Gator-Bite and Distorted Copper Pipe


What I've got here is copper pipe coming in as the water main from the street and whoever did the installation bent the pipe from where it comes up from under the foundation to save the work of soldering two joints, and worse, he installed the main valve too close to that bend so that the pipe is out of round where it goes into the solder joint for the main valve--all it took was that hard frost last winter to break it.
I have plans to replace all that copper plumbing with Pex, but to do that I have to install a Gator-Bite Pipe fitting to make the union between that copper water main and the new Pex. WHAT I NEED TO KNOW . . .
Is there some kind of an insert available that can be tapped into that 3/4" copper pipe to remove the distortion so that those really critical clearances for the Gator-Bite nipple will fit?
I know there are many professional plumbers who disapprove of Gator- Bite fittings--but for what reason, I haven't the foggiest idea. All I know is that I've had no trouble with them whatsoever. The trouble I get is from solder joints that can't stand up to a freeze, where cemented plastic pipe can. So I'm not looking for a lecture on the glories of copper pipe, and the joys of torching solder joints to it. I hate the rotten, poisonous, out-dated junk, and I want it out of my house for good.
Any help on the specific issue will be gratefully received. Is there such an insert (or anything that will fit that inside diameter to do the job) and where can it be purchased?
Thank You. JM
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No...You will have to cut the bad section off...How you put it back together is up to you...I wouldn't want you to have to use , rotten, poisonous, out-dated junk...
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The trouble I

Where do you get that idea! I live in the land of the cold, and had a number of soldered copper pipes freeze when I didn't drain them properly. In my experiences, if the solder joint is done properly, it will not fail but the pipe will split. Better is to prevent the pipes from freezing as the frozen pipe will be damaged in one way or another. When ice is formed it expands and can split a pipe, crack an elbow, or damage the hardest rock or concrete. You need to either use insulation or heat to correct the problem or change the location.
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No "idea" to it, strictly observation. Take what we got in our other house, a restoration project going on now for the third year--a 1,200 sq. ft. log home with fireplace and wood-stove heating; entirely plumbed with PVC and CPVC. All that pipe is hung from the floor joists under the house, not an inch of which is wrapped. For three winters now (and this has been a cold one for southern Missouri) there has been no heat in our as yet unrestored central lodge of the house, under which all that pipe passes from the north to the south wing which are the currently restored living areas either side the lodge; each wing having its own stove, and both being entirely closed off from the main lodge. During our first winter here, we had no electric heater out in the pump house, just a 100 watt light bulb left on through the coldest nights. Came a night when it wasn't enough and the brass shut-off valve going to the outdoor pump-house faucet froze up and split.
That's not all. That valve was a replacement I made, for a length of copper line that had frozen and split during the winter before we bought the place. All that PVC and CPVC running underground to the house and under the floor was intact when we bought the place, and has so remained ever since. The afore-mentioned copper line to the outside pump-house valve was split, I replaced it with a new outside valve and length of STEEL pipe which I joined to an inside brass shut-off valve to the steel line on the pressure tank. That brass fitting, thick as it was, split wide open, just like that no-count, out of date, junky, horse & buggy copper tube.
So, what does that tell me? Plainly, clearly, obviously, plastic pipe has the elastic capacity to expand when water freezes within. Copper tubing and brass have NO such capacity and can only split under pressure. Anybody who can't understand that difference between the tensile strength of plastic versus copper, needs to get the junky old plumbing in his head replaced.
Don't get mad! Get even: smile. ;-)
So like I say, there is no "idea" to it, but simple observation of the facts, the experience of seeing what happens to this as opposed to that. In a southern Missouri climate, the PVC can stand it, the copper can't. Simple as that.Copper plumbing is a lot of outdated, needlessly labor intensive junk that should have gone out with the horse and buggy--but for the dictatorial demands of out-dated, brainless building codes that have no place in a democracy of free people. And I'll tell you: I don't give a hoot what the code says. This is MY house and I'll plumb it just as I see fit. I mean, what do they think this is running through my lines, nitric acid for the godsakes? It's just water! Why would they need a code for that? Let them come and bust me for it. Then I'll have my day in court to tell 'em what I think of their dictatorial un-American poison peddling crap. Look up "copper sulfate" sometime in a list of poisons, if you think there's something real nice about drinking water fed to you through a dirty old line of that! It's used as a pesticide, like arsenic . . .
http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33541

Well of course! That's why I installed for that house (which is vacant and up for sale) a tee, adapter, hose connector and cap so that come winter I can drain all the water out of the house. Lo and behold there was still some water trapped in the line. Argh! Next winter if the place is still not off my hands I'll bring my air compressor to blow it all out of there through the faucets, just like we do for the motor- home.

I don't know which is dumber, the kind of home-owner who wouldn't know that, or the kind who thinks he would have to tell another home-owner about it. Maybe you got some advice on the advantage of cutting grass with a lawn-mower over a pair of electric hair-clippers? C'mon pal, tell me something I don't know!

