1" Copper Union..Stuck Cannot Loosen to Remove?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by weneedhelp, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. weneedhelp

    weneedhelp New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    AZ
    Have the copper union on either side of a whole house filter before it goes into the Water Softener. Before it gets to the Union, the main water line goes thru a bipass installed by pro. I need to change the Filter and do not want to Destroy the copper fitting/pipe in place. WD 40, has so many warnings that I am not sure what to use to loosen.
    Thanks it has been a long time since last posting on the forum.
    Sey
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2011
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,049
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A copper union would seldom be "compression". If it is a conventional copper union, it can become "soldered together" during assembly and if so you WILL NOT be able to take it apart until it is heated so the solder melts. If it is actually a compression coupling, then it should just need some force to separate it. We would need a picture of it to tell you. It could be a Sharkbite coupling also and that requires a different method to remove it.
  3. weneedhelp

    weneedhelp New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    AZ
    copper_compression 001.jpg

    It is a Compression coupling.

    I was able to loosen one end.
    was unable to attach/insert picture, but will keep trying.

    hope it worked.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2011
  4. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Actually, no, it is not a compression coupling. It is a soldered copper union. Compression fittings are attached to the pipe via a deformable ferrule inside the fitting. Your union is attached to the pipe via solder.

    Not sure what you mean when you say you were "able to loosen one end." To take apart a union, you need two wrenches - pipe wrenches or adjustable ("crescent") wrenches - one on the smaller "nut" and one on the larger one. Like HJ says, just takes enough force to unscrew them. Shouldn't need penetrating oil.

    Sure you're turning the wrenches in the right direction?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2011
  5. weneedhelp

    weneedhelp New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    AZ
    What ever its called, i have one opened on the outlet side of the filter and the inlet side's union is the one that is difficult.

    I did use Pipe Wrenchs (old type,red) they held it steady, but i did not use enough force and will try again.

    It's me...too careful, tomorrow I will try again.
    Thanks
  6. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    I don't see any marks on the UNION from pipe wrenches, are you sure you even tried?
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,049
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    That is the type of union I meant when I said it can be soldered together during installation. IF the solder flows inside the union it can get on the mating surfaces OR inside the nut, and then NOTHING will loosen it without be "properly" heated first. And "properly heated" may NOT mean just heating it with a torch.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2011
  8. Agu

    Agu New Member

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Most household filters are of the canister type where you turn off the water, unscrew the canister, replace the filter, reinstall the canister, and turn the water back on. There should be no reason to remove the plumbing to replace a whole house filter in my experience.

    Perhaps we need a pic of the whole house filter you're trying to service ?
  9. weneedhelp

    weneedhelp New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    AZ
    Everything you said is true.
    When the Setup was changed, the male copper solder 1" were removed from both ends of canister head.
    It was replaced with 1" female copper fitting and sch 80 1" Nipples. Problem is it leaked because of the copper threads damaged the head. I purchased a new
    canister head to replace. Thats where I stand, and why I have to open the unions to re-install.

    Thanks for all the replys.
    Sey
  10. weneedhelp

    weneedhelp New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    AZ
    Well everything came apart and I changed the two Nipples and behold I had another problem.
    I had to extend one end 1/4-3/16 to fit flush against the Copper Union Coupling and it leaks at the
    Coupling. Is there anything i can do to make a better fit without replacing all the fittings?.
    I am not ready to remove whole house filter and scrap it and replace with a straight pipe soldered at both ends.

    Thanks,
    Sey
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2011
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,049
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I had to extend one end 1/4-3/16 to fit flush against the Copper Union Coupling and it leaks at the
    Coupling.

    HOW did you extend it, and WHERE is it leaking? If it was soldered properly, AND the union nut tightened sufficiently, it should NOT be able to leak. you are mixing terminologies. It is EITHER a copper union OR a copper coupling. THere is NO such thing as a "copper union coupling".
  12. weneedhelp

    weneedhelp New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    AZ
    I am still here along with Issue.
    It has been very hot in the Phoenix area and I have not yet decided how to continue.
    But, i will post another picture with more details about what I tried to do and where the leaks were.
    Thanks.....Sey
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,049
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If all else fails, call a plumber. I am not that hard to find.
Similar Threads: Copper UnionStuck
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Mixed Repipe - PEX for Hot Water and Copper for Cold Water? Monday at 8:08 PM
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Prepping a Slip Coupling for Copper Pipe Saturday at 7:53 PM
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Delta R10000 Valve - Basic Copper Piping System Design Nov 17, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Sealing Around Copper Penetration Nov 16, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Running Copper Next To Plaster Nov 13, 2014

Share This Page