Supply valve to fit swollen copper pipe?

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Old 06-10-04, 04:22 AM
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Supply valve to fit swollen copper pipe?

I am trying to repair a supply valve on what looked like 1/2" copper pipe. After I removed the supply valve, which was sweated on, the copper measured a full 5/8" and won't fit in any of the 1/2" compression fittings. I went back to the Lowes and bought what was marked as 5/8" compression supply valve, and that too is too small . . . in fact, when I compared the ferrules from a 1/2" and 5/8" compression fitting, they looked exactly the same to me.
A salesperson said that the pipe had likely frozen at some time, and that the copper had "swollen" to the point that these fittings won't work. He suggested taking a flange tool and using the clamp to reduce size of the copper pipe. I tried that on the bit of copper that was coming out of the now-removed supply valve, and it did reduce the diameter, but caused a large "crinkle" in the pipe wall.
A second store - - this time a plumbing supply house - -also did not have any fitting to go over this pipe, which measures a true 5/8" OD, and they suggested swagging out the pipe so it would accept a piece of 1/2" copper sweated inside.
Any suggestions on how to fix this? Are there true 5/8" OD fittings (either compression or sweated) that I could put on this pipe without having to either compress it or expand it? Have you ever heard of using a 1/2" iron pipe threaded fitting and sweating it onto the copper pipe?
Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-10-04, 04:58 AM
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When it comes to copper piping there are two measuring terminologies and they often get mixed up.
There is pipe size and tubing size.
Pipe size is based on steel pipe and roughly reflects the inside diameter.
Tubing size refers to soft copper and is the outside diameter.
In the plumbing trade, hard drawn copper tubing is normally referred to by it's pipe size. The material you are working with is both 1/2" pipe size and 5/8" tubing size. It's true diameter is 5/8'.
Because compression fittings are sized by tubing size you will need a 5/8" compression ferrule for what you are working on. They should be fairly common and if what you are buying is 5/8" and won't fit you would do well to cut the pipe back and install it on a good section.
If it's too short you will have to cut it back then extend it.
Old 06-10-04, 05:16 AM
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I don't recommend mixing ferrous (steel) and non-ferrous (brass or copper) metals due to potential electrolysis corrosion.
Is this pipe under a sink? If it is, just open up the wall or floor, remove the "swollen" part, and sweat in a new section of 1/2" copper line.
Then, problem permanently solved...a standard compression valve will work on it.
Good Luck!
Old 06-10-04, 04:59 PM
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Hi, You said you sweated off the supply valve and now you are trying to replace it with a compression type valve? If this is the case solder will be left on the pipe and the ferrul will not go over it. I would suggest you sand the pipe and sweat on an adapter.1/2" copper to 1/2" male threaded and then install a angle stop with 1/2" female theads.
Goodd Luck Woodbutcher
Old 06-15-04, 03:04 AM
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Finally got it fixed

A long process, but the water is now on. When I measured the tubing with a vernier caliper, it measured 11/16 OD and 5/8 ID. Obviously no fittings for that, and sanding it down was not an option. Ultimately, I used a flaring clamp to hold the tubing while I tapped a swag into the tubing to enlarge it enough to accept standard 1/2" copper tubing, and from there on it was a standard fix with a 1/2" compression angle stop. Just thought that I'd report back in case anyone else runs into this odd size tubing, or this type of problem.
Old 06-16-04, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Mull3125
in fact, when I compared the ferrules from a 1/2" and 5/8" compression fitting, they looked exactly the same to me.
My guess is that someone messed up and put 1/2 fittings back into the 5/8" spot. There should be a noticable size difference in the ferrules.
Old 06-16-04, 12:25 PM
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There really is no mystery when dealing with tubing sizes as opposed to pipe size.

In our rural town I am known as the wierd fitting guy because I work with tube sizes on a daily basis.
The actual dimension is no different than pipe sizes, it's just a different name.
3/8" and smaller is normally soft drawn and sold in the lumber yards as 3/8 with an od of 3/8".
My sizes are;................................ 1/2. 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 1 1/8, 1 3/8, etc.
Pipe size for these same ones are;... 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4, etc.
The corresponding sizes are the same od and use the same fittings.

You must go by od when determining tubing or copper pipe sizing.
Id is meaningless due to different wall thickness, the same as it is for steel pipe. Fittings go by od.
What really messes a lot of folks around here is some older mobile homes use an extremely thick wall pipe. Not sure why............ maybe freeze resistance?

When you measure and get an od of 11/16 it is likely 3/4" pipe or 7/8 tube size.
You have to make sure you measure an undisturbed portion of pipe.
Old 12-11-12, 03:20 PM
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11/16" pipe

I stumbled across this thread and see that it has been abandoned for some time. My response is for any others who may come across it in the furture and need an answer.
I've seen my fair share of swollen and deformed soft copper tubing, but found out several years ago that there is still 11/16" OD copper inside both residential and commercial buildings.
Tyically if a pipe swells from freezing it will split the hub of the valve connected to it or you will see the swollen pipe OD exceed the valves ID where the connect. There will also be inconsistencies in the OD throughout the pipe.
If I remember correctly, Westinghouse supplied an 11/16" pipe which was more commonly installed on the west coast, but can be found here and there throughout the country.
Plumbing supply houses used to carry the replacement valves and fittings through the 1980's until they were considered obsolete and unnecessary.
I have found some of this pipe in perfect condition and not subjected to freezing or temperature distortion. After days of searching I finally found a supply house with and old-timer who immediately recognized the pipe and enlightened me to the size. More research confirmed what he told me.
The end result...using a swage tool to insert a peice of 1/2" copper into the swaged 11/16" copper was the solution.
Hope somebody else finds this post well, and doesn't bang their head on the wall too much before it.
Old 12-11-12, 04:17 PM
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Interesting information.

I have experienced tubing swelling and distortion due to freezing A LOT!
Our climate makes this a common occurrence and a frustration to many.

What I do not have experience with is a copper tubing outside diameter of 11/16".
I most certainly have not seen it all but I checked and can not find any reference to any fitting being manufactured or sold using this size for residential or commercial plumbing, HVAC or other use.
I could not even find a reference to any other use for this size.

Copper tube sizes were standardized in the 1920's with the ASTM 88 standard.
It has been revised many times since it then but standard tubing sizes remain the same.

If any one can find solid info about early standard tubing sizes being different from what is available today I'm all ears.

Copper tubing info.
Old 12-11-12, 04:38 PM
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I am going to close this old thread. Anyone with pipe issues please start a new thread....

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