Nope. I'll use that drain I installed and the air-compressor, just like I said--but you know, EXT, thanks all the same. :-)
--Thanks to Molly for the pretty picture. I'll look for that. --And to Lefty for the description of how to use it--stopping short of that shoulder so it doesn't flare. And especially to Lefty AND Molly for saving me the trouble of doing as Benick suggests, digging all the way under that foundation to get at a straight section of tube! Oof. --To Evan and Jim for the story on pex. -- JM
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wrote:

No "idea" to it, strictly observation. Take what we got in our other house, a restoration project going on now for the third year--a 1,200 sq. ft. log home with fireplace and wood-stove heating; entirely plumbed with PVC and CPVC. All that pipe is hung from the floor joists under the house, not an inch of which is wrapped. For three winters now (and this has been a cold one for southern Missouri) there has been no heat in our as yet unrestored central lodge of the house, under which all that pipe passes from the north to the south wing which are the currently restored living areas either side the lodge; each wing having its own stove, and both being entirely closed off from the main lodge. During our first winter here, we had no electric heater out in the pump house, just a 100 watt light bulb left on through the coldest nights. Came a night when it wasn't enough and the brass shut-off valve going to the outdoor pump-house faucet froze up and split.
That's not all. That valve was a replacement I made, for a length of copper line that had frozen and split during the winter before we bought the place. All that PVC and CPVC running underground to the house and under the floor was intact when we bought the place, and has so remained ever since. The afore-mentioned copper line to the outside pump-house valve was split, I replaced it with a new outside valve and length of STEEL pipe which I joined to an inside brass shut-off valve to the steel line on the pressure tank. That brass fitting, thick as it was, split wide open, just like that no-count, out of date, junky, horse & buggy copper tube.
So, what does that tell me? Plainly, clearly, obviously, plastic pipe has the elastic capacity to expand when water freezes within. Copper tubing and brass have NO such capacity and can only split under pressure. Anybody who can't understand that difference between the tensile strength of plastic versus copper, needs to get the junky old plumbing in his head replaced.
Don't get mad! Get even: smile. ;-)
So like I say, there is no "idea" to it, but simple observation of the facts, the experience of seeing what happens to this as opposed to that. In a southern Missouri climate, the PVC can stand it, the copper can't. Simple as that.Copper plumbing is a lot of outdated, needlessly labor intensive junk that should have gone out with the horse and buggy--but for the dictatorial demands of out-dated, brainless building codes that have no place in a democracy of free people. And I'll tell you: I don't give a hoot what the code says. This is MY house and I'll plumb it just as I see fit. I mean, what do they think this is running through my lines, nitric acid for the godsakes? It's just water! Why would they need a code for that? Let them come and bust me for it. Then I'll have my day in court to tell 'em what I think of their dictatorial un-American poison peddling crap. Look up "copper sulfate" sometime in a list of poisons, if you think there's something real nice about drinking water fed to you through a dirty old line of that! It's used as a pesticide, like arsenic . . .
http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33541

Well of course! That's why I installed for that house (which is vacant and up for sale) a tee, adapter, hose connector and cap so that come winter I can drain all the water out of the house. Lo and behold there was still some water trapped in the line. Argh! Next winter if the place is still not off my hands I'll bring my air compressor to blow it all out of there through the faucets, just like we do for the motor- home.

I don't know which is dumber, the kind of home-owner who wouldn't know that, or the kind who thinks he would have to tell another home-owner about it. Maybe you got some advice on the advantage of cutting grass with a lawn-mower over a pair of electric hair-clippers? C'mon pal, tell me something I don't know!

Nope. I'll use that drain I installed and the air-compressor, just like I said--but you know, EXT, thanks all the same. :-)
--Thanks to Molly for the pretty picture. I'll look for that. --And to Lefty for the description of how to use it--stopping short of that shoulder so it doesn't flare. And especially to Lefty AND Molly for saving me the trouble of doing as Benick suggests, digging all the way under that foundation to get at a straight section of tube! Oof. --To Evan and Jim for the story on pex. -- JM
Are you a natural born asshole or is that something you have to work at ??? I'm betting natural born...
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Neither. It's something you have to study in college, Jack. Yeah! But just as it is with med school and pre-med, first you have to complete your under-graduate pre-asshole studies. You'll get there if you'll only apply yourself. Looks like you have all the qualities to make a professional career of it some day. And you'll receive that highly coveted diploma for your wall that says in gold embossed Latin, "It Takes One to Know One." -- JM
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Copper is tubing. If you are saying the line is annealed (soft) copper, then that first joint should have been flared (in my neck of the woods). If it is indeed soft copper, just take a flaring tool and pound it inside the tubing. Stop before it gets to the flare shoulder, and pull it out. Sand the outside of the tube lightly, and it is prepped for just about any slip-on, solder, or compression joint that you may favor. If you choose Gator-bite, the key to success is proper alignment, and subsequent proper permanent support. The reason plumbers probabaly would'nt prefer it is; o-ring will fail with time, and almost any gimicky new fangled fitting system is not really practical, cost wise. Don't buy into any of that labor-saving bull-hooey. Any good plumber does a permanent solder joint in no-time flat, with the proper tools.
HTH, Lefty
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Is your water meter attached to that line ?
Will the local inspector allow you to replace the portion of the pipe before the meter with pex, usually copper pipe is used until past the water meter then you can transition to whatever floats your boat...
~~ Evan
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Correct check your code requirments , and if you need some one to solder call a plumber. Plastic pipe will freeze and break easier then copper as it is not as high a pressure rating . Pex will take the freeze but should be replaced if frozen in the same place twice. O Iam a plumber so enjoy your job .
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http://www.uniweld.com/Larger_View/70046.jpg
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JM wrote:

While you're at it you should check your water pressure and install a pressure regulator if the water pressure is too high. If you're redoing your plumbing anyway, a regulator is not that expensive.
TDD
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wrote:

Sounds like a good idea. -- JM
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