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Thread: Replacing Toilet supply line

  1. #1
    DIY Member gtmtnbiker's Avatar
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    Default Replacing Toilet supply line

    I'm in the middle of a project where I'm painting the bathroom. To make it easier for me, I pulled the toilet out. Plus, I intended to replace the "nipple" since it was painted and I want the chrome look.

    As you can see from the attached picture, it's not a nipple that I can unthread. There's 1/2" pipe coming out the wall. It's hard to tell but it appears that there's a 1/2" chrome? pipe soldered to the angle stop and then soldered to the 1/2" copper pipe. I think it's chrome but it also has some copper color on it.

    There's a bulge in the pipe because I started to wrench it thinking it was a threaded nipple. Boy, that teaches me to make assumptions.

    Has anyone seen this before and can determine what type of connections were made?

    I'm planning to take off the "nipple" by unsweating the pipe and cleaning up the solder. My thought was to solder a coupling onto the 1/2" copper stub that has female pipe threads. Then I attach a chrome nipple and a new quarter turn angle stop.

    Does this sound like a good plan? If not, what would you suggest?

    I'm located in Mass. Thanks!
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    Plumber BAPlumber's Avatar
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    looks to me that the wall needs to be opened and the copper tubing replaced. I don't think unsweating will help.
    Brent

  3. #3
    DIY Member gtmtnbiker's Avatar
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    I would like to avoid opening the wall if possible. If I went that route, I would put a drop-ear elbow with female threads and secure it to some blocking.

    In case it wasn't clear, I'm referring to unsweating the "chrome pipe" that it attached to the 1/2 copper. Why do you think it will not work?

    If it helps anyone, the house was built in 1966.

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    Plumber BAPlumber's Avatar
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    from the pictures you posted, everything is in copper. considering the solder joints, I'd open the wall and fix it right or the job will look like shit and most contractors don't want that.
    Brent

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It is a "retrofit" sweat on stop, probably made by Brasscraft. It was used because the copper, (not steel or brass), stub was too short for a conventional compression or sweat stop. Your best option would probably to unsweat it and install a new valve of the same type.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    We are happy to provide advice on this. I must point out, however, that in Massachusetts, the fine for doing this yourself is $2500. Homeowners are absolutely PROHIBITED from doing any work on thier own plumbing system. http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocasubto...tters&sid=Eoca

  7. #7

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    Enlarging the hole is no big deal. You can repair it simply with a "hot patch."

    I wouldn't even bother unsweating the pipe. I'd just open the wall a bit and use a tubing cutter to cut off the nasty looking stop and pipe. Then, I'd sweat on a 1/2" coupling, that has been previously sweated on to a short length of 1/2" copper, and either a male or female adapter. Then you can screw on your 1/4 turn stop.

    Use a shield and have a fire extinguisher nearby.

  8. #8
    DIY Member gtmtnbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    We are happy to provide advice on this. I must point out, however, that in Massachusetts, the fine for doing this yourself is $2500. Homeowners are absolutely PROHIBITED from doing any work on thier own plumbing system. http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocasubto...tters&sid=Eoca
    Hi Jimbo,

    This is a gray area for me. I understand the reasons you need to be a licensed plumber in Mass when doing gas fitting or implementing new supply/drains as it protects the public.

    It is my understanding that it's ok for homeowners to do repairs of existing work.

    If I look at:

    http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocatermi...r300&csid=Eoca

    (c) Exceptions to the Permit Requirement: A Permit is not required for plumbing involving the repair of leaks in a faucet, valve, or other working part of a plumbing fixture, or the clearance of a stoppage.


    The angle stop valve is defective so I'm repairing it. It seems to fall under the Exceptions to the Permit Requirement.

  9. #9
    DIY Member gtmtnbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    It is a "retrofit" sweat on stop, probably made by Brasscraft. It was used because the copper, (not steel or brass), stub was too short for a conventional compression or sweat stop. Your best option would probably to unsweat it and install a new valve of the same type.
    Hi HJ, I'll try to post a better picture tonight. I'm not sure that it's a retrofit because all three toilets are plumbed similarly. The toilets are all original to the house.

    I looked at the upstairs toilet and see that there's 1/2" pipe attached to the 1/2" pipe and angle stop via a coupling.

    The toilet that I'm working on does not have a coupling. The pipe connected to the angle stop appears to be chrome and the copper coming out of the wall sits inside it. It's weird, I haven't seen this before.

    The upstairs toilets are missing the shroud covering the pipe and the hole in the wall. It would seem odd that the plumber who worked on the house would leave it off. In addition, they have braided supply lines between the toilet and the angle stop. The downstairs bath had 3/8" chrome between the angle stop and toilet.

    So maybe you're right that some previous homeowner butchered all 3 toilet supplies?

  10. #10
    DIY Member gtmtnbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verdeboy View Post
    Enlarging the hole is no big deal. You can repair it simply with a "hot patch."

    I wouldn't even bother unsweating the pipe. I'd just open the wall a bit and use a tubing cutter to cut off the nasty looking stop and pipe. Then, I'd sweat on a 1/2" coupling, that has been previously sweated on to a short length of 1/2" copper, and either a male or female adapter. Then you can screw on your 1/4 turn stop.

    Use a shield and have a fire extinguisher nearby.
    Verdeboy,

    The reason that I want to unsweat the pipe is to avoid opening up the wall. I was going to clean it up, solder on a female adapter, and then thread a 1/2" chrome nipple. A new shroud will cover up the female adapter and copper. Then I can screw on the angle stop at the end.

    If that doesn't work, I'll open the wall and do it the right way. I'll have to add the patch job to the list of other small patch jobs I've been saving for my plasterer.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Brasscraft makes a chromed solder on valve with an extended shaft. It fits over the 1/2" copper pipe. I used on on one of my toilets so it was a little easier to reach, since it came out further. It also might give you a little more room to work since the bell trim could be slid further away from the wall while working. Check their catalog online.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    DIY Member gtmtnbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Brasscraft makes a chromed solder on valve with an extended shaft. It fits over the 1/2" copper pipe.
    BINGO! I think you're right that I have something similar to this. I checked their Speedway catalog and sure enough it's there. I went upstairs and looked at the valve handle and it says Brass Craft. I don't know why I didn't think to look at it before. Thanks for the help.

  13. #13
    DIY Member gtmtnbiker's Avatar
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    I completed the project about a month ago but I'm just getting around to posting my feedback.

    Per jadnashua's suggestion, I used a Brasscraft angle stop with a chrome pipe after unsweating the old one. It worked like a charm.

    I scraped the old wax off the toilet horn and the flange before putting a new wax ring on. I replaced the hold down bolts since the old ones were rusty.

    The only difficulty I had was replacing the supply line. I don't care for the braided stainless steel line since I think they look ugly. I decided to go the chrome supply route where you use a tubing bender. Needless to say, it was a difficult task to bend a short piece of pipe and I didn't get it right.

    Instead, I bought the Brasscraft Innoflex supply line. It was easy to hook up and worked like a charm. It gives the illusion that I'm using a chrome line as you can see from the attached picture.

    Thanks for everyone's help.
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