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Old 11-17-2008, 04:52 AM   #1
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Cool How to disconnect copper pipe from WH

I have started to replace the piping on a 72 Overlander with PEX. My first problem is how to disconnect the tubing from the WH. Any special tricks? The connections are 35 years old and two wrenches wont budge anything. I am concerned about breaking the connection into the heater. Any ideas? Penetrating oil?

I am at the point of removing the bath cabinet to get better access. What a job. Caulking is now glue LOL.

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Old 11-17-2008, 08:11 AM   #2
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When I removed the fittings from the WH, they were almost seized in place by mineral deposits and calcium. It took a bit of additional force to free the fittings from the heater. Then after removal, I had to clean up the threads a bit before installing the new fittings.

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Old 11-17-2008, 08:23 AM   #3
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Probably the hardest thing I had to do on my coach. Problem is getting your body into a comfortable position to get leverage on the wrenches. Not a fun job.

Replacing the axles was a much easier job!!
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:59 AM   #4
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Go to Home depot and get a "SMALL" tubing cutter, the at about 1 1/2 ins. square, and cut the copper at some easy to get at place close to the hot water heater and make you connection there. There is no harm in leaving a couple of inches of copper hanging off the back of the water heater.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:21 PM   #5
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I have been soaking the fittings in "FREE ALL " for a few days. Every time I pass the trailer I go in squirt a few shots on the fittings. I'll tackle the job tomorrow. Free ALL is the best penetrating fluid I have ever found. Much better than PBT Blaster.

I was going to cut the tube off and leave a pig tail expect a prior repair is done so poorly that i can not remove the exhaust fan with any of the existing piping remaining. How the repair was none is a real mystery. There is a compression nipple on the inlet port. then the standard flair nut. If I can get the compression nipple off, I'll leave the pig tail. The exit pipe is also a problem..... from a position standpoint.
No wonder the RV places want $1600 to replace the piping.

Thanks for the thoughts. Any more? I need to get a cheater on a wrench to get enough force on the nut.
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copper pipe, water heater

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