Proper method to clean copper pipe before installation of compression stop valve

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by csl4296, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. csl4296

    csl4296 New Member

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    Atlanta, GA
    Sorry for such a simple post but I cannot find a definitive answer to this question. I will be removing an old existing Brasscraft multi turn compression stop valve and installing a new DAHL 1/4 turn compression valve for a toilet. The existing copper pipe is 20 years old and definitely does not look "clean". My dilemma is the instructions say to clean the pipe but do not say what I am supposed to use and I have read where some more aggressive cleaning can result in scratches deep enough in the pipe to cause a leak. So the question - what do I use to clean the pipe, if anything? I have seen suggested : Scotchbrite pad (not sure that would even do much but what kind pad there are many varieties) , Emery Cloth (comes in various grits, which grit? some say emery is too aggressive and can cause leaks), Steel Wool (same say do, some say don't use), I have a "Blue Monster 6 In 1 Fitting and Tube Deburring Reamer" that has steel brushes for cleaning a pipe , etc, ? I know cleaning for soldering is a different animal vs cleaning for compression but presume I should do something to clean it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Cloth dipped in water with a little dish soap added?

    Are there gouges from pulling the old sleeve? If not, I don't think you need abrasive.

    When you put the new valve on, I suggest that you coat the sleeve/ferrule with pipe dope or plumber's grease. Also lightly lubricate the threads; that will reduce the torque required. Use two wrenches. Then don't be afraid of overtightening by hand with 8 inch wrenches in an awkward position. I wouldn't be afraid of overtightening in a not-awkward position. I am not a pro.
     
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  4. James Henry

    James Henry In the Trades

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    No offence Reach4 but I would never use plumbers grease on a ferrule it could work it's way off.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    How about some pipe dope? That should accomplish objectives. Same on the threads or maybe oil or grease on the threads.
     
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Most of the time nothing needs to be done to the pipe for a compression shutoff replacement.
    I have used emory cloth at times if it feels rough. I have used the rough side of a wet sponge. I have cut back a little bit to find pipe that hasn't been squeezed.
    Most of the time though, nothing needs to happen.
    I have installed stops right out of the carton, sometimes with WD40 on the threads, and sometimes with just a little pipe dope on the end of the threads of the stop. Compression stops do real well at sealing on their own.
    Also sometimes people ask how many turns tight. That all depends on how the threading was cut, how much lubrication is on the threads and the size of the wrench and how strong you're feeling that day. Just put them on tight enough.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  7. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    The compression ferrule is designed to make metal to metal contact. No sealant or filler of any kind is required.

    In a pinch, if the ferrule is nicked and you absolutely have to get it working, you could try some dope or something. But that is only a temporary repair until you can replace the ferrule.

    The 1/2" copper compression stops I've been installing (Brasscraft KTCR19X-C) have simple instructions: prepare the pipe end, slide on nut and ferrule, one or two drops of oil in the compression threads, hand tighten the nut until first "bite" (very clear rise in difficulty of tightening), 1/2 turn additional with wrenches.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  8. James Henry

    James Henry In the Trades

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    Some plumbers put pipe dope on the ferrule and the threads which is OK, at the very least dope should ALWAYS be applied to the threads to prevent the threads from binding thus not compressing the ferrule properly like some jack leg did on a brand new school I'm working on. all of the stops he put on without lubrication on the threads now leak, most of the ferrules never got compressed.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
  9. csl4296

    csl4296 New Member

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    Thanks Everyone! I have not even taken the old one off yet was just trying to get all my ducks in a row before I started. But the pipe definitely has some green on it. Was just getting overwhelmed or overthinking the simple stuff I think. Appreciate the help.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Put sleeve puller into the search box, above.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    So if you take off a compression valve, and use a sleeve puller to get the ferrule/nut off, does the pipe typically remain in good condition under the old ferrule, so that a new ferrule can be used there? Or does the compression connection compress the pipe?

    Similar question, if you instead leave the ferrule and nut on and reuse it with a new compression valve, is it likely to work well? Are the nuts/ferrules standardized across brands, and are they reuseable?

    Thanks,
    Wayne
     
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    The depths of the new stops may not work with the length of the copper sticking past the sleeve.
    I remove several a week on my jobs. It's not a big deal with a puller. I have both pullers with me. The Blaster is nice when the sleeves aren't on too tight. It's nice to have my old trusty backup just in case.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The pipe should be smooth and clean of any corrosion or paint. Depending on who installed the original valve, if it was overtightened, it might have compressed the pipe. To get that sleeve off, you would likely need a puller. But, generally, it doesn't need to be that tight to seal and hold the valve in place. The quality of the threads can determine how easy it is to snug up properly, which is why it doesn't hurt to lubricate the threads a little. Dahl tends to have nice, clean threads, so may be less of a factor than some other brands.

    If you're lucky, the nut and sleeve might work with a new valve, but often, they're not in the greatest shape, and could fail to seal, so it's best to just use all of the new parts. The size and threads are often the same, but there's no guarantee. All that's guaranteed is that the new parts should work on pipe that isn't damaged.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
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