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Old 12-17-2006, 12:56 PM   #1
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copper line repair question

We have a split in the original copper lines. My hubby decided to cut it past the sink at an easily accessible spot and then run all new line from there. But he found out that the old copper 5/8" line has a much thicker wall then the new lines and he can't get a compression fitting the right size.

I did a quick search and noticed someone mention that they used flex hose to join the two. Is this the what we need to do or is there another method to join the two lines?
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:03 PM   #2
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You can use flex, they make adapters that should slip over the copper and seal. But I have a caution. Freeze damage ofter causes the copper to swell up like a Ball Park Frank and yoiu may actually have trouble getting a fitting for the size of copper you have to slip over the pipe. It sounds like you may already have this problem if a standard fitting from Home Depot or Lowes will not work.
It is for just this fact that I had to replace all of my copper with PEX. Look into it. All it will cost you for now is the couple of bucks for the adapter.
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:12 PM   #3
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Buttercup

Thanks for the advice. The break was all the way in the back by the hose reels. He cut it as close to the kitchen sink as he could get without tearing the sink/cabinets apart. So all else will be replaced, he just was trying not to tear more apart if he could get away with it.
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:39 PM   #4
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Your original copper pipe does not have a larger wall thickness. The pipes froze and expanded so the ferrels will not fit over the OD. Believe me, I know from first hand experience. I had to keep cutting back further and further and .... 'till it became a matter of replacing everything.
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:05 PM   #5
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That's what I had to do. There wasn't a single inch of copper that I could save. The work we did is here -Overlander '77 | Plumbing | Plumbing

It started with what I thought was going to be just a shower valve replacement. I cut off the water supply to that and attempted to pressurize the rest of my system. What I hear can only be compared to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen in Washington State. The sound was coming from everywhere!

Not knowing what you have there, I would guess that if one section was split, there are probably other damages areas in the trailer. You don't have to remove everything to repair it, but you will have to remove a lot.
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:50 PM   #6
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good luck on your plumbing nightmare,been there done that------
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:02 PM   #7
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fresh water plumbing

We had a leak in our butyl fresh water lines and it was not worth patching. The interior was not intended to be taken out so it was a Bear! to remove. Renewing the entire system with professional PEX was a superior idea and because of having access I was able to use foam pipe insulation around the perimeter. PEX won't rupture when frozen and the insulation keeps hot water heat loss in the shower feed warmer so we use less water. When I re assembled the interior I did it in such a way that I have easy access to where ever I need it. Any of you who have annual'ed an airplane know what I'm referring to. Caution there is a ID difference between Pro PEX and the kind you find at chain stores. Use one type or the other...the fittings are not interchangeable. The project was actually fun and it is one system on the old blimp I won't have to worry about. Cheers Tom
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:24 PM   #8
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Plex

I have used plex in several places in our '71 Safari. I connect it to copper and use two radiator clamps on each side of each joint. Has worked just great for several years.
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:30 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Pex

You guys are great! We looked into the PEX and wow!! - that is so easy. Beats the heck out of patching and soldering copper.
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wanderingeye
. . Caution there is a ID difference between Pro PEX and the kind you find at chain stores. Use one type or the other...the fittings are not interchangeable.
Tom,

I was unaware there is a Pro Pex. Do you have a manufacturer name or link to a spec sheet?

Appreciate the info.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:34 PM   #11
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Another question if I may. Coming out of the water heater there are three valves. One on the hot, one on the cold and another in between.
Can someone tell me what the purpose of the one in between is?
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:01 PM   #12
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I'm sure the valve is a bypass. If you close the hot and cold and open the middle valve, it should bypass the water heater.

If you care to sweat the copper back together, it can be done using a swaging (sp?) tool which will expand the ID enough to slide the new copper inside of if. (No coupling required at that joint.) It's not that hard, just be sure to clean off both pieces with emory cloth and use flux.

If you pressure test the system with air, you should be able to locate all your cracks from the sound alone.
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wannaroam
Another question if I may. Coming out of the water heater there are three valves. One on the hot, one on the cold and another in between.
Can someone tell me what the purpose of the one in between is?
By pass. Close the valves to the heater and open the center valve.

The way to repair the copper is to cut out the splits and swage in a new section and sweat (solder) it in. I have done it hundres of times on copper lines in homes and several times on trailers.

Good luck Jim
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:44 PM   #14
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Hello,
I had oversize copper due to freezing. I tried using my flare tool by putting the 1/2" pipe in the vice and tightening it down. It worked! It compressed the pipe just enough to sweat a standard fitting on. Try it out.
Dave
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