Compression conundrum


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Old 02-25-13, 07:18 PM
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Compression conundrum

Are compression fittings on copper pipe a taboo topic with plumbers or something? Is there something wrong with using compression fittings instead of solder? Because threads seem to peter out as soon I ask about the topic. If there's a problem, what is it? If it's a dirty word I can spell it as c***ression . . .
 
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Old 02-25-13, 07:40 PM
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I don't see nothing wrong.... I like compression. What are you trying to do? I dislike shark bites if anything...
 

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Old 02-25-13, 08:41 PM
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Don't know what shark bits are, but for what I'm doing see the threads from me, "Copper pipe reconnection" and "Another copper pipe question". One is how to reconnect copper pipe after cutting it to install siding, the other is how to reconnect a hose bib that's currently soldered to copper pipe - also needs to be removed. I've been warned against trying to solder them myself but nobody suggested an alternative except getting a plumber. Thing is, I'm well over budget on the siding work already and don't want to hire a plumber to do what seem to be two pretty straightforward tasks.

Asked about the compression fitting option last post in the first thread and got no response. So I thought I'd try a more direct thread!
 
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Old 02-26-13, 02:55 AM
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This is the third thread on the same subject. I would try to keep all this in one train of thought. It really gets confusing asking all the same questions on different threads. You DID get answers, it is just that you didn't like them. You cannot use compression fittings to fix your outdoor faucet. That's it.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 05:05 PM
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You're right that there were 3 threads. My experience is that you guys seem to get irritated with an original thread if there are followup questions, and it works better to rephrase the question in a new thread, especially when something seems to be going wrong. For example you told me to unscrew a hose bib that I said was soldered. I guess you could say you already answered that question but it didn't make sense. That's why I didn't "like" that particular answer. When I asked for clarification you didn't respond. Another example would be an earlier thread where I was told to hire a plumber to snake a drain. I don't remember who it was but I bought a snake and cleared the drain with 100% satisfaction.

I appreciate you finally saying that a hose bib can't have compression fittings, but I still don't know two things: (1) why it can't, and (2) if there is any other alternative way to reconnect a faucet besides soldering, because the consensus seems to be that soldering is too hard to get right.

I do think that since this is a DIY forum it would help if you assume that I want to do it myself and answers to "call a plumber" might not be helpful. I appreciate a heads-up when something is difficult, but alternative ways of getting the job done would be the most useful kind of response and if there aren't any alternatives, saying why.

On the pipe into my laundry room, I also got answers. They also talked about soldering and how difficult it was. But the bottom line on that one is tho that if I didn't happen to know about compression fittings, I could have spent a few hundred $$ on a plumber and never have heard about other ways to reconnect that one pipe.

Note that both threads originally asked about how to reconnect a copper pipe, not necessarily how solder it.

I really appreciate your help, but I just don't see a problem with asking for clarification.

Finally, in case it's not obvious, my last question in both threads was about whether I shouldn't use compression fittings. Nobody answered! Hence the new thread.
 

Last edited by suobs; 02-26-13 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 02-26-13, 06:08 PM
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you didn't respond
No need for me to respond, as Mike said it was soldered. I have never seen a soldered joint with a hex head, but he is a plumber, I'm a naildriver.

Soldering is not rocket science, just heat application and solder. I know there is more to it than that, such as cleaning the surfaces and flux, but once the heat is obtained, solder will flow.
If the faucet is not broken, I would not try to remove it and replace it. In a likelihood, the cut on your siding will not be noticeable, and it is done every day. I don't know of any siding crew that insists on having a sillcock removed to apply siding. Neater, sure. More practical, probably not.

WHY can't you put a compression fitting on the sillcock? Where would you put it? You'll have to desolder the sillcock from the pipe, leaving a pipe and a hole in the sillcock where the pipe came out. You would have to resolder a stub into the sillcock end in order to apply a compression fitting. Soooo, why not just resolder the sillcock to the existing pipe?
 
