on getting it working. I cant say "fixed" because it really isnt yet. I'm not entirely sure why (if there was at least enough of the nipple left to consider rethreading) you didnt just replace the nipple. If you hadnt had a brass nipple to begin with, say you had galvanized, you wouldnt have been able to solder the reducing coupling in and you'd be...SOL. I know you said the valve was seized, but with some penetrating oil, pipe wrench and patience I'd bet dollars to donuts it would come out.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dc4nomore View Post
I got it!!!

I went to a local plumbing supply store (thank god they were open on a saturday!), and the guy there gave me a couple ideas. I took a copper reducer coupling and slipped the smaller end INSIDE my brass pipe and soldered it in place. The other end of the coupling is 1/2", so I put a simple compression shut off valve on there. And it worked! NO LEAKS!!

The guy at the store said this isn't exactly the "proper" way to do this or anything, but it just happens to work. I'm not sure if it will meet code or not. I'm planning on doing a full remodel of the bathroom sometime this summer and will have all the walls torn out, so I will see about replacing that brass nipple with another one threaded on both ends, then I can just put a 3/8 iron size threaded stop on there.

Thanks a lot for the help!

Congratulations on a creative fix! And thank goodness for a thoughtful hardware guy willing to put his mind to it for you.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:24 AM   #11
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


The idea the store clerk gave you may not be such a good idea in the long run. What you now have is the copper reducer coupling only soldered in a "ring" to the original copper pipe. This is a very fragile connection. When sweating copper fittings together you should have a nice area of bonded material for strength. As I stated, you now only have the "ring" where the reducer coupling touches the inside of the copper piping. Sometime soon, I would advise you to replace the copper pipe you cut, even if you have to cut out a piece of wall material to see what is back there. Thanks, David
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:42 AM   #12
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


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Congrats on getting it working. I cant say "fixed" because it really isnt yet. I'm not entirely sure why (if there was at least enough of the nipple left to consider rethreading) you didnt just replace the nipple. If you hadnt had a brass nipple to begin with, say you had galvanized, you wouldnt have been able to solder the reducing coupling in and you'd be...SOL. I know you said the valve was seized, but with some penetrating oil, pipe wrench and patience I'd bet dollars to donuts it would come out.
The valve itself was seized, but I didn't even try to loosen the valve threads from the brass nipple. It looked like it was on there pretty good, and I figured it would be easier to simply cut it off. Plus, I'd rather have a compression fitting on there than a screw type. I didn't know at the time that a 1/2" fitting would not fit.

By "nipple", do you mean the entire horizontal piece of brass, from where it sticks out of the wall, to where it connects to the vertical piece in the wall? If so, I'd have to break out a decent portion of the tile on the wall and the wall itself to get to the other end. Since I plan on breaking all that stuff out anyway this summer when I remodel in there, I will replace the brass piece at that time. Hopefully the copper piece I soldered in will hold until then.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
The idea the store clerk gave you may not be such a good idea in the long run. What you now have is the copper reducer coupling only soldered in a "ring" to the original copper pipe. This is a very fragile connection. When sweating copper fittings together you should have a nice area of bonded material for strength. As I stated, you now only have the "ring" where the reducer coupling touches the inside of the copper piping. Sometime soon, I would advise you to replace the copper pipe you cut, even if you have to cut out a piece of wall material to see what is back there. Thanks, David
That's a good point you make - there isn't nearly the connection area as with a regular coupling. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that it will hold for a few months, until the big remodel...
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:27 PM   #14
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Need Help! Non-standard pipe size??


If you are going to tear out the wall this summer, Why in the world are you taking a chance with a fix that has a risk of flooding your house while you are out? Just open the wall and screw out the nipple. It's pretty easy for anyone with a wrench.
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:27 AM   #15
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If you are going to tear out the wall this summer, Why in the world are you taking a chance with a fix that has a risk of flooding your house while you are out? Just open the wall and screw out the nipple. It's pretty easy for anyone with a wrench.
Alright, alright. Enough of you guys saying this has got me second guessing how well it will hold. I'll bust open the wall this coming weekend and see what's hiding in there. If it looks as easy as you all say, I'll go ahead and replace the nipple. I'll keep you updated on the progress, along with any problems.

Thanks again!

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