Underground 1inch copper pipe repair problem

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DandyDon

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The underground copper pipe goes out to my barn. I need to repair it underground. Pipe doesn't seem rounded at the repair location so I used a Crescent wrench to make it round. I am trying to solder to it but failed twice. Everything was cleaned as good as I could get it but the solder doesn't seem to fill in all the gaps. Do I just cut and retry over and over until it can seal or is there a better way to fix it?
 

Michael Young

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The underground copper pipe goes out to my barn. I need to repair it underground. Pipe doesn't seem rounded at the repair location so I used a Crescent wrench to make it round. I am trying to solder to it but failed twice. Everything was cleaned as good as I could get it but the solder doesn't seem to fill in all the gaps. Do I just cut and retry over and over until it can seal or is there a better way to fix it?

What is the condition of the copper you're trying to sweat? If you can take te copper between your index finger and thumb and squeeze it - if it gives - you're going to have to replace the entire line. if te copper is in good condition, and you can't get a good joint, its likely your technique. Do you know how to sweat pipe? Get ALL of the water out of the line. If you're trying to make a joint and water is cooling your temperature, you'll never get a good joint. If you're not really good with that torch, go rent a pro-press and make your life easier.
 

Breplum

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There are tools to re-round copper tube. Your soldering skills may not be up to snuff, or torch not hot enough, or too much water remaining.
We only use ProPress now so it is THE solution.
Any good plumber would have the rounding tool and ProPress tool. ProPress is good on soft copper up to 1-1/4" size
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Soldering in a ditch can be a bitch. I would suggest brazing it rather than soldering if you plan on DIY. Brazing it works better because your pipe and fitting can have imperfection in roundness and the braze will fill that it. However, it requires a HOT torch and oxygen in the ditch and NO water in that pipe to boil and cool your work.

If you plan to use solder, definitely get a rounding tool to fix the pipe. Any gaps will cause it to fail. In a repair situation, solder from the bottom to the top because that is where you're likely to have water and if you can't solder the bottom, theres no reason to solder the top of the fitting.

Not sure if you're having issues with water in the line, but if you are, a compressor is good to blow out water.
And its really easy to overheat and burn the flux in a joint too.

And if you choose to hire someone to ProPress the repair and it leaks.. propressed fittings can be brazed. I've done it to make sure it works.
 

DandyDon

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What is the condition of the copper you're trying to sweat? If you can take te copper between your index finger and thumb and squeeze it - if it gives - you're going to have to replace the entire line. if te copper is in good condition, and you can't get a good joint, its likely your technique. Do you know how to sweat pipe? Get ALL of the water out of the line. If you're trying to make a joint and water is cooling your temperature, you'll never get a good joint. If you're not really good with that torch, go rent a pro-press and make your life easier.
The pipe is still solid. Through the years I have soldered plenty of 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch pipe nicely. I'm not very knowledgeable on types of solder nor resins and I have never worked with 1inch pipe. I also don't understand why the pipe isn't round. I mean 1inch pipe isn't sold in rolls, right?
 

Tuttles Revenge

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The pipe is still solid. Through the years I have soldered plenty of 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch pipe nicely. I'm not very knowledgeable on types of solder nor resins and I have never worked with 1inch pipe. I also don't understand why the pipe isn't round. I mean 1inch pipe isn't sold in rolls, right?
I purchased and installed a special order 200ft roll of 2" type L soft copper that we had installed with a boring machine. Soft copper comes in all manner of sizes. When it gets unrolled it becomes ever so slightly less than perfectly round. An even getting it round again doesn't mean its gone back to true Copper Tube Size.. it may have compressed slightly. There are tools that will insert to get it back to round and also tools that will expand one end of a pipe to fitting size. So be careful which if you choose to go that route.
 

DandyDon

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Thank you all for the tips and knowledge. I ended up contacting a retired plumber who came out and did the repair. He used a compression fitting.
 
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