I would solder on a shutoff, and two male adapters. Then use 24" flex connectors with the 3/4" threaded ends.
Pictures below) I recently found a hole in the drain pan under my hot water heater. My hot water heater has rigid copper piping for the water lines which would seem to make it difficult to disconnect and allow me to lift the hot water heater to put the new pan under it. Some friends suggested to cut the existing copper tubing add in the corrugated flexible copper tubing with compression connections. I also know I need to add a shut off valve. There are limited locations on the rigid copper lines for me to cut and try a compression fitting due to slight kinks/crimps in the existing tubing which would make it difficult to get a good seal with the compression fittings. Plus, my lines are only about 17.5 inches from the wall to the heater with a gentle curve, I'm afraid that the 12-18" flexible copper sections would be too long and require some nasty bends to make the connection with the cut locations I have, and I don't know how I would tie in a shut off valve with the limited space. Should I just heat up the existing soldered connection and remove the copper piping there in order to maximize my space? Would the two inches of copper piping coming out of the wall be enough to use a compression fitting? What precautions should I take when using a torch that close to a wall? I have never worked with copper tubing so any help or advice is greatly appreciated. I hate to call a plumber for something this silly, but I'm open to suggestions. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by Terry; 05-17-2011 at 06:15 PM.
I suppose you know the heater is on borrowed time. That really doesn't affect what you want to do now, however. When replacement time comes, the flex copper lines should always be replaced when the heater is replaced. Don't try to save a buck and reuse them.
You have plenty of room to solder neat the wall. I would not try to 'splice in' to the soft copper sections. Use a heat mat and/or cool gel on the wall.
If the pipes coming out of the wall are not perfectly round, compression fittings may be a problem. I would opt of sweat a male adapters then screw on a ball valve followed by the flex copper to the tank. As Jimbo notes, use protection. I have had good success with cutting and flatting a #10 can then notching it to slip over the pipe between the wall and joint. Remember, to keep a spray bottle of water handy just in case things get a bit too hot.
Thanks everyone, I'll sweat the male connections on there and go from there. Thanks again!