1” x 3/4” copper tee in difficult spot

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North bend

Hi All,

A year and a half ago I relocated my water heater from the crawlspace to the garage. After unsuccessfully attempting to sweat a 1”x 3/4” tee, I had to settle with a push connect fitting. I ran out of patience trying to get the copper dry enough to sweat, and I have several electrical cables just a few inches away from where the soldering was happening. This made the whole operation even more precarious.

The tectite fitting has been working fine and not leaked at all in the year and a half, but sometimes it does keep me up at night wondering if it’s gonna blast off of there and fill my crawlspace with water some night.

I am looking for educated/ experienced opinions if it’s better to leave this push-connect on there, give it another go with drier pipe and maybe map gas or hire a plumber with the right tools and experience to come out and sweat it, or rent a pro press tool and do it myself? I’m not even sure a Propress tool would clear the joist that the copper pipe parallels which is just a couple inches away.

Is it even worth trying to sweat that copper pipe with three or four heavy electrical cables literally touching the pipe a few inches from where the heat will be? It would be easier to re-pipe the whole area then back out the electric cables, so that is not an option. I appreciate any advice as I am a relatively new DIYer.


Clinical Trail on a Cancer Drug Started 1/31/24. ☹
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Orlando, Florida
There are probably millions of push and fit connections in use and reading this forum for about ten years I do not recall ever reading a complaint about them. I have them in my own home with a few for the toilets and some in the walls that license plumbers used on two bath remodels. They were used for conversion from CPVC to PEX.

Using shark bites and other brands, the copper end needs to be free of burrs and from your picture, a more of a polished copper is preferred when cleaning. Emery cloth is a bit too rough for push and fit but you're Ok here. Use a green scrub pad instead.

With wires nearby, if possible remove the staples so you can pull it out of the way some. You can use a section of sheet metal to deflect the flame, but what you did I would do the same.

A old plumbers trick with dripping water to make a soldered connection. Stuff white bread into the copper pipe. It will block water long enough to make a joint. When the water is turned on, the bread dissolves. I had two vertical copper pipes where I had to change valves for the washing machine. A constant drip made it impossible to get a good sweat. I think someone mentioned it to me around the lunch table at work. I put it to use and it worked. This was in 1987 getting the home ready to sell.
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