How loose should fittings be?


Old 11-28-08, 05:43 AM
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How loose should fittings be?

I'm trying to solder some 1/2 inch copper pipe and have a couple of questions. I've been practicing soldering and one thing ive noticed is that even after sanding the end of the pipe for a while and using the steel brush inside the fittings, the fittings are tight on the copper pipe. I always thought that they should be very loose on the pipe (though I have nothing to base this on) so the solder could flow freely around the whole pipe.

Another couple of questions I have for clarity. I had a plumber put in the faucet for the tub but I wasn't there when he did it I forgot to tell him that I wanted the handle centered between the spigot and the shower head (it's a faucet with just one handle and he put the handle near the spigot). So I was planning on cutting the hot and cold lines into the faucet and then use couplers and extra pipes to raise the faucet and do the same for the lines to the spigot and the shower head. I figured if I did it this way (instead of removing the pipes from the faucet and reconnecting them to the faucet) it might eliminate some problems (I'm assuming he has good connections to the faucet). Is this a good way to do this or should I remove the pipes from the faucet?
Also I've done some practice pieces and they seem to not leak water but there isn't any pressure in them. How do I do a practice piece so I know that my solders wont leak under pressure?

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Old 11-28-08, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Tight and loose are subjective terms. If you are using off the shelf copper fittings you shouldn't have a problem. Don't oversand though. just enough to make the pipe bright and shiny.

You can test your practice joints by adding a hose fitting on the end of your practice piping and cap off the other end. Just hook it up to a hose and check for leaks.

I'm assuming that you are redoing a bath and have acces to the piping. I wouldn't bother moving the shower handle if it meant I had to redo tiles or open a wall for access. If the walls are not up yet, I would move the handle and redo all the piping.
Old 11-28-08, 07:11 AM
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They are fittings from Menards, Home depot, & Lowes. So to make sure I have this correct if they drag some when I put them on the pipe it is ok?

I didn't even think of putting a hose fitting on (seams real obvious now)

There is no walls up right now. So you are saying I should take all the pipe out of the faucet and start from scratch?

Thanks for the help

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