View Full Version : 1" Copper Union..Stuck Cannot Loosen to Remove?

06-10-2011, 12:06 PM
Have the copper union on either side of a whole house filter before it goes into the Water Softener. Before it gets to the Union, the main water line goes thru a bipass installed by pro. I need to change the Filter and do not want to Destroy the copper fitting/pipe in place. WD 40, has so many warnings that I am not sure what to use to loosen.
Thanks it has been a long time since last posting on the forum.

06-11-2011, 07:58 AM
A copper union would seldom be "compression". If it is a conventional copper union, it can become "soldered together" during assembly and if so you WILL NOT be able to take it apart until it is heated so the solder melts. If it is actually a compression coupling, then it should just need some force to separate it. We would need a picture of it to tell you. It could be a Sharkbite coupling also and that requires a different method to remove it.

06-11-2011, 09:37 AM

It is a Compression coupling.

I was able to loosen one end.
was unable to attach/insert picture, but will keep trying.

hope it worked.

06-11-2011, 01:16 PM
It is a Compression coupling.

I was able to loosen one end.
was unable to attach/insert picture, but will keep trying.

Actually, no, it is not a compression coupling. It is a soldered copper union. Compression fittings are attached to the pipe via a deformable ferrule inside the fitting. Your union is attached to the pipe via solder.

Not sure what you mean when you say you were "able to loosen one end." To take apart a union, you need two wrenches - pipe wrenches or adjustable ("crescent") wrenches - one on the smaller "nut" and one on the larger one. Like HJ says, just takes enough force to unscrew them. Shouldn't need penetrating oil.

Sure you're turning the wrenches in the right direction?

06-11-2011, 02:35 PM
What ever its called, i have one opened on the outlet side of the filter and the inlet side's union is the one that is difficult.

I did use Pipe Wrenchs (old type,red) they held it steady, but i did not use enough force and will try again.

It's me...too careful, tomorrow I will try again.

06-11-2011, 03:22 PM
I don't see any marks on the UNION from pipe wrenches, are you sure you even tried?

06-11-2011, 06:14 PM
That is the type of union I meant when I said it can be soldered together during installation. IF the solder flows inside the union it can get on the mating surfaces OR inside the nut, and then NOTHING will loosen it without be "properly" heated first. And "properly heated" may NOT mean just heating it with a torch.

06-11-2011, 08:20 PM
Most household filters are of the canister type where you turn off the water, unscrew the canister, replace the filter, reinstall the canister, and turn the water back on. There should be no reason to remove the plumbing to replace a whole house filter in my experience.

Perhaps we need a pic of the whole house filter you're trying to service ?

06-12-2011, 07:43 AM
Everything you said is true.
When the Setup was changed, the male copper solder 1" were removed from both ends of canister head.
It was replaced with 1" female copper fitting and sch 80 1" Nipples. Problem is it leaked because of the copper threads damaged the head. I purchased a new
canister head to replace. Thats where I stand, and why I have to open the unions to re-install.

Thanks for all the replys.

06-18-2011, 09:24 AM
Well everything came apart and I changed the two Nipples and behold I had another problem.
I had to extend one end 1/4-3/16 to fit flush against the Copper Union Coupling and it leaks at the
Coupling. Is there anything i can do to make a better fit without replacing all the fittings?.
I am not ready to remove whole house filter and scrap it and replace with a straight pipe soldered at both ends.


06-18-2011, 05:54 PM
quote; I had to extend one end 1/4-3/16 to fit flush against the Copper Union Coupling and it leaks at the

HOW did you extend it, and WHERE is it leaking? If it was soldered properly, AND the union nut tightened sufficiently, it should NOT be able to leak. you are mixing terminologies. It is EITHER a copper union OR a copper coupling. THere is NO such thing as a "copper union coupling".

06-26-2011, 08:37 AM
I am still here along with Issue.
It has been very hot in the Phoenix area and I have not yet decided how to continue.
But, i will post another picture with more details about what I tried to do and where the leaks were.

06-26-2011, 08:43 AM
If all else fails, call a plumber. I am not that hard to find.