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Thread: pipe through stud: Snug or loose?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Default pipe through stud: Snug or loose?

    I need to run some3/4 pipe through a stud. A 7/8Ē spade bit cuts a hole that is just about perfect; quite snug.

    Iím worried that the hole will be too small if the pipe heats up (domestic hot water) and that I will eventually have a failure.

    Should I worry? Should I cut the hole larger? Whatís the best way to make sure that the pipe does not rattle if itís in a hole?

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Make a larger hole.

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    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    Make a larger hole.
    OK, dumb question.

    What's the best way to make a 7/8" hole bigger?

    How much bigger would you recommend?

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Probably the easiest way is to use a jig saw, recip saw, or keyhole saw and just carve it out enough to make room. You could redrill it if you happen to have have a 1" steel bit, but don't try it with a spade bit. For new holes, get a 1" or larger spade bit.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    Probably the easiest way is to use a jig saw, recip saw, or keyhole saw and just carve it out enough to make room. You could redrill it if you happen to have have a 1" steel bit, but don't try it with a spade bit. For new holes, get a 1" or larger spade bit.
    What I did that work well is to use a RotoZip set to a 1/8" depth and ream out enough so that a 1" spade could sit on the larger lip. That provided enough "anti-dance" material so that I could drill down with the 1" spade.

    Now that we have that solved, what would have happend if I had let the pipe be snug in the wood? I had spoken to the, uh, expert at Home Depot and he said that he had done a lot of new construction exactly that way.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You would just lose any play that you might need to fit pieces together. Other than that, I don't think it would actually hurt anything to have the tight fit. Sounds like the Roto Zip worked well for you.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default hole

    What might have happened would be that you would come back here and say that you hear a "drip" in the wall when the hot water is run, but you do not see any water on the floor.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    What might have happened would be that you would come back here and say that you hear a "drip" in the wall when the hot water is run, but you do not see any water on the floor.
    That's interesting and unexpected.

    I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that there could be an actual leak but that I wouldn't see it but could hear it?

    Or are you saying that I would hear something that isn't really there? If this second one, what would cause such a phenomenon?

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You might hear a "ticking" sound as the pipe rapidly expands while it heats up. That sound, to the unitiated, sounds like a pipe dripping. It will also make the sound as the pipe reverts to ambient temperature, but since that happens at a much slower rate the sound usually is not loud enough to hear it.

  10. #10
    DIY Member khayes's Avatar
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    HJ is right on. We have a copper water pipe running through the ceiling over our downstairs den and when hot water is requested upstairs, it sounds very much like a drip, a hard tap kind of sound. It is the pipe expanding and rubbing against the joist it is drilled through. Once the pipe is fully warmed, the noise stops. I've had a plumber verify this - it's been doing it for 15 years and there has never been evidence of any leaks - we've gotten used to it. So go for a larger hole.

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