(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Replacing female copper fitting

  1. #1
    DIY Member vaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    41

    Question Replacing female copper fitting

    Last year I replaced the PVB on my system. While messing around with the system I damaged some of the threads on the supply line female fitting. The male fitting would tighten in only with joint compound. Over the winter I noticed the pvc line was disconnected from the female fitting and the "t" was cracked.
    The system was winterized in early October.
    Could the cracked pvc piece be related to the damaged copper fitting threads allowing some water to remain in and then freeze over the winter and expand the pvc line?
    I thought it would be wise to replace that female fitting anyway. It is soldered on. I have no exprience with soldering or desoldering.
    And as the picture shows it very close to vinyl siding so I don't want to risk melting our home.Are there female compression fittings available that can be used instead? I could then just saw off the fitting and adjust the the line with longer pvc line.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    The copper female looks OK. Just replace the PVC.

    John

  3. #3
    Irrigation Contractor Fireguy97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Kamloops, in Beautiful British Columbia
    Posts
    100

    Default

    The supply line and the PVB look pretty close to each other. You might want to bring a pro in to fix this. It will save a lot of headaches. It can be pretty tight and a little complicated to fix it without cracking another tee.

    Mick

  4. #4
    DIY Member vaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireguy97 View Post
    The supply line and the PVB look pretty close to each other. You might want to bring a pro in to fix this. It will save a lot of headaches. It can be pretty tight and a little complicated to fix it without cracking another tee.

    Mick
    Any guess as to why the pvc tee would have cracked over the winter? What you can't see in the picture is that last year when I was removing another male pvc fitting I nicked the first 3 or so outer threads on that copper female fitting.If I don't use joint compound between the two there is a very slow leak in the connection so I thought maybe it's best to remove that damaged copper fitting. Are there compression fittings available for this connection or do irrigation system always require a soldered fitting in the supply line?If that's the case I will have to call a plumber to desolder this one and resolder a new one

  5. #5
    Irrigation Contractor Fireguy97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Kamloops, in Beautiful British Columbia
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vaman View Post
    Any guess as to why the pvc tee would have cracked over the winter? What you can't see in the picture is that last year when I was removing another male pvc fitting I nicked the first 3 or so outer threads on that copper female fitting.If I don't use joint compound between the two there is a very slow leak in the connection so I thought maybe it's best to remove that damaged copper fitting.
    I would think that the crack would be either water froze in the fitting, or it was too tight. I still don't understand how you 'nicked' the first three threads. I can understand a cross-thread, but not a 'nick'. If that happened (cross-thread), that fitting should have been replaced right then and there.

    Any threaded fittings need either tape or compound to keep them water-tight or gas-tight. How was the copper fitting damaged?

    As far as I know there isn't a compression fitting for this. Even if there was one, I would never use a compression fitting on an irrigation system. You don't want a fit like that, that close to a home. If that ever failed, think of how much water would be comming out of that fitting that close to your home.

    Mick

  6. #6
    DIY Member vaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    41

    Default Nicked copper threading

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireguy97 View Post
    I would think that the crack would be either water froze in the fitting, or it was too tight. I still don't understand how you 'nicked' the first three threads. I can understand a cross-thread, but not a 'nick'. If that happened (cross-thread), that fitting should have been replaced right then and there.

    Any threaded fittings need either tape or compound to keep them water-tight or gas-tight. How was the copper fitting damaged?

    As far as I know there isn't a compression fitting for this. Even if there was one, I would never use a compression fitting on an irrigation system. You don't want a fit like that, that close to a home. If that ever failed, think of how much water would be comming out of that fitting that close to your home.

    Mick
    I did not know what I was doing. The PVC fitting that goes into the copper fitting broke off and left some inside the copper fitting. As i later learned I could have just twisted it out with pliers which is what I ended up doing but not before I took a saber saw to the broken off plastic piece. Well it did cut that piece but it also damaged the female thread. So that question is answered I need to desolder the female fitting and have a new one applied.Think I'll call a pro for that as I've never soldered no desoldered copper pipe.

