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Old 11-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


Hi all-

I'm looking for confirmation that I have a solid plan for replacing a length of pipe.

I have a section of pipe in my basement that has always bothered me. I'm told it was installed decades ago as part of a "whole house filter." Anyway, I want to remove the "elbows" to get a mirror behind there as this room is a home gym.


My plan:
  1. Shut off main and drain
  2. Temporarily unstrap the grounding cable from the length to be replaced
  3. Remove paint at spots where I'll make my cuts
  4. Take an angle grinder with a metal cutting blade to the section I'm removing
  5. File the ends
  6. Sand the ends of the existing pipe and the ends of the new pipe and the collars
  7. Apply flux to all joining spots
  8. Assemble in place
  9. Solder the four "joints"
  10. Wipe with rag
  11. Restrap grounding cable
  12. Turn on main and hope


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Old 11-18-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


Your plan will work. Just make sure you have room to push the pipe up so you can get the couplings in. If you don't have room, get one slip coupling if the ones you have aren't. A slip coupling doesn't have a stop inside of it so it will slide onto a pipe without stopping.

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Old 11-18-2013, 06:58 PM   #3
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


after shutting the main water that is the cold riser to that gate valve.open all the cold water faucets above your going to vent the cold pipe out of the 1st cut.... don't do any soldering till it is just dripping.clean all the paint off the exsisting pipes and you will need another coupling to put that new copper in...flux the pipe and fittings then install ,keep the torch about 1" or 2 away from the copper hitting the fitting let the heat melt the solder don't move the torch around heating the coupling will melt the solder at he connection...dip the solder in the flux and wipe with a paper towel...work clean when soft soldering or it will turn into a nightmare.that paint can't mix with the solder and flux when you torch the pipe

Last edited by biggles; 11-18-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


Take back the pipe. All you need is sleeves where the T's where. You will have to remove the paint from the piping, before you do your fix. Now of course the quick and dirty way is just to use Shark Bites, which will last as long as a Compression or Soldered fitting.

You can probably use the torch to heat up the paint, to remove it, but wear a mask, or rent a breathing apparatus, that uses filtered air from a compressor, so you are not breathing the fumes from the paint, in case it contains Lead. Otherwise, you can use paint stripper, then use TSP when you wipe the pipe down, and then warm soapy water, then do the slip fittings to go in place of those T's.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


Two caps would do it. Cut off at the T and cap the two ends.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Take back the pipe. All you need is sleeves where the T's where.
How is this going to work? If you cut out the T's there isn't enough pipe left for the couplings to connect.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:46 PM   #7
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


Quote:
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Two caps would do it. Cut off at the T and cap the two ends.
Ayuh,.... Really,... Why replace what's already there,....
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:48 PM   #8
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


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Originally Posted by djlandkpl View Post
How is this going to work? If you cut out the T's there isn't enough pipe left for the couplings to connect.
The "T"s stay, 'n get capped,... remove the loop,...
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:50 PM   #9
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


I wouldn't unstrap the grounding cable.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #10
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


Quote:
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Two caps would do it. Cut off at the T and cap the two ends.
Considered that - my thought was doing it this way would eliminate a pointless and aging gate valve there in the middle - and that capped T's might create turbulence...I have no idea if that's accurate.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:58 PM   #11
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


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I wouldn't unstrap the grounding cable.
Not disconnect - just temporarily reposition the portion that is zip-tied to the water line it so I can cut through the pipe without worrying about it.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:59 PM   #12
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


All of the above will work.....

Now...me being the OCD person I am...I hate joints...joints are potential leaks....I personally would be removing as many joints as possible.

One thing I learned doing my plumbing...unless the inside of the pipe is debured...it makes noise.

A few years ago I replaced the gate valve for my incoming water line with a real ball valve. When I pulled it apart I noticed that none of the fittings were debured. I should also note that the smallest of water flow could easily be heard in the kitchen where the water line enters the house.

After I rebuilt the line.....no noise.

So...what ever you do...debur those pipes....they have a debur tool in the plumbing section or you can use a uni-bit in a drill.

And...I can't stress enough getting the connections clean....I use 220 sand paper...and then the brush.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:01 PM   #13
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


IMO, sharkbyte couplings are quick and easy. Replace gate valve with sharkbyte ball valve if needed. No need to remove ground strap.

Last edited by jmon; 11-18-2013 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:02 PM   #14
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


If the strap is at the bottom, it can stay there, since you are just getting rid of that box. I would though change out the Gate at the bottom, go with a 1/4 turn Ball valve. If you can shut off the Curb with a Crescent wrench, you may get lucky. Otherwise call your utility and tell them what and when you are doing the work, and they may have someone come by to shut off the main, then turn it back on, if you can do the fix on that main shut off.

I would just barter with who they send, if you cannot get a Curb key, with maybe buying them lunch, while they wait for you to change out the in house shut-off. Then you can take your time doing the other fix.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:07 PM   #15
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Replacing a Length of Copper Pipe


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
IMO, sharkbyte couplings are quick and easy. Replace gate valve with sharkbyte ball valve. No need to remove ground strap.
Actually they have to bond across where you place the Shark Bites, since the plastic in the fittings do not allow the piping to be a continuous section out to the meter, if they have Copper all the way out from the house.

Shark bites are fine for under sinks, and in the basement where you need to do a quick fix, or do not want to work with a torch, they are fine, but personally I still call my guy to come and solder the piping together, when I need anything done for the Potable water in my house.

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