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Lois Lane

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I finished putting in a new tile shower pan in my geriatric baby blue tile shower a few months ago. I also replaced the lead and oakum toilet flange, all the galvanized pipe from the tub, shower, and double sinks, the shutoff valves on the sinks and the toilet and the valves for the shower and tub faucets, replaced the sinks, repaired a leaky pipe behind the vanity, installed a new shower door, filled the holes from the old door with thickened color matched epoxy, and painted. Yes, bragging. Thanks for all the help I received on this forum.

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Then as a finishing touch I decided to brad nail some trim around the 1/8- 1/4 gap between the vanity and the wall and, of course, I put a brad through one of the supply pipes to the sink.

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After opening a hole in the wall, I see the copper pipe with the hole is literally plastered against the metal lath behind the bathroom wall. There is no wall directly behind the vanity (blue powder-coated steel), and the sink supply lines run in front of the studs, behind the vanity. As you can see, I opened up a hole in the adjacent room, because I really love doing drywall repair. Is there any reason they did not just run pipes through the studs like normal? Can I just put a T in each of the supply pipes and run the pipes through the stud to the sink?
 

John Gayewski

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Old houses often times were retro fitted for plumbing. They would fish soft copper around things to get it where it needed to go. That could explain some things that are different from a new construction building standpoint.

Cutting a tee in should be ok. I don't quite understand what your asking.
 

Terry

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We don't know why they didn't keep the copper in the wall. It could be something like a heating vent, or larger waste line taking up space.
Yes, you can tee off of the 1/2" copper lines there. If you solder, keep a spray bottle handy to wet things down. Maybe a fire extinguisher too. Or you can use push fittings, "Sharkbites".
 

Jeff H Young

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nice job on shower Lois Lane. its hard to guess but most likely that copper work was a repipe or remodel.
I don't know why you would be installing tees when fixing a nail hole either ? but I see nothing wrong with having tees on those lines
 

Lois Lane

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Old houses often times were retro fitted for plumbing. They would fish soft copper around things to get it where it needed to go. That could explain some things that are different from a new construction building standpoint.

Cutting a tee in should be ok. I don't quite understand what your asking.
The hole is in the pipe right where it is embedded in the plaster and there is actually a wire holding the pipe onto the lath. It is also flush against the back of the vanity. I did not think I could repair it where it was. I don't know enough about plumbing to know if there was a reason they did it this way that I needed to know. I think Terry Love nailed it with the vent stack in the way. Who knew that some unsuspecting home owner was going to trim out the vanity 70 years later. :pThanks a lot!
 
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Lois Lane

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We don't know why they didn't keep the copper in the wall. It could be something like a heating vent, or larger waste line taking up space.
Yes, you can tee off of the 1/2" copper lines there. If you solder, keep a spray bottle handy to wet things down. Maybe a fire extinguisher too. Or you can use push fittings, "Sharkbites".
I have not had much luck with sharkbite fittings, I am sure it was inexperience and operator error. If I make a bigger hole in the wall, I think I will have plenty of room to work without setting the house on fire. :oops: I also have one of those heat and flame resistant pads. I have come across some scorched lumber in my home repair adventures in the past. There is a waste line (vent stack) in the way, but it looks like there is still enough room, but I am sure you are right about why they ran it outside of the wall, behind the vanity. Then there is also the weird bend up four inches, (never mind, I realize that is so the pipe can change direction towards the bathroom wall). Thanks so much for your help as always.
 
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Lois Lane

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nice job on shower lois lane. its hard to guess but most likely that copper work was a repipe or remodel.
I dont know why you would be installing tees when fixing a nail hole either ? but I see nothing wrong with having tees on those lines
The hole is where the copper pipe is embedded in the plaster that squeezed through the lath. It is flush against the lath and the back of the steel vanity. It is also really hard to reach from the bedroom side of the wall because the other pipe is in the way on the other side of the wall. I did not think I had enough room to get to it. Thanks!
 

Jeff H Young

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The hole is where the copper pipe is embedded in the plaster that squeezed through the lath. It is flush against the lath and the back of the steel vanity. It is also really hard to reach from the bedroom side of the wall because the other pipe is in the way on the other side of the wall. I did not think I had enough room to get to it. Thanks!
that part I understand but generally a tee isn't used but a coupling a tee is to add something?
 

Lois Lane

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that part I understand but generally a tee isn't used but a coupling a tee is to add something?
I see how I was being totally unclear. There is already a T in the supply line, but then there is a four elbow bendy piece of pipe to go in front of the stud rather than through it, and to put the line higher up because there is also a vent stack behind the vanity, that I originally did not see. My original plan was to cut out and replace (or cap) the old T on the supply line, and put in a new T and run the new line straight through the wall to the back of the sink, avoiding trying to solder multiple pieces together in a tight space, since I could not just cut out and replace the damaged piece of pipe. I ended up cutting out the whole mess, recreating it en bloc and then putting it back in the wall behind the vanity as one piece and just soldering it at each end. In retrospect, maybe it is time I started thinking about PEX! At least now the next homeowner cannot accidentally put a nail through the pipe because now the pipe is flush against the back of the vanity, and not against the bathroom wall.

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