Plumbing: Pipes and Pipe Fittings: Flexible Copper Tubing


Flexible-copper tubing can be joined with flare fittings or compression fittings, or it can be soldered the same as you would rigid-copper pipe. A well-soldered joint is stronger and more durable than a flare-fitted joint, but flare fittings can be taken apart using a wrench. Remember, flare joints can leak unless carefully made. Even a small dent in the tube end can create a problem.

Flexible-copper tubing is most frequently used to run gas lines or as water- supply lines for dishwashers and evaporative air coolers. It’s particularly useful when access is limited, because it comes in coils up to 100 ft. and requires fewer fittings than rigid pipe. There are two common weights: type "L" is used for household plumbing and type "K" is a heavier tube used for underground and other installations.

Flexible-copper tubing can be joined with flare fittings or compression fittings, or it can be soldered the same as you would rigid-copper pipe. A well-soldered joint is stronger and more durable than a flare-fitted joint, but flare fittings can be taken apart using a wrench. Remember, flare joints can leak unless carefully made. Even a small dent in the tube end can create a problem.

When you buy flexible copper and fittings, pay close attention to the size. Unlike other types of pipe, it’s sold in both inside diameter (i.d.) and outside diameter (o.d.) sizes.


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Lightly pinch pipe between the cutting wheel and guide wheel. Rotate the cutter, scoring all the way around the pipe. When cutting resistance eases, tighten cutter knob a quarter turn and rotate again. Repeat until the pipe snaps off.

Making a Flare Fitting

1. Cut copper pipe squarely with a tube cutter and remove burrs from rough inner edge. Slip a flare nut on the pipe and clamp pipe tightly between the flaring tool’s two bars so the pipe’s rim is even with the bars’ top surface.

Remove inside burr by inserting the reaming attachment squarely and twisting a full revolution. 2. Mount shaper to bars and screw down ram to expand copper into cone-shaped mold. Remove pipe and inspect flare for cracks, unevenness or other damage.
3. Screw a flare nut to the fitting, using two wrenches to tighten the joint -- one to hold the fitting, one to tighten the flare nut. If the joint leaks, cut off the flared end and start over.
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Recommended Reading

Illustrated Guide to the International Plumbing & Fuel Gas Codes

Illustrated Guide to the International Plumbing and Fuel Gas Codes

Issues covered: chief plumbing inspector, plumbing chief, local plumbing official, maximum gas demand, total dfu, lint interceptor, peak draw period, service supply pipe, receiving fixture, correct pipe size, indirect waste pipe, horizontal branch drain, circulating pump returns, diaphragm pressure tank, clear water waste, sand interceptor, most remote outlet, horizontal drainage pipe, building drainage system, interactive multimedia video that shows, sanitary drainage system, grease interceptor, maximum vertical drop, waste receptor, water service pipe.

For anyone involved in home plumbing installation or repair...Accessibly written by Howard C. Massey (a master plumber with over 30 years of experience), Illustrated Guide To The International Plumbing and Fuel Gas Codes is a solid manual developed expressly to make the new 2003 international pumbling and fuel gas codes understandable to everyone. Extensive instructions, diagrams, self-test questions and answers, clarify the complexities of vent systems, sanitary drainage systems, hot water supply systems, gas piping, and a great deal more. A direct, no-nonsense resource, Illustrated Guide To The International Plumbing and Fuel Gas Codes is an authoritative reference confidently recommended for anyone involved in home plumbing installation or repair.

Basic Plumbing With Illustrations

Basic Plumbing With Illustrations

Issues covered: service supply pipe, peak draw period, drainfield absorption area, plumbing plans examiner, water service supply, bathtub waste, minimum toilet facilities, water closet bowl, soil pipe cutter, ratchet threader, water closet trap, water service pipe, combination faucet, water main pressure, interactive multimedia video that shows, water closet tank, inlet tee, sanitary cross, overflow rim, cutting plastic pipe, hydropneumatic tank, asphaltum paint, pipe compound, compression faucet, chain vise.

Reviews:

Quality reference material: Basic Plumbing with Illustrations is a handy reference book for designers, engineers, and draftsmen. There are a lot of illustrated examples showing best practices when laying out residential and light commercial plumbing that minimize extra fittings, are UPC compliant, and work for stacked and flat systems.
Also handy are rough-in dimensions for common fixtures, drain, waste and vent sizing charts, and cold and hot water supply sizing info. that includes a neat explanation of solar hot water heating methods.
this reference goes hand in hand with another Massey authored Publication entitled "Planning, Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems".

