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Thread: Old pipes. slightly larger?

  1. #1

    Default Old pipes. slightly larger?

    I have to repair some damaged pipes in the garage that froze when winter came upon us overnight this year. The problem is that the 1/2" couplings are too small for the pipe. I am sure that 60 yrs ago the copper was probably .002-.003" bigger in diameter than pipes are now. I have been sanding them aggressively, and even took a file to one section, finishing it off with sandpaper to round it out. Has anyone run into this before, and if so what have you done to work the fittings? I have thought about buying some compression fittings to use as couplings, but figure they would be the same size as the new solid couplings.

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Default

    Someone else recently asked the same kind of question, and I believe the suggestion given was to use the vice/clamp portion of a flaring tool to press the tubing back down to size.

  3. #3
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike F
    I am sure that 60 yrs ago the copper was probably .002-.003" bigger in diameter than pipes are now.
    No, what happened was the water froze, expanded and now the pipe is bigger. It's probably stressed in several areas, your best bet is replace the entire section.

    Rancher

  4. #4

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    I would say that it is possible that they expanded, but I cut out a section long enogh in one area so that relatively newer pipe was on the other end (previous work done by prior owner) and there was no problem fitting the coupling on that end.
    I will try the flaring tool suggestion on a piece of pipe that I cut out and see if it works.

  5. #5

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    Tried the flaring tool on a piece of pipe which I had cut out. Worked well, but I had to press the flaring tool jaws closed with a vise. I was not able to close it fully even with very large Channellocks. To make it portable, I did rig up a system where I put the flaring tool inside the jaws of a large C-clamp, and turned the screw with the aid of the Channellocks.
    Thanks for the tip.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tool

    You needed the flaring tool block with wing nuts to tighten it. And did you rotate it 90 degrees every so often while resizing it?

  7. #7

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    I tried using the block, but it is an old tool with a cam style mechanism for holding the pipe. I could not generate enogh force to close the "jaws" around the pipe fully, so thats when I resorted to the clamp.
    On the cutoff pipe I did not rotate the 90 degrees and it seemed to work okay, but I will do so on the actual pipe to be used. If it is better to do so, I might as well.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipe

    If you do not rotate it, you could wind up with two "pinch" points at the places where the block closes together. By rotating it you squeeze them into shape before they can develop.

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