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Thread: Copper Bond Epoxy - Opinions?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member MG's Avatar
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    Default Copper Bond Epoxy - Opinions?

    I am close to finishing our bathroom remodel and need to install new shutoffs for the hot / cold water at the sink. I have room to sweat fittings on here but I've been seeing / reading some about epoxy for copper. Anyone use this? Its supposed to be good under pressure and ok for potable water.

    Last edited by Terry; 01-15-2014 at 02:58 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Solder or compression...forget the epoxy. If you ever need to replace it, you're stuck with epoxy, and you'll have to cut it off. Then, you probably will need to add some on, tearing the wall up so you put the joint far enough back so there is room to put a new one on...
    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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    DIY Senior Member MG's Avatar
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    Good points. I do recall from my experience in a paint manufacturers lab that epoxies melt when heated - so removing them might not be too bad.

    I'll probably go with sweat fittings - they are currently just capped.

  4. #4

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    The pro's on this site seem to prefer compression connections at the shut-off valve. Sweating a connection here can a) burn the wall b) melt the valve works c) cause the eschutcheon to turn blue. (Not being a pro, I've done all of these things.)

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Compression is the way to go if you are installing shutoffs for the lav faucet.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-06-2005 at 10:14 AM.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valve

    I would never put a compression fitting in an enclosed space, nor use the epoxy material to join the copper.

  7. #7
    General Contractor dx's Avatar
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    As a builder, I prohibit my plumbers from using compression fittings. In my own previous house, I had a compression fitting at the kitchen sink that was leak-free for 5 years. Then it let go while I was out of town. I came home to a flooded house. I also agree with the postings recommending against sweat or epoxy.
    What I do like is sweat-on threaded nipples. I put the escutcheons on, then sweat the nipple on using a flame blanket against the wall. Then cap it with a regular threaded cap. After paint, flooring, fixtures, etc. are in, simply srew in the shut-off valves. This method is simple, the valves can be easily serviced and there is no possibility of catastrophic failure.
    I use the same procedure with pvc/cpvc supply lines. I actually prefer plastic to copper, but that is a whole different debate.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I've been a plumber for over thirty years.

    You may have had one bad experience with an angle stop shutoff, but that's all it is.

    I haven't seen problems with compression stops under a sink.
    What can be bad, is the one-piece angle stop with the corrugated copper supply attached to the stop. The tubing can crack.
    The part that can leak, is not the compression part, it's the tubing.
    Even the threaded stops are going to use a compression fitting to supply the lav or kitchen faucet.

    I do service work all the time, I wouldn't recommend anyone soldering near a wall like you suggest. You may wind up burning down your house.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-14-2005 at 01:31 PM.

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    General Contractor dx's Avatar
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    I beg to differ, with all due respect for your long experience. A compression connection can fail catastrophically if installed improperly. If overtightened, the pipe can be crimped beyond use and will need to be cut short. At the wall, you cannot shorten it without tearing up the wall. It is also non-replaceable for the same reason. A threaded connection is also easier for a DIY (i.e. no experience): use tape, tighten it by hand as hard as you can, pressurize, then tighten with wrench if necessary until it stops leaking.
    Around here, in most municipalities, compression will not pass inspection in new construction or remodeling. It is only allowed for repairs in inaccessible spaces, etc.
    To properly sweat at the wall, use a piece of galvanized sheet against the wall, with a hole in it just big enough for the nipple. Then put a fire blanket on top of the galvanized sheet (also with a hole in it). Then careful with the torch.
    Yes, you can scorch the drywall if not careful. But plaster can be fixed. I cannot tell you how many new houses I see with big burns in the floor joists from sloppy soldering by professional plumbers. That is structural damage and much harder to fix.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Boy, that's a lot of ifs.

    I replace compression stops all the time, using a "sleeve puller"
    I didn't realize it was that big deal for some people.

