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franko 10-26-2006 02:45 PM

Old coper pipe could not be loosened
I have an older home and was recently redoing some of the water lines. I wanted to use an existing pipe and place a new elbow and continue on to a sink with new coper. Because of the location I didn't want to lose too much of the old pipe by cuttting it so I tried to heat the old sodder to remove the old elbow fitting and go from there. However matter how long I heated the old elbow and pipe it would not loosen the sodder nor would it remelt. What gives?

Thanks in advance for any help


majakdragon 10-26-2006 04:24 PM

You probably have water sitting it the line. If you cannot figure out a place to drain the line, you will probably end up cutting it to release the water and then use a repair coupling to reinstall the line.

Ron The Plumber 10-26-2006 05:53 PM

Use a wetvac to help remove the water out of the line.

troubleseeker 10-27-2006 10:14 PM

There is water in the lines, which acts like a heat sink and conducts the heat away as fast as you apply it. Shut the water off (obviously), then open the lowest faucet or drain valve you can find, along with a couple of sink/lavatory/tub faucets to allow air into the lines. If your location happens to be a very low spot in the piping run, drill a hole in the bottom of the elbow to help it drain. It will still take a little longer than usual to heat up the joint, but it should release. After the fitting is off, melt the existing solder and wipe it from the pipe with a heavy rag. Clean both inside and out of the pipes, and use plenty of flux.

majakdragon 10-28-2006 07:36 AM

Unless the piping is in a basement, with water using fixtures there, the outside faucets are usually the lowest points in the system. As mentioned, open some faucets to allow air to help drain the water out.

boman47k 10-28-2006 07:07 PM

If you didn't have any faucets open when applying the heat, be glad the pipe/tube did not blow up in your face! Enough heat and water in a confined place means pressure and possible explosion.

P.S. It might be safe, but there has been a few times I thought about drilling in something that was holding water, but I have this thing about water running down on something electrical I am holding in my hand.

P.S.S. Maybe saw a slit in it with a hacksaw. I might would do that.

boman47k 10-28-2006 07:16 PM

Can you back up a little ways and cut the pipe with tubing cutter and go with a new tee? I'm thinking 1/2" tubing here. If you have any other braches of this pipe near where you are applying heat, might want to place some sort of heat sink between them and the area being heated. If not, you might wind up with a lot of leaks elsewhere when the water is turned back on.

franko 10-29-2006 07:10 AM

Copper Fitting
Thanks all for the posts. I suppected water might be the cuprit but since I had opened the lowest faucet I figured it would have drained out. Problem solved

Thanks again to all!


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