With the first freeze of the year last night, I crawled under the house to shut
off the water to the back deck and blow out the line with some compressed air.
Imagine my disgust when I discovered the plumber had installed the quarter turn
valve with the access port to the inside of the house rather than outboard of
the other seat/stem type valve. In other words, introducing compressed air to
the valve would blow the water inside the house up until that point rather than
the water from that point outside.
So what to do? I cut the line with a tubing cutter and was going to solder in
another ported quarter turn valve... only this time to the outside of the water
line shutoff. When I tried to fit the valve on the now open piping, no amount
of stuffing and grunting would get the job done. A visit to the local borg
revealed plenty of 1/2" fittings, only they would fit the thinner M type piping.
I assume I've got L tubing which is just a little thicker.
Where do I get valves that would fit? Or should I find some sort of reducer
(seems like more work than I want to do)? And why don't the borgs sell valves
that fit the tubing they sell? They've got both kinds of tubing but just the
smaller diameter valves. The immediate problem is solved: I blew out the line
under the deck after I cut it under the house. But I won't have more water out
there until I repair this.
Type M and Type L have the same outside diameter, just the wall thickness
changes. I have never seen a valve or fitting with a smaller diameter unless
it is intended for pipe other than standard nominal 1/2 copper tubing.
"Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote in message
K, L and M are same OD, extra wall thickness comes from ID, not OD.
You have either a non-standard tubing or fittings if they don't fit. A
"real" plumbing supply should be able to supply what you need.
Agree with the above. Also these things are usually plumbed so the
pipe goes slightly uphill going outside. That way there is no need
for compressed air. You just close the basement valve, open the
bleed port and open the outside faucet.
Wonder if he could have inflated the house water system to 150 PSI or so,
and then open the valve to the outside -- blow the water out that way.
Or, blow it out with the valve open, and then close the valve later. See
how much less work?
Christopher A. Young
< email@example.com> wrote in message
The most important thing to remember when buying tubing is that the
inside diameter must not be greater than the outside diameter, otherwise
the hole will be on the outside of the pipe. Seriously though, I have
stuck 5/8 ref (1/2 plumbing) copper into 3/4 ref. tubing and soldered
the joint with no problem at all. Also put 7/8 ref (3/4 pl) over 3/4 ref
and done the same thing. It is done all the time in A/C. About a year
ago we had an idiot helper slice through a 1/2" water line(what we call
5/8) with a sawzall. He mangled up about 4-6 " of the pipe. and besides
being nearly impossible to get to (I was the only one who could squeeze
into the space) the pipe would not move at all in any direction. I just
cut a piece of 3/4 ref about 4" longer than the gap in the line, managed
to get it on like a giant repair coupling, and soldered it up. Worked
fine. HOWEVER, I only use silver solder on copper tubing regardless of
it's use, so ymmv using soft solder, but the tubing fits into the larger
one tightly, so there should not really be any/much difference between
that and using a coupling or other fitting. Good luck Larry
I'd like to know how a plumber, who ought to have some idea what they're
doing, manages to install something like this backward in the first
I had a similar situation: the main water supply for the house enters
under the entrance doorway (the door is half a flight above the
basement), then there's a tee that feeds the outside faucets before the
water passes through the pressure regulator. There's a shutoff valve
for the outside faucets, and the valve has a little capped drain port.
The drain port is *supposed* to be downstream, so once the valve has
been shut off, you can drain the water from the lines. But the valve
was in backwards, and when I removed the cap from the "drain" port, I
suddenly had 60 PSI water spraying out instead of the gentle drain flow
I expected. Stupid.
I removed it and installed a new valve with the drain on the downstream
side. This was complicated by the output line being polybutylene, which
I can't get fittings for any more, so I had to cut the PB short, install
a few inches of PEX with a PB-to-PEX adapter, and then use a PEX fitting
on the valve. The supply-side plumbing is all copper, which unsoldered
and went back together fine.