    I don't know where you are from, but in the rest of the US, we use code approved fittings and faucets. Compression stops fit in that catogory.
    Threaded fittings are okay too.

    Plumbers know how to install them, and things work fine.

    Maybe your plumbers aren't as good as the ones here.
    It's not rocket science.

  11. #11
    General Contractor dx's Avatar
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    Terry,
    You are absolutely right. But most DIYers have never heard of a sleeve puller. I assume the poster is not a plumber, but a homeowner with limited experience. Around here (Michigan), homeowners are allowed to do anything, including building an entire house, without being licensed in any trade, as long as they perform the work themselves. I see no problem with that (more work for us fixing stuff), but we do see some scary stuff. The savvier DIYers realize their limitations and come to forums such as this to ask for advice. I applaud that.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking Compression fittings

    this is sort of a joke isnt it???


    - even with the sweat or threaded angle stops

    that are commonly installed under every sink,

    They still come usually with a 3/8 compression ferrul and
    nut that you have to tie on to the faucet.....very very common.

    Actually , you have not avoided a compression
    fitting, youi look at one and use one every time you install
    a sink. It just isnt a 100% compression fitting.

    and how come it is ok on the 3/8 side of the stop and not on
    the 1/2 side of the fitting????


    I would like to know in what part of the
    counrty some idiot -fool plumbing inspectors outlawed this.

    and how do they justfy outlawing the comperssion on only the inlet to the
    stop and not the outlet from the valve too.....




    .
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 07-14-2005 at 03:26 PM.

  13. #13
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I have been using compression straights and angles for all my kitchen sink faucet installs, lav faucet installs, laundry tub installs, toilet installs. For now 20 years.
    Never once has one blown off, leaked slightly, but never blow off. A quick turn of the 5/8" nut normally takes care of the problem.
    Soldering isolation valves creates problems down the road, meaning you have to do a drain down with no water in piping to do so........rather than a quick changeout of a compression valve that doesn't matter if water is slightly flowing through it or not.
    You can only sweat all brass valves in, meaning the stem type, short of breaking down the valve.
    I would have to see proof in writing from a michigan plumbing inspector to believe that crap. You apparently didn't tighten down your stop valve down tight enough, 5 years ago. Doesn't dictate the norm for the rest of the United States and abroad.
    A compression fitting is a compression fitting, is a compression fitting. BOTH ARE HOLDING THE SAME PRESSURE.
    On a side note: I always use those plastic chrome scussions that are cut down one side to pry on the piping AFTER you have your valve on. Never rusts, can get in the tightest of spots. Eliminates the need to install scussion first, even on old pipes.
    Thanks for the comedy central skit........I needed a good laugh.
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 07-14-2005 at 06:12 PM.

  14. #14
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I don't have Terry's experience, but I have been around the block. I have NEVER seen or even heard of a catastrophic failure of a compression connection. Drip, yes. I also like the idea of sweating on a make adapter and using a threaded valve: but I think you will have a drip on a thread joint just as often as on a compression job.
    True, overtightening can damage the pipe. I see this all too often. Never saw it cause a leak, just hard to replace. This is where it is nice to solder on a male adapter.

    Some places are all cast iron. Here it is all ABS and the world is not coming to an end for the 10% of the entire US population who live here.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member captwally's Avatar
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    Interesting thread..... I'm particularly interested in the question raised by mark and rugged that basically asks why a stop is allowed a compression on one end, but not the other? These are proven joints.

    On an aside, I've lived in Florida most of my 39 years, but I did live in Michigan for almost 3 of them recently. Thank Heaven I'm back home, because Michigan really is like another planet, or some remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Yes you really can build almost anything without a permit. 3 years is enough time to realize that they don't think like the rest of the world does, for the most part, anyway. I've encountered some really really scary plumbing (and electrical) scenarios up there! I'm not saying that this part of the country doesn't have its quirks and stuff, but....
    Measure Twice, Cut Once
    Wally

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