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Thread: Novice plumber needs advice on Tee fitting into copper

  1. #1

    Default Novice plumber needs advice on Tee fitting into copper

    I've been installing PEX in my basement with those shark bites fittings. But I needed to cut into two 3/4" copper lines in order to start the pex runs.

    So I cut into the lines and ran the Pex. Problem is, the copper is so stiff I can't join the severed lines back together with any type of fitting. The tee fitting (also Shark Bite) works fine, but because the copper will not budge a millimeter, I can't get the ends firmly into the tee.

    I tried cutting a slightly larger section of copper out and putting PEX in between (the gaps in the two copper lines are about 11 inches each) thinking that the more flexible PEX would solve the issue, but I still can't get a tight fit. Water leaks out.

    I'm sure some of you have cut into uber-stiff copper lines before and tried to insert a tee fitting of some sort. How did you do it?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    One way is to solder in a new section including a tee, and use sweat couplings without stops. If you need to do the whole thing without soldering, that will be tough if you cannot get some movement out of the pipe.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    New England
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    Most couplings you see have a stop in the middle to position the pipe to the midpoint - this can be either a dimple or a ridge or a flared end. They do make these without that stop in the middle. That way, you can slide it on one end, move the two ends together, then slide it back over the two pieces, then solder it. You need to clean and flux all three - the two ends and the inside of the fitting before you put it into place, and you should measure or mark at least one piece of pipe so that when you slide it back in place, you know you've got it approximately centered over the joint before soldering.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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