Inserting Copper Tee on 3/4" Pipe - Can't Fit It

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Old 02-20-21, 09:12 AM
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Inserting Copper Tee on 3/4" Pipe - Can't Fit It

I am adding a water line for my new humidifier, and my plan is to tap the 3/4" hot from the water heater. I've been practicing my joints, and I feel comfortable enough to do it. I'm having a bit of trouble in that I expected more flex with the 3/4" line. I cut out a section about 3/4" to accommodate the tee. I'm able to move the pipe about an additional 1/4" comfortably. I'm not quite sure how much space I would need to insert the tee but I know I don't have enough space at the moment. I checked in the ceiling and this pipe goes to a 90 elbow. I'm not sure what is considered too much pressure, and if I can safely force it a bit more. My last resort plan is to use a Sharkbite slip joint fitting and get a plumber in to make a permanent connection. I'd like to avoid that if possible, but it's an option. Also, I am about 8" from the drywall. Is this a safe distance or should I get one of the fireproof mats to put back there? I've enclosed a picture so you can see.

By the way, I haven't cleaned or deburred anything yet. I will definitely do that before soldering.
 
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Old 02-20-21, 09:37 AM
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You are kind of going about it wrong. When you are inserting a fitting or section of pipe between 2 immovable objects, you need to cut out a larger section of pipe, (say 6" or so) then use a repair coupling.

A repair coupling does not have a "stop" in the middle of it, so it will fully slide up onto the pipe you cut (6" above). Then you replace your tee (below), and then measure from the tee to the cut end of the pipe above. Then you sweat that pipe into the tee. So your 2 pieces of pipe will be touching, or very close to touching. Then you flux up the pipes and slide the repair coupling

You would clean all the pipe, clean the fitting, flux it up, and then slide the repair coupling down over the seam and solder the 2 pipes together.

8" is PLENTY of room, you don't have to point the torch at the drywall, you will have enough room to put it behind and aim it back toward you.
 
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Old 02-20-21, 09:59 AM
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(Never fails while I was typing the following XSleeper beat me to it. But it looks like we agree.)

You might need to use a repair coupling. Here is an example:

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...4449318747.htm

The coupling slides over the copper pipe. You can then slide the coupling over a gap and onto the next piece of pipe to close the gap and then solder. In other words, you can cut the piping to fit a tee or whatever, and then use the repair coupling to close the necessary gap you had to make.

If you can’t spread the pipes more than 1/4 inch I think you would have to use the repair coupling. See what others say.

Also, I think 8” is more than enough room to solder. I use cookie sheets or pie plates or whatever, and fasten them or fix them somehow to block any flames from hitting flammable material.

(coupling pictured is 1", you would need 3/4" - and they come in different lengths. I think you can buy a 12" and cut it in pieces as required. Think so. It's been a while since I bought one)
 
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Old 02-20-21, 10:30 AM
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A union could also be used,
 
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Old 02-20-21, 10:46 AM
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A heat shield is a worthwhile investment. I have and use them all the time.
Soldering heat shield

That almost looks like a no-stop tee in the picture. Does it slide completely on the 3/4" pipe ?

As mentioned.... you could always use a no-stop coupler in the 3/4" line.
 
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Old 02-20-21, 11:59 AM
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I have a piece of 6 inch stovepipe (uncoupled) in my soldering kit. It curves nicely around the work area. I have also seen mention of ceramic tiles used for heat shield.
 
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Old 02-20-21, 02:29 PM
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Just a tip. Talking heat shields. I use pieces if old ceramic tile.
 
Marq1 voted this post useful.
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Old 02-20-21, 04:55 PM
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Just a tip. Talking heat shields. I use pieces if old ceramic tile.
I just use a piece of sheet metal, no, forget it, I just solder and keep the flame on the pipe, you dont need anything, it's not rocket science!
 
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Old 02-21-21, 10:47 AM
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Marq1 Ė

Iím no expert for sure, and I would agree with you keep the flame on the pipe and you wonít have a problem. But Iíve had to sweat joints very close to a wall (within one inch) and thatís when I used a heat shield or sometimes cookie sheets etc.

The reason I do it that way is because as far as I know itís best to run the flame around the pipe as much as possible in order to get the joint hot evenly before you apply solder. I couldnít figure out how to do that without the flame hitting the wall. So in the past I have opted to protect the wall and run the flame around the pipe as much as possible, with the flame actually pointing directly towards the wall (but the wall now protected) during the process.

But, here is a video where a guy is doing it more like you suggest. He just runs the flame from the top and doesnít worry about it. Maybe that is the best way to do it in a tight spot, but it just seems questionable to me- but I sure am not an expert.(I canít hear what he says my sound is screwed up.)

Be interesting to hear what others think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7xGjOGO_CU
 
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Old 02-21-21, 11:09 AM
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[QUOTE][Be interesting to hear what others think./QUOTE]

For plumber or expert sure. But for the occasional piping I doubt most of us are that skilled and steady.
LOL
 
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Old 02-21-21, 11:39 AM
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Hi Norm Ė

Are you saying that you can do it the way the guy in the video did it, or do you mean most of us arenít steady enough to do it that way and should use a heat shield?
 
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Old 02-21-21, 11:50 AM
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The way its done in the video is how you do it. You don't need to move the torch all around. You heat the pipe with the torch. You don't need the flame to hit all sides of the pipe... just one side. You just need the pipe and fitting to get hot enough to melt the solder. Once its hot enough you can even shut the torch off and then hit it with the solder and it should melt easily, and the flux sucks into the joint. You move the solder around the joint, not the torch.

Too much flame, right on the flux just chars the pipe and burns up your flux. The flux should melt and stay a clean liquid.

A pad or some other method to protect the wall is just insurance, and if you have it, use it.

The op, in post 1, has 8" of space behind the pipe... you would have to be pretty incompetent to burn the wall with that much room.
 
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Old 02-21-21, 12:58 PM
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A pad or some other method to protect the wall is just insurance
I heard in quite a few tutorials that, if you can, you should also have a fire extinguisher and bucket of water on hand when soldering in tough places, and so thatís what I do in addition to a pad/shield. When doing a job for my sister one time her eyes almost popped out when she saw them Ė LOL!
 
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Old 02-21-21, 01:07 PM
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On a lot of commercial jobs you have a designated person assigned as a fire guard any time any "hot work" is done. In some cases they monitor for half hour and then make checks for up to 2 hours after. Of course that policy varies from place to place. But considering that accidents happen...
 
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Old 02-21-21, 01:59 PM
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If anything is near by that can catch fire I used heat shield. Don't need any extra work or expense. I'm talking close quarters like in rafters and joist or within an inch of a wall.
But I agree heating the copper on all sides is not necessary. Just hot enough to get capillary action to seal the joint.
And if you're new at this don't worry about excess solder running down the pipe or over soldering. And don't hit it with a wet rag for cooling. Let cool down on it's own. Don't want a cold solder (yes it also makes difference in plumbing as it does in electrical).
 
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Old 02-21-21, 03:31 PM
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Iíve had to sweat joints very close to a wall (within one inch) and thatís when I used a heat shield
That's when you give the adjoining wall a little art work!




 
 

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