I have a 2 3/4 inch copper pipes that were capped off when originally
installed. I now want to add on to them. I have heated the caps with a
torch until the solder was bobbling, but I cant get the caps off. On one I
crushed the pipe end and cap wrestling it off. I don't want to do that to
the other. What is the best way to remove the cap?
Cut it off below the cap. If it's too close to the floor, try drilling
a hole in the cap, and then unsoldering it. If that doesn't work,
you'll need to get below the floor.
One trick as you try to unsolder the caps, is to get visegrips, and
adjust them just barely larger than the copper pipe. Put the grips just
below the caps, and tap up on the caps while they're headed.
And, if you want to know why it's so hard to pull apart an "old" joint
when it's clearly heated above the melting point of solder, it's because
intermetallic compounds form over time which have significantly higher
melting points than fresh solder does.
Sometimes a joint where intermetallic compound have formed will squeek
if you manage to get it to turn, just like it was "rusty".
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