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Old 02-26-13, 06:29 PM
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One of those 3 threads also involved cutting your central ac pipes to install the siding and more than 1 reply advised you that you need a professional to do that. It's not a DIY project as simple as it may seem.

For a small project just having the plumber show up is the biggest part of the bill so why not have him/her take care of the other ones while they are there? It is what it is as far as the ac pipes are concerned. You have 2 choices. Pay someone to do it or splice the siding around the pipes.

Nobody here is going to give you another option on the ac pipes no matter how many times you ask.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 07:53 PM
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The 3 threads I mean are all in the plumbing forum, not the A/C forum. They have nothing to do with the A/C pipes. I'm fine with the A/C answer because I got an explanation of why I can't do it, for both removal and reconnection. There's no debate there. I am NOT asking for another option on the A/C - if you're assuming I'm trying to circumvent the A/C answer, well, you're making a big aassumption there.

My last post on that part of the A/C says "Thanks, fair enough. I have a feeling I won't like the price . . . I'll probably be doing some creative jigsaw work piecing the siding around the A/C holes". You may not be aware of that seeing as it's pretty clear you haven't actually read any of these threads . . .

The thread you replied to here was a followup to two previous questions in the plumbing forum. That's 2+1=3 threads. The questions are both about reconnecting copper water lines, one going to my washer and one going out to a hose bib. The bib happens to be on the same wall as the A/C but beyond that I don't see how you're making this link.

Read the first post in this thread again. The question is about alternatives to solder for reconnecting copper water pipes. It is not about evacuating and recharging an A/C.

H ave you ever worked in politics?

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Old 02-26-13, 08:09 PM
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Have a beer on me!!

After that I really would appreciate help on my questions before I interrupt a much larger project trying to get a grand total of two (2) pipes to stick together without spending $300, and which will probably take me a day or two to do myself.

No compression fittings? No alternative? Really?
 
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Old 02-26-13, 08:28 PM
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Sorry I thought the CrispyB was from you Chandler, beating me up again! So Crispy got some undeserved sarcasm.

This is sheet siding. A single 4x8 sheet has to go on the wall, with your method (don't remove the sillcock) it would need a hole in it big enough to go over the sillcock. That's a big hole to have to seal for a 1/2" pipe. Or a bunch of joints to piece it together. It's not about whether a slice/hole/joint in the siding would be noticable, it's how it exposes the wood and wall to rot under a gable end, especially vertical joints which are impossible to seal properly. Plus you need to install blocking behind any joints because the siding is structural.

In my original plan this part was a minor bump, remove and replace something. Then it seemed to get complicated.

Anyway, maybe you've convinced me to try the soldering. Thanks! I don't care what you say (or don't say) I'm going with compression on the laundry room line.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 08:37 PM
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No compression fittings? No alternative? Really?
Yes I believe I stated what to do in the other post. Any compression fitting, shark bite etc will most likely need to be made inside the home. This is because those are larger connections/fitting. Solder joints will also need to be made inside to home. Cant solder in the wall....

Threaded connection is an option too.


If it were me I would remove the hose bibs then redrill the hole and install new frost free units later.
 
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Old 02-26-13, 08:41 PM
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How are you guys managing to quote things from other posts? I thought that option went away?
 
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Old 02-26-13, 08:42 PM
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Of course you may use compression fittings. Many don't like to see them buried in a wall because they do sometimes leak but it has been my experience that if they are going to leak they will do so immediately and not five years down the road. The biggest thing is do you have the space to use them?

Sunday I went to change out a frost-proof hose bib similar to yours for a friend. I had previously changed her kitchen sink faucet so I knew the frost-proof came through the outer wall into the space beneath the kitchen sink. Before I went under the sink I turned off the main water and pulled the stem of the faucet to see if perhaps the problem was just a torn washer but the problem was the washer end of the stem was MIA. That left no alternative but to change the entire faucet assembly so I had her remove all the junk from under the sink and I went down with my wrenches and guess what? Just like yours it was SOLDERED in place. I let out an expletive and said I would have to come back some other day because I didn't bring tools to solder.