  7. #7
    DIY Member vaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    41

    Default Desoldering fitting heat shield

    Quote Originally Posted by vaman View Post
    Last year I replaced the PVB on my system. While messing around with the system I damaged some of the threads on the supply line female fitting. The male fitting would tighten in only with joint compound. Over the winter I noticed the pvc line was disconnected from the female fitting and the "t" was cracked.
    The system was winterized in early October.
    Could the cracked pvc piece be related to the damaged copper fitting threads allowing some water to remain in and then freeze over the winter and expand the pvc line?
    I thought it would be wise to replace that female fitting anyway. It is soldered on. I have no exprience with soldering or desoldering.
    And as the picture shows it very close to vinyl siding so I don't want to risk melting our home.Are there female compression fittings available that can be used instead? I could then just saw off the fitting and adjust the the line with longer pvc line.
    I've decided I will desolder it myself;since I've fixed the rest of the system I just don't want to pay to have someone do this part.I have a friend that will lend me a plumber's torch along with rosin and solder. Question is since the fitting is about 2 inches from the vinyl siding I know I need to protect the siding. What is the best way to go. Something like cool gel? How well would a plumber's cloth or shield work since they would be placed perpendicular to the fitting rather than behind it?
    Or am I better taking the line apart inside? The supply line is our basement with plenty of clearance where I could place a cloth behind it to protect the wall. Then I could clamp the fitting to be desoldered on a bench desolder it and solder a new fitting and then resolder the joint in the basement. Help is appreciated.

  8. #8
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    If your going to replace the female I would re-pipe it with copper.

    John

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,655

    Default

    It cracked because it is a MALE adapter. They ALWAYS crack, because they are the weakest fitting ever made. ANY stress, such a dog running into it, will snap them. A thread PVC nipple with a thead on one end is much better, but only by degrees. I would NEVER use plastic to mount the vacuum breaker. If the fitting did not leak with the plastic screwed into it, then it will not leak when anything else is screwed in either. Use brass nipples and fittings or soldered copper. Install a hose faucet in the tee, or some other way of easily draining the water out.
    Last edited by hj; 06-18-2010 at 07:58 AM.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member Even Flow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Crown Point, IN.
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    ....Install a hose faucet in the tee, or some other way of easily draining the water out.

    Installing a hose faucet in the tee under the PVB creates a potential cross-connection. Eventually someone will leave a hose attached and lying in God-knows-what. Better to leave a plug in it, which can be easily removed when it is time to winterize.

  11. #11
    Irrigation Contractor Fireguy97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Kamloops, in Beautiful British Columbia
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Even Flow View Post
    Installing a hose faucet in the tee under the PVB creates a potential cross-connection. Eventually someone will leave a hose attached and lying in God-knows-what. Better to leave a plug in it, which can be easily removed when it is time to winterize.
    Even better than that, you should install a hose bibb after the PVB to winterize and not ever send compressed air through any Backflow assembly. This way you will also have a protected hose bibb. Even with a plug in, "which can easily be removed", you are creating a possible cross connection.

    Mick

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member Even Flow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Crown Point, IN.
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireguy97 View Post
    Even better than that, you should install a hose bibb after the PVB to winterize and not ever send compressed air through any Backflow assembly. This way you will also have a protected hose bibb. Even with a plug in, "which can easily be removed", you are creating a possible cross connection.

    Mick
    Absolutely true, that IS better.

    But if there is already a tee there, I would rather see a plug than a hose bibb.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,655

    Default

    EVERY hose bibb should have its OWN backflow preventer, so that is not a problem with a properly installed one.

  14. #14
    Irrigation Contractor Fireguy97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Kamloops, in Beautiful British Columbia
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    EVERY hose bibb should have its OWN backflow preventer, so that is not a problem with a properly installed one.
    Very true, they should have their own. One of the problems that I've seen (right across North America) is that people tape hose bibb vacuum breakers, jamb stuff in them and do all kinds of crap things to them to "stop them from leaking" including removing them. In a perfect world, you are right hj, they should have their own. But I would trust a residence a lot more with a hose bibb after a PVB than one with just a hose bibb VB. PVB's are a lot harder to remove.

    Mick

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •