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fred54 03-31-2013 04:41 PM

soft copper pipe issues
It's Easter Sunday, we're at my Mom's anyway so I decide I'll replace the toilet since I bought it six months ago and haven't had the time to replace it.

The shutoff valve is no good, so I turn off the water and cut the valve off. As I'm cutting, the pipe deforms and I realize that she has malleable soft copper pipe in the wall.

I can't seem to cut it without deforming it and it appears even after I clean it up it is still a bigger OD than standard 1/2" copper pipe so there's no way I'm going to get a 1/2" fitting on there.

Long story short, I cleaned the inside of the pipe, fluxed it, banged it flat and soldered it shut so I can could turn the water back on. i traced the soft copper to a 3/4' supply with a tee, so next week when I have the time I will cut out the tee and install new piping. If I didn't have the knowhow to bang the pipe closed and sweat it, she would still have no water.

If I had the knowhow on how to deal with soft copper pipe, she would be fine.

What is the best way to cut it without deforming it? It is really soft.

Is the OD of soft copper different than the OD of type M?

As I said, I am going to cut it all out and replace it anyway, but I'm wondering what my options were.

(I also violated my own rule of never ever starting a plumbing job after hours or on a holiday when the stores are closed.)

joecaption 03-31-2013 04:48 PM

Got a picture?
Why did you not heat it up to remove the old shut off instead of cutting it off?
Then you could have used a compression fitting.
A dull cutter is a sure way to crush the tubing.

oh'mike 03-31-2013 04:52 PM

Soft copper requires a very sharp tubing cutter----and a gentile hand---many turns --shallow cut--

try the job with a good cutter----

fred54 03-31-2013 05:02 PM

I didn't heat it up because I am an idiot. I guess if I change my cutter wheels I wouldn't have malformed the pipe.

That does answer my question about the OD being the same for soft and for hard though and I do appreciate that.

Thanks as always!

oh'mike 03-31-2013 05:10 PM

Soft copper os a challenge--the OD is the same---consider a 'shark bite' shut off valve of you have trouble next time---I've never used one---but the members here have never mentioned a failure---

TheEplumber 03-31-2013 08:31 PM

199 Attachment(s)
soft copper is available in 1/2" od and 5/8" od
5/8" is also the od of standard hard drawn copper pipe K,L & M pipe are all the same od

Maintenance 6 04-01-2013 02:13 PM

And for what it's worth, I wouldn't use any type M on a domestic water system. Type L minimum.

COLDIRON 04-02-2013 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 (Post 1150282)
And for what it's worth, I wouldn't use any type M on a domestic water system. Type L minimum.

I second that.

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