So to answer Chandler, yes, frost-proof hose bibs are often soldered in place. I personally think it is the height of stupidity to do so but no one ever asked my opinion on the subject. I'll also say to suobs that soldering is an easy skill to learn, I learned when I was eight years old and with practice you only get better.

So here's your deal, if you don't want to learn to solder you don't have to. You can buy adapter fittings to go from threaded to compression. You can put one on the end of the frost-proof faucet and cut the existing copper to fit IF YOU CAN ACCESS THE AREA. The cheap compression fittings available from the mega-mart homecenter have an appalling rate of failure in my experience and I would much rather solder. If you don't mind spending $10 to $20 per fitting you can get high quality instrumentation grade compression fittings and they are far easier to "make up" without leaks.

Or you can use the Sharkbite fittings. These also come in combo threaded adapters and can be used by simply pushing them over the end of a properly cut and cleaned piece of tubing. They seal with an O-ring and are quite secure needing a special tool to remove them. They are also rather costly at $5 and up.

My last job with using compression couplings was to re-connect the 1/2 inch copper piping to my whirlpool bathtub after I moved the pipes and fitted shut-off valves. I wanted to use compression because it was in my crawlspace and I don't particularly like to use an open flame down there, especially not in my old age as I cannot move as easily as when I was in my twenties, or even my early fifties. After spending at least an hour and several trips up and down and STILL having leaks I grabbed my torch and soldering equipment and did the job correctly in less than five minutes. No leaks and I didn't set the house on fire either.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 03:27 AM
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frost-proof hose bibs are often soldered in place
Furd: I agree. My observation was this bib was not frost-proof.

Suobs: I don't beat people up.....often. I was just asking that you combine all your "same" problem items in one thread. They all have to do with your putting siding around plumbing/AC protuberances. It just makes it easier for us to give you information without having to go find the other post(s) to make sure we are in the same hymnbook when we give answers. Misinformation can lead to problems.

What I have done to avoid the ugly seams, is to cut the initial hole large enough to slip over the bib without the handle, etc, then make a small decorative block (similar in design to a rosette) with a 7/8" hole in it, split it and apply it to the siding with a bead of caulk in the seam prior to placing it. It can be painted to match the house and the bib can be attached to it to prevent twisting.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 03:31 AM
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Myself, given the choice of a solder joint made when learning to solder or a compression fitting the choice is clear.
A compression fitting is most times not the best choice but this sounds like one where it might be, especially considering your desire to use it.

One reason that they are less preferred is that a properly soldered joint is not likely to ever leak where compression fitting leaks are common.
Leaking compression fittings are most common on lines that are prone to the slightest movement or vibration.
Because of the forces on a hose bib I would suspect you may have to occasionally tighten it.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 05:19 AM
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Lorosa I didn't get what you mean about making connections "inside the home" and "you can't solder inside the wall". While I understand from the other posts that putting a joint inside the wall means you don't have access if it leaks later, I don't see where else I would put it.

In both of my situations I don't mind having a longer/uglier pipe or joint on the outside. But for both the washer and hose bib connections I will at least one connection inside the wall whether it's compression or soldered to extend the pipe. Where else would it be?

Right now I'm wondering if I can do without that hose bib. There's another one not too far away. Of course then I have start a new thread about how to cap a copper pipe!!
 
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Old 02-27-13, 05:34 AM
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Possibly your not understanding. The FF have a long stem. The connection is made in the home not where your current hose bib connects. Your current hose bib is just a boiler drain and is soldered right at the sheathing. You would have to add a length of pipe to that style.

Do you need FF? I think its good plus you need a vacuum breaker to code anyway.

I am just telling you whats easy from experience.

After you cut the pipe, to reconnect you can use whatever you want. The end of the hose bibs are combo threaded or sweat joint.


