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Thread: Brass pipe has same OD as 1/2"copper coupling

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    Question Brass pipe has same OD as 1/2"copper coupling

    I had a break in the upstairs bathroom cold water supply line. The old brass pipe coming out of the wall has an OD exactly the same as a 1/2" copper coupling. The brass pipe was threaded & screwed into an elbow & it has broken off there at that union - most likely from people leaning on the sink over the years. Is there anything currently available to go over or mate with this vintage pipe?
    Last edited by PeakXV; 05-04-2010 at 10:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    You have a 3/8 in. i.p. nipple, just about all big box and plumbing supply houses have them, the hard part is to get the broken part out of the ell, you didn't say if it is broken off flush or a part still protrudes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shacko View Post
    You have a 3/8 in. i.p. nipple, just about all big box and plumbing supply houses have them, the hard part is to get the broken part out of the ell, you didn't say if it is broken off flush or a part still protrudes.
    Yes the threaded end of the brass pipe completely broke off inside the elbow and there is nothing left of it on the brass pipe(maybe a turn or two). The OD of the now threadless brass pipe (with an OD the same as a 1/2" coupling) needs to be mated to ..... or the wall has to be cut open & the brass pipe totally removed & replaced.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Often, you can remove and replace (with a new one) without tearing the wall open.
    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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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You imply that there is still a piece of the brass nipple sticking out of the wall. If so, then just unscrew it using a pipe wrench and then install a new brass nipple the same lenght. I am not sure why yours broke off since that seldom happens.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    You imply that there is still a piece of the brass nipple sticking out of the wall. If so, then just unscrew it using a pipe wrench and then install a new brass nipple the same lenght. I am not sure why yours broke off since that seldom happens.
    There's a little bit of play in the sink & when you lean on it, it always caused a 'slight' bit of stress to that joint. It took 40 years of 'slight' stress to finally break ... for the record.

    Yes, I tried to unscrew it to no avail - was afraid that I was turning too hard the wrong way. So I cut a hole in the wall & can see 'now' that it should just screw out with a little bit of elbow grease. What I didn't know was that the pipe terminology was 'brass nipple' .... and the local hardware stores/Home Depot drew a blank when I started talking threaded brass pipes. Are these readily available ... or do I have to contact a speciality plumbing supplier for this. Thanks for all your help on this folks, much appreciated.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    They have the brass nipples there.
    They charge like gold for them.

    I'm glad I don't have to buy there.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Rather than sitting bare in a bin, they are often plastic packed and are with all of the brass adapters, etc. A plumbing supply house may have them for less, but probably not as convenient. If they don't have the length you need, you are stuck with searching the internet, or going to a plumbing supply house.
    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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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    These days, plumbing stores may not have 3/8" nipples because they are almost dinosaurs. Home Depot has them with the copper compression and flare adapters.

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