Deal for students, apprentices and practicing professionals: Now in a completely revised and updated edition, Howard Massey's Basic Plumbing With Illustrations is the definitive "how to" manual for installing code-approved plumbing in residential and light commercial buildings. Systematically laid out in twenty-three sections, Basic Plumbing With Illustrations covers all of the fundamentals of the plumbing trade including planning and sizing, installation, maintenance, common layout, materials, and code requirements. Invaluable and practical information is provided on inspections, floor plans and plot plans, drawing and reading isometrics, code definitions, and materials. Profusely illustrated with hundreds of charts, tables, installation diagrams, and rough-in measures, Basic Plumbing With Illustrations is enhanced further with a glossary of plumbing terms, plumbing abbreviations, extensive study questions at the end of each section, and a section with all the correct answers. This is the ideal text for students and apprentices, as well as practicing professionals in the field.

Everything is explained in this guide: This book shows you everything about plumbing, including septic systems, solar water heaters, and hooking up swimming pools and spas--not to mention the basic and industrial plumbing fixures and techniques. This book is extremely interesting.

 

Recommended Products

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K-D Tools Mini Tubing Cutter

K-D Tools Mini Tubing Cutter

Cut thin-wall steel, plastic, copper and brass tubing from 1/8 inch to 5/8 inch (3mm to 16mm) diameters. Two rollers provide burr-free cut. Small size allows cutter to fit into tight work areas. Strong metal frame and die cast carrier.


Lenox Copper Tubing Cutter Wheel - 21192

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Copper Tubing Cutter Wheel For use with LENOX® Tubing Cutters Cuts copper


4 Pack of 25'ICE MAKR. BAGGE

4 Pack of 25'ICE MAKR. BAGGE

  • NONE ICE-800 Ice Maker Hook-Up Kits (25-ft Bagged Plastic Tube) 25-ft Kit With Plastic Tube; Bagged;Includes 1 each: ; Roll of copper tubing; Self-piercing saddle valve; 1/4" compression union; 1/4" compression x 1/4" flare adapter.



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You can make gradual bends in tubing by hand or by molding it around a form. However, do this with caution; the tube can kink suddenly and you’ll have to cut and join the pipe to use it. For sharper bends, insert the tubing into the bending spring, shown here, using a clockwise twisting motion, to the point of the intended bend. Slightly over-bend the tube, then ease back to the desired angle or curve and twist off the spring.

Bending Tubing

You can make gradual bends in tubing by hand or by molding it around a form. However, do this with caution; the tube can kink suddenly and you’ll have to cut and join the pipe to use it. For sharper bends, insert the tubing into the bending spring, shown here, using a clockwise twisting motion, to the point of the intended bend. Slightly over-bend the tube, then ease back to the desired angle or curve and twist off the spring.

If you don’t have a bending spring, you can fill the tube with sand while bending; however, this trick only works if the pipe is loose on both ends and you can thoroughly clean it out afterward.
Be patient when soldering brass valves. Use a propane or MAPP-gas torch as for copper fittings and heat the joint from several sides, if possible. Always leave valves open and remove soft parts when soldering.

Soldering Valves and Adapters

Soldering brass fittings, like shower and shutoff valves, requires more heat than soldering solid-copper fittings, so leave valves open to avoid pressure buildup. If the valve has soft plastic or rubber parts, remove them when possible to avoid damage.

Be patient when soldering brass valves. Use a propane or MAPP-gas torch as for copper fittings and heat the joint from several sides, if possible. Always leave valves open and remove soft parts when soldering.

 

Heat joint with a propane or MAPP-gas torch, moving its blue cone back and forth to heat fitting evenly. Hold lead-free solder against the joint on the flame's opposite side until it flows into joint and appears full on all sides.

Angle the tube end upward when soldering on threaded adapters to avoid filling threads with excess solder. As a rule of thumb, the amount of solder needed is equal to the pipe’s diameter; for example, a 1/2-in. pipe needs 1/2 in. (12 mm) of solder.

Last modified: Friday, 2016-03-18 6:48 PST