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Thread: type M copper pipe connections

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Al Dente's Avatar
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    Question type M copper pipe connections

    I need to replace some of the angle stops connected to the toilets in my house. The inlet to each angle stop is attached by a compression connector to 1/2" nominal type M copper pipe sticking out of the wall. I'd prefer to use a stronger connection than compression offers, if that seems reasonable.

    I haven't made a flare connection before, but I have made sweat connections. Flare connections sounded attractive because they appear stronger than compression connections and don't require high heat like sweat connections. I thought I would attach an adapter, either flare or sweat, to convert the copper pipe to an IPS male threaded connector. Then I could screw a new IPS female threaded angle stop on to that. The adapter would stay attached to the inlet pipe permanently, and the angle stop could be easily replaced in the future if necessary.

    Can flare connections be used for type M copper pipe? Or are sweat connections the only option if I want a stronger connection than compression?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Compression connections are extremely strong and reliable. Some plumbers from back east insist on sweat only. I have never seen a compression-connected valve develop a leak at the connection. Never saw one come apart catastrophically. I have replaced some that were not tightened adequately at first installation. They could have or should have come apart, but never did.

    If you use proper technique to install them, you should not lose any sleep over them.


    Now, is a threaded valve connected to a male adapter better? Probably. There is the extra first step of soldering the adapter, but future replacements will be a little easier. There is also the complication that a future DIY fails to use a proper holdback on the male adapter and twists the copper.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Compression sleeve puller

    I use compression all the time without problems.

    Replacement is easy with a "sleeve puller".
    The most you ever do with these is maybe some light oil on the threads.
    WD40 in a can works fine.

    I would not bother to solder on connections. It's not that I haven't done it a time or two, but that was enough to convince me.

    I did get a funny call from a customer of mine asking how to keep from burning the cabinets and walls when he tried it.
    Last edited by Terry; 05-31-2005 at 11:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You cannot flare any "hard" copper, K, L, or M. You will split the tubing if you try. In 95+% of the cases, you can reuse the nut and ferrule unless you have the old coarse thread valves in which case you have to use a new nut and ferrule.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    100% of the time, if the stop is bad, I pull the whole thing off and replace the plate behind it with a nice new chrome one.

    I must replace about 15 a week.

    Last edited by Terry; 06-06-2009 at 04:30 PM.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Al Dente's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for all your advice, everyone. I appreciate it.
    Last edited by Al Dente; 03-03-2005 at 03:24 PM.

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