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Thread: Wide sweep copper 1/2" 90's?

  1. #1
    DIY Member elgato's Avatar
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    Default Wide sweep copper 1/2" 90's?

    In my house 1/2 copper 90 fittings with a much wider sweep than the ones at supply stores have been used. The plumbing supply guy said that they are available but not for plumbing use. Whats the story?

    Thanks
    Tom

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking they are available

    they are available but are hard to find and
    are probably more expensive....

    used a lot back in the 50s

    used for refrigeration work...and some commercial work...

    I dont know the last time I even have seen one...

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default elbows

    They are more expensive, but you will find them at a refrigeration supply house, just be sure to ask for them by the tubing's o.d., or you will get 3/8" elbows when you really want 1/2" ones. Refrigeration people don't know i.d.

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    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    you will get 3/8" elbows when you really want 1/2" ones. Refrigeration people don't know i.d.
    LOL - chuckled when I read that - that is the truth...
    Actually, for 1/2" plumbing tubing, ACR (Air Conditioning & Refrigeration) fittings and pipe have to be ordered as 5/8"... They will cost big $$ as they will come cleaned for AC use (washed out after manufacturing unlike plumbing fittings).
    OD of all plumbing tube is 1/8" over it's nominal size... (2' plumbing tubing is 2 1/8" OD for example)

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    In the Trades kordts's Avatar
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    I got a bunch of them when I bought several pounds of copper fittings for double the scrap price. Scrap was 42 cents a pound, I paid 84 a pound for two 5 gallon buckets full. I think I paid 70 bucks. Those refrigeration 90's are nice, if you screw up a measurement, or are doing repair stuff you can use one of these instead of a st.90 and coupling.

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    Plumbing Contractor srdenny's Avatar
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    Long sweep 90's do have a place in a plumbers fitting caddy. We use them on pumped recirc lines, generally in 3/4" copper, but occasionally on remodels where the existing recirc line is 1/2" and needs to be relocated. They create less turbulence then the short pattern variety.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default

    In new construction in my area there is one remaining plumber who does high end work for pristine builders that uses only L type copper and bends all of his turns of directions with a 9" turning radius.

    Just like the days back when professionalism was top notch in this plumbing field and wasn't thrown together like legos like it is today. The guy's work is flawless.....it probably took years to perfect his routine but less soldering no doubt and the water lines are actually considerably quieter.

    The ceilings in the basement he works in are usually extremely tall so that is part of the allowance of such a system. I tried to do this to get into the habit; no bothering in a bi-level as they are apartments with grass around them. I was wasting too much copper on mistakes so I stuck with the 90's.

    I got a bunch of long sweep 90's but have them mixed with others. They are nice when you make a mistake on a measurement; beats using a coupling and a street 90.

    This is a question to service plumbers.....do you all even use your tape measure anymore? For what little pipe I run.....I never use it and rarely mark pipe whether it is PVC or copper. Working off the writing on PVC and gauging copper with my thumb and cutting is how I do it. That and it has been years but I never use a level; eyeball all the way and sometimes putting something in by eyeballing looks straigher and neater........given in most service situations.

    Impressive when a customer puts a level to the water heater after I've shimmed it and be dead nuts, without the use of a level.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default copper

    Our inspectors would have a heart attack if we tried to install hard copper by bending it. The stress created by the bending would more than offset any advantages of doing it.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The first step in improving speed, has been to quit marking pipe, and use your fingers and hand for measuring. Yeah, I'm glad they put all those letters on the sides of pipe.

    Sometimes I will lay a level on a wall, and mark from that rather than measuring up from the plate. Or maybe I won't. If the level is in the truck, it seems to say there.

    Finding little speed savers,
    It's where experience comes into play.
    That's why it's nice to work with other plumbers, you get to check out how they do things.

    My inspectors won't let me bend hard copper either.

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    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
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    If your house is like my house (built by drunk, unsupervised, undocumented so and so's) then you HAVE TO eyeball it.
    Using a level on an un-level wall makes whatever you're doing look crooked.
    "No, honey, the mirror is level, it's the wall that is crooked........"

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking with the pex, why even measure???

    I dont see a problem with bending hard copper.
    We call it a "german elbow" around here..
    simply heat the pipe and make the angle needed...

    it will never fail....
    and is no more sloppy than the wirsbo and pex that
    everyone literally slops in these days...



    I just did a wirsbo re-pipe of a frozen
    house and tore out about 100 lbs of frozen
    copper pipe


    re-installed the WIRSBO into this god awful
    muddy crawl space and it basically flew into place...


    and of course its all so easy just to have a helper
    string the stuff down a hole and run it over to the
    manifold...then tack it up with a few pipe hangers
    here and there.....and you are done.


    the cost is so cheap compaired to the copper
    that I just cut it off if is a few
    feet or inches too long..



    fellow plumbers ........

    the days of professioinal looking work with perfect
    soldered joints are over....no one cares.....

    andi its what you feel is "good enough"
    because all they want it is cheap and fast.

    I would post the pics I took from this job,
    that I think turned out pretty good looking for wirsbo, but
    I dont know if I could handle all the critics...lol
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 05-19-2007 at 03:01 PM.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default copper

    Once you heat hard copper to bend it you no longer have hard copper, you have untempered soft copper. If I had to take the time to heat, and then bend copper for every joint, the job would cost a lot more and you would not have a job that was any better than using fittings. Calling it a German elbow, implies that like Lowenbrau beer, Volkswagen and Audi cars, Leica cameras, etc. from Der Faderland, makes them better.

  13. #13
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default

    The guys who bend the copper I'm speaking of do not heat it; they use a conduit bender.

    I would almost bet that they are the only company in the state to do this and when they quit, they probably won't let anyone else do it.

    I witness this bending of copper all the time in the older homes in Cincinnati. No signs of stress or otherwise. You couldn't bend that stuff for nothing today with its age. Same reason you shouldn't carry soft copper on your truck for long periods of time. It eventually hardens/loses its pliability. I got rolls of copper of all sizes I'll probably never use....getting hard too.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  14. #14
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking German elbows.....

    HJ

    The term "German elbows" is one of the stories
    or tall tales that old plumbers used to tell me long ago
    when I was just a retarted little apprentice......

    that along with many other stories about pouring lead joints all
    day long, threading 4 inch Duram steel pipe and many
    others that I am sure you have heard before too.....
    ..

    as far as quality, I dont know what the heck
    you are thinking that I am implying....
    about compareing this to German quality... Lowenbraugh beer,,,Audi or whatever....


    in this area Germans seemed to be more inclined to become plumbers
    back in the late 1800s....its probably something to do with poverty


    As Rugged stated that the copper seems to harden back up
    over time... and its never been a big deal in this region......
    I come across it all the time....makeing a 45 degree turn by just heating the pipe ..

    anyway, I think I am gonna have me a GERMAN BEER..
    or perhaps one of those Irish Stouts...cant decide....
    maybe one of those Boston Lagers....

    and HJ , you really should have a couple too...
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 05-19-2007 at 07:00 PM.

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default German

    My comment goes back to my wife's German uncle who did not believe ANYTHING not made in Germany was worth spending money on. And as far as conduit benders go for bending copper, the mandrels are slightly different sizes and the copper tubing does flatten somewhat during the bending. The only thing I ever used for bending copper was a geared bender made specifically for copper tubing.
    Last edited by hj; 05-20-2007 at 07:19 AM.

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