I've got a little update but the solution isn't in place just yet: I was made
aware at a plumber's supply house today that there does exist such a beast as
5/8" tubing. "Of course, nobody would use that because it costs about twice as
much. That's getting into refrigeration stuff."
Well, I went home and got on the internet and sure enough, I found a description
of 5/8" copper tubing where it said it was used (among other spots) for hot
tubs. Well, my line is to be found right in front of the hot tub which is just
to the side of where I come into the crawl space. The hot tub is cut into the
floor of the bathroom directly above and I have access to the filter, etc where
I come in. So having that line there seems reasonable.... even if it "costs
twice as much".
So it seems what I need to extract myself from this mess is a pair of 5/8" to
1/2" copper reducers. I can then solder in the ball valve I already paid for
and the problem is solved. At least that's how I hope things will go. I won't
know until I lay my hands on those reducers and see if they will fit the tubing
already out there.
Film at 11....
"Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote in message
The outside diameter of 1/2" copper tube is 5/8". The outside diameter of
5/8" tubing is probably 3/4" or close to it. The inside diameter of 3/4"
tubing is nominally 3/4", depending on wall thickness. See if you can fit a
3/4" coupling with a stub of 3/4" pipe in it, over the outside of the 5/8"
tube. You may be able to jury rig an arrangement by fitting pieces together.
Try fitting pieces together in the big box store to see how you can do it,
be creative, it may save you some money over special ordering the 5/8"
fittings. You may have to try some pieces of different wall thicknesses to
see what fits over the 5/8" tube without too much gap that could cause
Other than the above you may need to locate a refrigeration supply outfit to
get the parts.
According to Mortimer Schnerd, RN <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com>:
The main feed to my Dad's house (built around 1970) is 5/8".
The tubing is the size as the female side of a normal 1/2"
I _believe_ you can solder 1/2" pipe _inside_ the 5/8" pipe.
In other words, the adapters you need are just two short lengths
of 1/2" copper. Check it out.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
This is getting expensive and I'm getting depressed. I bought a new tubing
cutter on the off chance the little tiny one I had was messing things up. Today
I crawled under the house and determined I would not get this fixed easily. I
took a small sample of the cut off line with me and went in search of
refrigeration fittings. A kind soul there told me that it looked as if my
tubing had frozen at some point in the past and there was no longer any way I
would get it back to specs. He suggested I swage (sp?) the tubing to the next
larger size and then solder in the next larger reducer. So I bought a swager
(sp?) and crawled back under the house with it. Of course, you have to beat the
everliving shit out of it and there's no way to secure it while you're beating.
So I have the tubing in one hand and a hand held sledge in the other... on my
back and beating on something with my arms stretched out and my neck off the
Well, I broke a good sweat. Broke the pipe too. Just beyond the expanded area
the tubing has a small fissure where none existed before.
It looks like what's going to have to happen is to turn off all the water for
the whole house, all the old tubing needs to come down, and then resolder new
tubing with two new valves... the outboard one having the dump port. Then I'm
going to insulate the tubing.
Talk about a PITA. Time for a drink... the sun must be going down somewhere on
Actually, you should be glad the original plumber turned the valve
around wrong so you went in to fix it... :)
Think how much more of a pita this would be if it were mid-February
after the next hard freeze actually broke this line and you were being
forced to repair the damage then...
While you're at it, would be good time to ensure there aren't other
places w/ exposed piping, etc., that need attention.
On Wed, 31 Oct 2007 04:58:29 +0000 (UTC), firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave
These days, many of these generation X plumbers are alcoholics or drug
addicts. You know that whole generation is just a bunch of lazy good
for nothing bums, so this comes as no surprise at all. Thats why when
I have any work done on my home, I either do it myself or when I
contact a company, I tell them outright that I will not allow anyone
under the age of 40 to even enter my home with a tool.
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