Flared fittings on type L tubing?

I installed a heating oil line recently. Code required type L or M (not refrigeration) tubing, and flare or soldered fittings. I used some 1/2" OD Type L, and in one place I used a flare fitting. I've done flares on soft tubing before, but doing this tubing was hard as heck. It took a lot of torque to get a flare, and the flare was prone to crack or come out off-kilter. It took several tries to get a halfway decent flare. Unfortunately, halfway decent was not enough, and the fitting has developed a slow leak. Am I doing something wrong? Can type L be flared? Does it need to be annealed somehow first? Do I need a better tool (the one I have is a fairly cheap tool)? Or should I solder on a short piece of soft tube and flare that?
Thanks,
Kelly
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On Apr 20, 12:33 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Answering my own question here... First, correction, it is 3/8" OD, not 1/2... Also, I picked up a better-quality, "heavy-duty" tool at Home Despot, and this tool seems to do a great job. The older tool was cheap, chinese quality, and tough it worked fine on soft copper, not at all on type L.
Kelly
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Look up annealing copper

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You have to do what ever an inspector says, but, refrigeration copper is the same as type L. The only difference is it is filled with dry nitrogen and capped, and listed by it's outer dimension rather than the inside (or nominal) dimension like just about all other types of plumbing piping) . The refrigeration tubing will be marked with "ACR" and usually also "Type L" listed on it. What you are having a problem with is the difference between hard and soft copper. You should not try to flare hard copper. To turn hard copper into soft copper is pretty easy, though, especially if just doing a small section of it on small sized tubing. Just heat it up with a torch until it turns dull red then let it cool down. I think It is best if you let it air cool but I have dipped copper in water to cool it quickly at times and it still turned out ok.
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