How to Add a Copper Pipe to an Existing Water Line

Copper pipe is a popular choice for water lines and is found in many homes around the world. Copper pipes have the benefit of being resistant to the various minerals found in drinking water, leading to less long-term damage. They also add minimal taste or smell to the water that they channel and are easy to manipulate and repair.

If you have an existing water line in your house that you wish to modify with copper pipe, ensure that you consult with a plumber or professional first in order to guarantee that you will not cause damage to your water line. After you've done that, follow these steps to add a copper piping system to an existing water line in your home or another building.

Step 1 - Gather Your Tools and Materials

You'll need the following tools to complete the process of adding a copper pipe to your existing water line:

  • Copper pipe of the same thickness as previous piping systems in your water line
  • Propane torch for welding
  • Pipe cutter
  • Pipe cleaning tool
  • Male and female piping elbows
  • Measuring tape
  • Tools to remove and/or reinstall any wall coverings that may be opened up as a part of the procedure

While you're gathering the tools and materials listed above, take care to shut off the water to your water line and take any other necessary actions to protect yourself and your work space from water or other damages.

Step 2 - Make a Plan

Because adding a pipe to an existing line may require extensive remodeling, including the destruction and reinstallation of walls and boring into studs and other parts of the house, it is crucial that you plan carefully before beginning your project. Work to devise a pipe path that meets building codes and is also as efficient as possible. Minimize the number of joints and the number of places that you'll need to break down the wall in order to access the piping system.

Step 3 - Measure and Cut all Components

Before beginning to install any portion of the copper pipe into your existing line, measure out and cut all of the different parts that you'll install. Next, fit them together by hand and outside of the existing water line to be sure that they work properly. It can be frustrating to get to a difficult part of the remodeling process only to find that your components are improperly sized.

Step 4 - Access the Line and Remove the Existing Pipes

If you wish to replace your existing line with copper piping, or if you are adding a new component of the line, access the piping system. In some cases, this may require removing a portion of the wall. Carefully remove the existing pipes or components that you intend to change so that you can replace them.

Step 5 - Construct the New Line

Construct portions of your new copper line outside of the piping system before you install it. If you desire, use flux or another cleaning material to prevent oxidation of the ends of the pipe. Next, use your propane torch to carefully solder the new pipe into place.

If you have any questions or concerns about the process of adding a copper pipe to an existing water line, consult with a plumbing expert.