Copper to PVC leak

I'm installing a water softener at the house and can't seem to get it right. Out of the wall is 1 inch copper pipe. I've sweated on a copper 1 inch threaded male adapter. The soldered joint is good - no leak :). Then I've wrapped teflon tape clockwise onto the copper threads and attached a 1 inch female threaded PVC adapter to transition to PVC for the rest of the job. Now I have a leak!! :( about 1 drop per minute at the threaded joint. I've retaped and tried several times to stop the leak, but no luck.
I did the same thing for the 'outlet' and have no leak... Am I doing something wrong? Is there a better way to go from copper to PVC? Could the PVC adapter be damaged? (it looks OK on visual inspection)
Any suggestions and recommendations are welcomed!
Thanks.
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Yes. If after many tries it still leaks, try a new fitting. Could be defective on the copper end also.
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Chris wrote:

<SNIP>
Never use a female adapter on the PVC side. Reverse everything so that the PVC terminates in a male adapter.
You *may* get the present arrangement to stop leaking but, over time, the female adapter will fail due to the outward forces of the tapered threads.
Don't forget to add a bonding jumper around the plastic piping.
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

Correct on both points. Plastic to metal connections should always be male plastic to female metal. I learned that the hard way after laying a new hydrant line. Middle of winter with a couple feet of snew got a massive leak. Fortunately I was able to bypass that line. When dug up in the spring I found that I had done the female plastic to iron error and it had split on the parting line. Just screwing them together puts a big strain trying to force the female fitting apart.
Harry K
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Thanks everyone for the tips! Back to the store for more parts!
Jim, what is a 'bonding jumper' ?
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Chris wrote:

I do alot of plastic to copper joints & have found the Teflon paste is much better than the tape.
MikeB
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Chris,

I'll second or third the recommendation NOT to use female plastic threaded adapters. The few times I've used them, the metal fitting ALWAYS cracks the plastic fitting at the seam. They shouldn't be allowed to sell those things.
If you're going to use threaded adapters, use a female copper adapter, and a male PVC adapter.
However, the best way to join copper and PVC is with a specialized fitting made for the purpose. One side is a PVC fitting that you glue to your PVC pipe. The other side is a copper fitting which you sweat to your copper pipe. The two halves are joined with a rubber gasket and a threaded coupling to tighten them together. The gasket allows the PVC to expand and contract with temperature changes without causing a leak. They're expensive (about $3 to $5 per fitting), but they work great.
Anthony
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Anthony, Thanks for the information. Do you know of any links to pictures of the specialized fitting? I'd like to see what one looks like before I go to the store - to make sure I get the right thing.
Should I be able to get this at Lowes or Home Depot or will I need to find a plumber specialty store?
Another concern I have is theres only about 2 inches of copper pipe left coming out of the wall. Once I make another cut I wont have much left to work with.
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On 19 Mar 2006 11:45:08 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

sweat it off instead of cutting it heat it up again and pull the fitting off. [ use pliers!!! ] clean with wire brush before puting new fitting on.
skeez
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Chris,
Skeez is right here but I'm going to assume you've never done this like I didn't until recently, if you have I'm wasting your time.
After you sweat the old coupling off use the wire brush gently around the fitting. After it cools then use the plumbers sandpaper on it so the new fitting will go on easier. You won't sand it back down to the copper. I would use just a little more flux than normal when you put the new coupling back on. When the flux quits bubbling or you see some of the old solder melt then stick the solder to the joint. Two more important things to do--make sure there is no water in the pipes and don't move the soldered area until it cools completely on it's own. Hope this helps--wish I had this advice to start off !
J
skeezics wrote:

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Chris,

They're called "Transition Unions". The only example I could find is at:
http://plumbing.hardwarestore.com/52-333-cpvc-unions-and - couplings/transition-union-101534.aspx
That's all one line, so watch the word wrapping...

I bought ours at Lowes, but I've also seen them at Home Depot, and our local hardware store. They're usually in the same area as all the other CPVC fittings. Some have metal rings joining the two halves, others have plastic rings joining the two halves. Either would work, but I prefer the metal rings.
All the ones I bought are for CPVC, not PVC. If you're plumbing supply lines for your water, you should use CPVC anyway.
The fittings come in a variety of configurations. I used two types:
1. A brass drop ear elbow with the gasket and CPVC fitting on the bottom. I used these for all of our shower heads, and everywhere I was going to install a shut off valve.
2. A straight "union". Female brass threads on one side, CPVC fitting on the other. I used these at our hot water heater, and anywhere I installed a water hammer arrester.

Two options.
1. Leave your current copper male fitting in place, and get one of the transition unions that have a brass female thread. Then just thread on the new fitting with teflon tape.
2. Heat the fitting with a torch as others have suggested and pull it off instead of cutting the pipe. Clean up the end before sweating on the new fitting.
One note... Be sure to slip the joining ring over the correct end of the pipe, and facing the right direction, before gluing or sweating the fittings. I forgot to do that once or twice and had to cut out the lines and redo them, with another $5 fitting. :)
Take care,
Anthony
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