options for a confined space
Consider bypassing the 1/2" bootleneck with a run a new pipe at 3/4" OR even 1" diameter (@ $3 a foot in Type L copper nowadays---PEX looks better and better). Pick the exit and reentry points into the existing line to be those easiest to work at. The water flow (7.5 GPM??) will favor the path presenting the lower total psi drop.
" ... I really like those charts about the copper ..."
A master plumber saying he's impressed---that makes my day.
Now it's 3/4 ALL THE WAY!
I finally bit the bullet this weekend. I heated up the old tee and took it out, no problem. Somehow I was able to get enough indirect heat on the new copper fitting (from the extremely small access point I had to work with) to melt some solder (I made sure I used about 6" of solder just to be safe, since I couldn't see the joint and I could barely fit the solder back there).
I did have to (blind) shoot the fire extinguisher a couple times into the wall cavity, though! :eek:
Presure test worked, didn't burn down the house:D , and now since it's all 3/4" I don't have to worry about any restrictions (even if it's not a dramatic change, it always would have been in the back of my mind that it could be BETTER!)
Thanks so much for all your suggestions!