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Old 10-10-2011, 03:13 AM   #1
tireshark
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Default Best method for replacing a section of copper pipe (and a little advice)?

While in the middle of a 'remove old floor, install tile floor' project, i discovered a section of copper piping that is heavily corroded and pretty wet in a few spots:



I dont actually see that it is 'leaking', but it wets my fingers when i run it over a few areas... so im assuming the pipe is breaking down. The damaged section is about three feet long. It is the hot water feed to my washing machine... both the lines are laying on a concrete slab, as seen here:



Ive read a couple of articles talking about using a sweat coupling pipe (repair sleeve?), and it looks like something i could do. Would that be appropriate here? Do they make them that long?

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Also wondering about how much of this i should replace. These lines are 30 years old, and there will be NO access to them once i install the tile floor. If the cold water line looks and feels good, should it be ok to not mess with it? Will replacing the corroded section of the hot water line be ok, or do i need to replace the whole thing?

Here is a pic of how the lines continue past the hole i have opened up. They basically just run up the wall about 4 feet past where i have it uncovered. They seem to look in good condition, but im no expert. I would have to remove the rest of the floor (ughhhhhhh) to access the lines.



Thanks for any help!



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Old 10-10-2011, 04:03 AM   #2
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Replace as much as possible. It looks like the copper is breaking down. Copper pipe should not come in direct contact with concrete.

John



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Old 10-10-2011, 05:05 AM   #3
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maybe i should just completely replace both lines, and the washing machine outlet box, with PEX tubing/connections?

that way i probably wouldnt have to remove the floor (i should be able to feed the lines down and pull them to the opening)... and i could run them out into the crawl space i will always have access to, and hook into the existing copper lines there.

would this be a reasonable solution?

i have some hesitation about sealing everything in, and then having a problem with a copper line... i would have to destroy the tile floor to get to it. with a flexible line, worst case scenario you could just cut it, tie a good one on, and snake it through to the fittings. but that's just my thinking... not sure if these things work that way in reality.

really lucky that i found this one anyway... i wasn't planning on removing any of the subfloor, but i decided to take a section out to make it more structurally sound. when i did, i found the bad pipe. if i hadn't done that, it could have been big problems down the line. makes me think i should go ahead and replace all of the lines, even though the cold water line looks decent.

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:11 AM   #4
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Whether you replace with PEX or copper, you will need to secure the pipe off the concrete floor. That is a must, unless you like replacing it often.

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:54 AM   #5
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yeah i will hang it up somehow, thanks.

been reading around... i think im going to try to replace them with pex tubing and use sharkbite connectors to attach onto the existing copper pipes... that part looks pretty easy.

only other thing will be hooking the lines into a PEX washing outlet box... hopefully that wont be too hard either.

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Old 10-10-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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Sharkbite fittings come with ends which you could use for your outlet box as well.

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:30 PM   #7
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hmmm... are you talking about just cutting the existing copper lines a few inches below the washer box, and splicing the PEX/sharkbite there? or are you talking about some type of washer valve that has a sharkbite connection already built in?

either way would be great.

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:17 PM   #8
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OK, i opened up the wall... and there are t-connections that feed over to the water heater.



I think i have two options:

1. Cut copper lines below the washer box, near the water heater junctions. Install sharkbite T connection... top to the copper pipe/valve assembly, middle to the copper water heater pipe, bottom to a new PEX line.

2. Remove the washer box valves/copper lines. Install PEX+sharkbite valves. Install sharkbite T connection... top to the pex/valve assembly, middle to copper water heater pipe, bottom to new pex line.

Sound like i'm on the right track? Just need to figure out what is available sharkbite-wise at the washer valve junction. Is something like this an option? It seems like it would work, but it is labeled as a water heater line... not a washing machine... dont know if there is a reason for that.



Thanks for your help!

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:53 PM   #9
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You could get female adapters and use them on new laundry valves.
Buy a SharkBite 1/2 In. Brass PTC Female Adapter (U072A) from The Home Depot
John

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Old 10-10-2011, 11:34 PM   #10
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PEX up through the washer box, one of those adapters, and a new laundry valve. that sounds like it might work. thanks.


i dont think i have enough room to use one of those twisting tube cutters at the water heater T's in the wall... a hacksaw is what i will have to use there, right? any tips on achieving a smooth/even cut?

edit: actually i have an oscillating power tool with a metal cutting blade attachment... i wonder if i could use that to slice through it cleaner?



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