 
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Old 02-27-13, 05:37 AM
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Of course then I have start a new thread about how to cap a copper pipe!!
Keep all your questions togther please.... As a matter of fact I may merge them all. Its all related. We like it better when its all in one thread.

Now if you go from this to say a question about your car, well then that's different....

And relax. We are all volunteers here....


 
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Old 02-27-13, 05:44 AM
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OK maybe it was bad plumbing form to do it the way they did when they built the house, but both exterior pipes connect directly to pipes inside the wall. I assume the whole length of pipe from the source runs through the wall or in a very shallow space under the floor and/or above the walls. There is no basement the house is on a slab. A near as I can tell the floor is directly on the slab, no space between. [EDIT] The laundry pipe is a source coming from the outside. It goes into the wall where it makes a bend up a few feet to the washer bib and that's it as near as I can tell.

FF and frost-free I don't know but I'm in south Florida. It dips just below freezing for a few days every few years.

Even though I don't think it applies, I don't see how your diagram would be done. To put a new hose bib on you would have to get in under the floor to make that connection to the stem running through the wall?

As you can see in my case both are well above floor level.
 

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Old 02-27-13, 02:53 PM
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OK we are getting somewhere. So you do not want to cut in your walls to replace or extend these hose bibs?

I now understand... No basement or crawl...just a slab....
 
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Old 02-27-13, 03:06 PM
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My last post was a response to Lawrosa's last post with the diagram (which I thought I replied to, but it doesn't show as a quote) . What I'm not understanding is that the interior end of the "long stem" in the diagram will end up extending past the interior wallboard. My hose bib is outside a bedroom wall and there is no floor cavity. So unless I want a bunch of pipes in the middle of the bedroom, some kind of connection will have to be made inside the wall in the stud bay, even if it's just to extend the pipe to replace what I cut off to remove the hose bib. I'm being told I shouldn't do that. Whether the bib is part of a FF setup or gets attached directly to a plain old copper pipe, there will have to be at least one connection inside the wall, whether it's soldered or compression or whatever.

I'm starting to think I'm getting responses based on completely different ways of doing things . . . is anyone in agreement that I don't need FF in south Florida? Even if I do need it, it couldn't be inside the house and there can't be an interior turnoff valve.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 03:19 PM
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I now understand... No basement or crawl...just a slab....
 
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Old 02-27-13, 03:27 PM
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I'm starting to think I'm getting responses based on completely different ways of doing things . . . is anyone in agreement that I don't need FF in south Florida? Even if I do need it, it couldn't be inside the house and there can't be an interior turnoff valve.
You have to relax a bit bud.... I am trying to help you. Yoru getting a response based on what you are telling us. Listen I did not know you had no crawl or basement. I cannot read your mind...

Anyway you have been very rude to some members for no reason I can see. I suggest you stop and be more appreciative of the assistance you are getting. We are not there so we do not see what you see.

Hey have you cut open the wall yet?

Listen to me....I will explain this easy for you and you can answer or comment on each numbered line if you wish.

1. You want to remove the hose bib correct?
2. If above is true you will need to open the wall right? ( Have you shown us pics???)
3. They do make short FF hose bibs. Your in FL its your choice. Install what you wish.
4. So you will need to cut the pipe in the wall and reinstall a new hose bib. You can install any hose bib you wish. With that said you will need to reconnect in the wall right?
5. Its your house. Install whatever fitting you feel comfortable using. Compression, shark bite, threaded, or what have you. It certainly does not matter to me.... Again your house.


Now as a plumber 30 years I could tell you I would not want nothing but a soldered joint in my wall... but thats me... You may feel different so do what you wish...


Now tell me or ask me specifically what it is you want to know? Or what answer are you looking for????


I may close all your threads and call it a day so please be specific.


 
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Old 02-27-13, 03:34 PM
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Sounds like this pipe makes a 90 inside the wall and drops down into the slab, or is it possible it goes up and runs through the attic?

