I don't usually have a problem sweating Cu pipe but this is a little
unusual. I need to put a coupling on a short pipe protruding from a
wall covered with ceramic tile. When I place the coupling on the pipe
the coupling extends back into the wall so I cant solder to it.
Removing the ceramic tile is a last choice, it is very old, nearly 100
years and I doubt if a match could be found. Getting to the plumbing
from the back side of the wall is also not a good choice. I was
thinking of drilling some solder holes around the perimeter of the
coupling to feed the solder into. I have experimented with this
technique on a couple of pieces of scrap and it seems to work OK.
Anyone here ever done something like this before.
I've used flux that had powdered solder mixed in. I got it
at Home Depot and I believe it was Oatey No.95 Tinning Flux
in a small tube. You can coat the outside of the pipe and
inside of the fitting with it and when hot enough, stick some
solder through the open end of the fitting on the joint to
completely fill the gap. Here's a link:
One method would be to try a diamond hole saw, slightly larger than the
outside diameter of the pipe. Drill the hole around the pipe into the tiles.
This would make a neat but larger opening around the pipe which may give you
some extra room to solder. Fill with grout.
Another method is to locate some 1/2" outside diameter copper pipe. It
should fit snuggly inside the normally 1/2" inside diameter pipe. With some
carefull cleaning of the old pipe with a chuck mounted wire brush made for
copper fittings, you could clean the inside of the old pipe and then solder
a piece of the smaller pipe inside it as an internal coupling allowing you
to extend the old pipe enough to solder on the fitting.
At one of the big box stores I saw they had copper pipe sized to fit
over the original pipe. Looked like it was marketed to fix burst pipes.
Cut out bad section then slip new pipe over the old pipe. Maybe it's
been that way all along but I never noticed?
Right. They do not have an inner stop so you can slip the entire
coupling over the pipe. There are "repair couplings" for PVC also,
and sometimes that is the only practical "bandaid" solution. Use a
Sharpie to mark the pipe such that the coupling is evenly spaced on
For these I look for the standard connectors that have three little dimples
on the inside. The little dimples are easy to remove with a small file, and
they are about 1/4 the price of the "repair couplings".
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
Don't make this harder than it needs to be. First off, just buy a
coupling with a built-in solder ring. Home Depot has them, although they
seem to be cutting back on them this year for some reason.
Or, do it the old fashioned way, sweat the fitting on. Clean and flux
the stub, and coat it with solder, wipe off any excess. Heat the
coupling and slide it on.
I have run into similar situations with a/c lines coming out of a slab.
The suggestion about slipping a piece of the next size smaller tubing
into it is a good one. The OP didn't say what size pipe he has, but 1/2"
ref will fit snugly into the 5/8" that plumbers call 1/2. If he has
7/8"- (3/4" plumbing) then 3/4" ref tubing will also fit inside it
Some years ago "they" had a copper bearing epoxy mix that was intended to
replace replace solder in joining Cu plumbing parts.
The main drawback is that you have to wait 24 hours before you can pressure
test the joint. It definitely didn't tolerate "playing" with the joint once
the parts were assembled.
The main advantage is that there is no risk of setting the house on fire.
Alternatively, you can use compression fittings or just use plastic pipe
adaptors/joints which use an "O" ring for leak tightness and some kind of
grip to keep the water pressure from blowing the joint apart.
These fitting are bulky but if you follow directions they are quite good.
They can be about $4/fitting but they are close to idiot proof.
Even if you screw up and have a leak, you can often just take the joint
apart, smooth the old pipe and try again.
snipped-for-privacy@YAHOO.COM (JIMMIE) writes:
| I don't usually have a problem sweating Cu pipe but this is a little
| unusual. I need to put a coupling on a short pipe protruding from a
| wall covered with ceramic tile. When I place the coupling on the pipe
| the coupling extends back into the wall so I cant solder to it.
| Removing the ceramic tile is a last choice, it is very old, nearly 100
| years and I doubt if a match could be found. Getting to the plumbing
| from the back side of the wall is also not a good choice. I was
| thinking of drilling some solder holes around the perimeter of the
| coupling to feed the solder into. I have experimented with this
| technique on a couple of pieces of scrap and it seems to work OK.
| Anyone here ever done something like this before.
I've noticed that the original copper fittings in my late-50's vintage
house have such a hole. I was never sure whether it was to add solder
or to confirm that solder had flowed in.
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