move copper water pipe?

Old 03-24-00, 04:47 PM
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My home, built in 1978, has all copper plumbing. I hear it last almost forever, for which I am grateful. However, I have one concern: A few years back the previous owner upgraded the electric. He place the new panel right under the kitchen sink. A little worrisome, although I am still not freaked yet. But, what does freak me out is that the cold water inlet pipe literally sits right above the panel. If there was ever a leak, I could not even shut my box off, I would have to call the electric company to shut off the power from the main line. I understand that moving the electric panel would be very expensive, so I began thinking about moving the water line. This would entail drilling a new hole under the kitchen sink, no big problem, and the copper runs into a flexible line which could be easily moved. I figure I would have to move the copper pipe which juts up under the sink, then move the pipe in the basement and reattatch it. I think 3 elbow joints to accomodate a few extra turns would do it. Does this sound reasonable? I am neither a plumber nor an electrician so if I am not using the right terminology, bear with me. Thanks in advance for any input.
Old 03-24-00, 06:22 PM
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Someone put an electrical panel under a kitchen sink? Whoa. That's a new one on me. Well, whatever, you still have to deal with it. Moving the plumbing line will not necessarily lessen the leak problem, if it's under a sink, which can leak any number of ways. If water is pouring onto an electrical panel, even if you flipped the main, the two legs above the main breaker would still be hot with 120v+ each, and things would blow! I think that I would try to waterproof the panel some way, by putting some type of plastic cover over it to keep it dry, no matter what leaked. Good Luck!
Old 03-24-00, 07:29 PM
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I don't know as i don't agree with Oldguy but here is the basics of water pipe in case you need it ever.
Clean the copper nice and shinny with emery cloth. Clean the insides of the fittings. Then put a small amaount of flux on the copper pipe and the inside of the fitting. Basically you need to remember that solder will not take (stick) to dirty copper or copper without flux. Heat the copper hot enough the solder melts and runs but no too much hotter than that. Heat draws the solder so hold the flame towards the back of the joint. Many plumbers would tell you also not to touch the cleaned copper as the oil from your hands will effect it.

The hardest part of working with existing lines is the water in them. You can not solder pipes with water and steam can also cause leaks. To prevent this turn a faucet on at the lowest point and a faucet on at a higher point to act as a vent. Drain the lines as good as you can get them. If water is still a problem a common trick is to put some bread in the line before putting it together this will stop the water long enough for you to get it soldered and then the bread will come out of the faucet when you turn it on.

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