Once you remove the siding you could solder on a straight threaded adapter that has the hex flats on the threaded end and make it so the hex ends up on the outside of the wall so you can put a wrench on it while you screw in the new hose bib.

Two problems with that though. The hole in the new siding will be larger than the pipe to allow the hex end to pass through and there would be little support for the pipe and hose bib. Maybe a trip to the hardware store plumbing dept to peruse their selection of fittings and hose bibs would turn up a creative solution or variation of my suggestion.

Tough situation any way you look at it. Where's Macguyver when you need him?
 
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Old 02-27-13, 03:56 PM
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LAWROSA:

Well sorry if there's a perception that I'm not relaxed. I'm just sarcastic by nature. The bit about "completely different ways" wasn't meant as a criticism, more of a play-by-play analysis of what might be going wrong with this thread.

I really appreciate the help - if it weren't for you guysand might be depending on the 20-year old at Lowes for advice. Or my neighbor!

Listen to me....I will explain this easy for you and answer or comment on each numbered line.

I'm all ears. Here's your list. Answers in red:

1. You want to remove the hose bib correct?
Correct, but of course one of the questions is not about a hose bib. But let's stick to the hose bib question for now.
2. If above is true you will need to open the wall right? ( Have you shown us pics???)
Yes I need to open the wall but not from the inside. I will be in there when I remove the siding/sheathing from the exterior. You have a pic of the hose bib in a previous thread (but not with the wall removed). I will post it again here if you want.
3. They do make short FF hose bibs. Your in FL its your choice. Install what you wish.
I looked up FF and it seems to require an interior faucet so you can turn off the water during a freeze. That's not an option in a bedroom, plus as near as I can tell there was no attempt to make anything frost-proof in the original construction (see my last post about the exterior feed to the laundry, which also needs to be cut and reconnected but I'll save that for later). What I was getting at is, is FF for sub-zero temps for weeks at a time? Because it gets below 32 degrees only for a few days at a time here, and even that's rare. Plus as I said the laundry room feed is outside and always has been. We've never had a problem with anything freezing although the lizards get really really slow.
4. So you will need to cut the pipe in the wall and reinstall a new hose bib. You can install any hose bib you wish. With that said you will need to reconnect in the wall right?
Exactly my original plan. Cut the bib off close to the wall. Then cut the pipe instide the wall cavity and extend the pipe with a joint inside the wall so that it extends past the siding, then cut back the pipe a bit and reconnect a new hose bib.

5. Its your house. Install whatever fitting you feel comfortable using. Compression, shark bite, threaded, or what have you. It certainly does not matter to me.... Again your house. Now as a plumber 30 years I could tell you I would not want nothing but a soldered joint in my wall... but thats me... You may feel different so do what you wish...

OK, I'm going with solder even if I have to fill the garage with test joints! And as long as I'm doing solder I can probably figure out the laundry room problem.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:16 PM
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CRISPYB:

Sounds like this pipe makes a 90 inside the wall and drops down into the slab, or is it possible it goes up and runs through the attic?
On the hose bib pipe, I don't actually know yet because the wall is still on. It's not possible it runs along the wall? Because that's the way I was visualizing it, but I'm not a plumber and now that I think about it that would meaning drilling holes in a lot of studs. The laundry room washer feed (the other post) does come up from the slab and then goes into the wall, then up to the washer bib.

The hole in the new siding will be larger than the pipe to allow the hex end to pass through and there would be little support for the pipe and hose bib. Maybe a trip to the hardware store plumbing dept to peruse their selection of fittings and hose bibs would turn up a creative solution or variation of my suggestion.
The way I had it planned was I would cut the pipe to remove the bib, then remove the siding, then cut the pipe again inside the wall. Then attach an extension to extend the existing pipe out past the siding, install the siding with a hole to over over the pipe extension, then cut it a few inches out from the siding and install the new bib at the end. It will extend out farther but I can't see why that would be a problem. Nice small hole to seal around the pipe. The only questions really were how to make the connections but Lawrosa has convinced me to give myself a crash course in soldering.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:19 PM
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The proper method would have been to securely mount a "drop-ear' elbow in the wall and then use a brass threaded nipple through the sheathing and siding to the flanged sillcock.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:22 PM
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And here's the famous hose bib. And just to be thorough, the second photo is the notorious "laundry room pipe". Both need to be cut and reconnected to replace the siding.

