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Thread: How do I tap into copper water lines?

  1. #1
    DIY Member bassadict69's Avatar
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    Default How do I tap into copper water lines?

    I am having a trench dug this week so I can run water to my shed from the house. Looking at things, it appears that the easiest thing to do will be to tap into the hot and the cold water lines on top of my hot water heater. Both those lines are copper? Is it possible to tap into those? What do I need? What would be best to run underground to the shed?

    I am in N.W. La so freezing of below ground pipes really is not a problem.

    The hot water heater sits in the corner of our utility room so what I hope to do, is tap into the lines at the top of the water heater, run those through the brick to the outside of the house, down the brick and into the ground and run those lines below ground to my shed so I will have both hot and cold water to a small fish cleaning table on the outside of the shed.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Well, we would solder the pipes, but based on what you plan to do, I suggest sharkbite tees. Read the directions carefully so you will have a good fit and no leaks.

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    DIY Member bassadict69's Avatar
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    So, what material should I run for the underground lines? PVC?

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You can't use PVC for hot water....underground or not. Use PEX or CPVC, or copper.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You want to remember that both PEX and CPVC inside diameters are smaller than copper of the same nominal size. If you use either of those materials, go one size larger than the copper.

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    DIY Member bassadict69's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that a 3/4 Shark Tee would work on 3/4 copper, cpvc, or pex?

    Looking at it, I believe the copper lines above the water heater are 3/4...what size tee do I need?




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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    3/4 it is!

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sharkbites rely on clean, smooth pipe. The solder drips you have there will not allow a good seal. A traditional soldered copper T may be called for.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Member bassadict69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    You want to remember that both PEX and CPVC inside diameters are smaller than copper of the same nominal size. If you use either of those materials, go one size larger than the copper.
    I went with 1/2 lines underground...should I have went with 3/4 for the cpvc hot water line? I used 1/2 pvc for the cold side.

    I have not tapped into the lines yet...my trench was dug and we are supposed to get some rain, so I went ahead and buried the lines running to my shed.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I think you'll be OK. Thing you have to realize is that your hot water will be cool until the cool water is purged from the lines. You will also lose temperature because it is buried. You never said how far it is to the shed, but 1/2" pipe holds a lot less water than 3/4" so it will take less time and waste less water with your 1/2" pipe. Your flow may be weak because of the small inside diameter of the CPVC, but should be enough for washing hands.

  11. #11
    DIY Member bassadict69's Avatar
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    It is right at 50 ft to the shed...

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