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Name:  supply line IMG_20130224_105811.jpg
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Old 02-27-13, 04:30 PM
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FURD:
The proper method would have been to securely mount a "drop-ear' elbow in the wall and then use a brass threaded nipple through the sheathing and siding to the flanged sillcock.
That looks like it would mount on the inside of the wall but it looks pretty cool. Would need some sort of blocking to mount it to. The feed line would be soldered into that extension at the bottom I guess?
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:34 PM
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CRISPYB:
Tough situation any way you look at it. Where's Macguyver when you need him?
So maybe duct tape is the answer to my problem . . .
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:38 PM
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Yep! Generally a piece of 2x4 fastened between the vertical studs. They also make them with Sharkbite fittings to avoid soldering.

As for soldering, I can give you a crash course right here. There are also numerous YouTube videos on how to solder copper tubing. The main thing is to get the tubing (pipe) and fitting CLEAN before you solder.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:40 PM
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It also converts everything outside the wall to threaded, but you do end up with one threaded nipple connection inside the wall and I'm hearing only solder inside the wall. Unless the solid mount reduces the risk of the thread leaking?
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:45 PM
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Back before soldered copper all joints were threaded, it is not a problem.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:53 PM
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I wonder if there's something like that drop-ear but with a solderable nipple connection. You would solder in a nipple then fit the siding over it, then have a threaded connection for the hose bib. Although (plumbing faux-pas alert) I don't know if you can solder brass.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 04:53 PM
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That 90 with the ears that Furd posted is often used inside the end wall of a shower and the goose neck of your showerhead screws into it. Use plenty of teflon tape on the threads and it will not leak.

You will take any strain off the pipe in the wall when you crank the valve open and closed by using that type fitting. Use good screws !
 
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Old 02-27-13, 05:17 PM
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Another option instead of cutting the sheathing is access panels where the hose bib is. You may want to install a shut off in the wall for servicing.

Use plenty of teflon tape on the threads and it will not leak.

Oh Lord no!!!

When you use too much you will cause leaks. 4-5 times round max. Leave the first two threads exposed for a good seal.

Furds ell with ears is a very good option. But you need to secure it and the hole needs to be lined up. Or cross thread can occur.

Better to work from inside the wall out IMO.



 
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Old 02-27-13, 05:54 PM
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He is residing, guys. Much easier to work from the outside and then fit the new siding to the outsticking nipple.
 
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Old 03-01-13, 07:21 AM
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I like my dogs so I'm going with the dog-ear! Furd and CripyB, I agree that it looks like a solid solution for holding the bib solid.

So I'm in the plumbing isle buying all this stuff and I'm just wondering if there's a bombproof way to seal the threads inside the wall. There's teflon tape of course but there's also a few kinds of paste for sealing metal threads. And I still don't know if it's possible to solder around that connection (galvanized pipe threaded to brass? dog ear) before closing up the wall?

And one other question about solder. Painted pipe in photo. Paint stripper followed by sanding to clean it for soldering? And if it's not clean enough, how will I know? Will the solder just not stick, or is this something that will weaken the joint and I just won't know until it fails?
 
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Old 03-15-13, 06:25 PM
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Should I be able to release old solder with a torch, or does the pipe need to be cut?

Thanks,

Steve
 
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Old 03-16-13, 02:28 AM
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If you heat it hot enough and long enough a bit back from wall with a grabbing tool and some twisting action or popping away from joint it should come undone. Have some water handy to throw at it if need be.I have seen boiler drains sweated directly to pipe like you have too.
 
 

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