Main Line Fix

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    • #277114
      Danmac

      I have an old house and it looks like most of the main water line is iron or steel. Whatever it is it is really old. Most of the lines in the house have been updated to copper, but the main line that feeds the lines to the toilet, sink, tub, kitchen, etc. is not copper.
      I was fixing a leaky toilet shut-off valve, and the supply line that comes off the main line broke off. So I got some copper line to fix it, solderd it all toghether and run nice and neat, and went to connect it to the T-fitting on the main line, and it turned out to be iron or steel. The solder won’t take to that, so I need to find out if there is any way for me to get a fitting, brazing material from lowes/home depot, or anything that I can do this myself.
      Is it possible to get that old iron T-fitting out of the line and put a copper one in there. I run into the same problem of iron/copper not mixing. The T-fitting is not threaded, so I can’t thread anything into it. Anyone have any suggestions? Please, I really need to fix this myself, cause I don’t have the money to pay a plumber to do it. Thanks.

      -Bryan

    • #295448
      nicktheplumber
      Participant


      Is it possible to get that old iron T-fitting out of the line and put a copper one in there. I run into the same problem of iron/copper not mixing. The T-fitting is not threaded, so I can’t thread anything into it. Anyone have any suggestions? Please, I really need to fix this myself, cause I don’t have the money to pay a plumber to do it. Thanks.
      -Bryan


      Forgive me, but I can’t quite understand your problem. You seem to have supply pipes in some ferrous material. Unless your home is very peculiar, that must be some form of threaded iron pipe, usually galvanized, but it may be ungalvanized. Unless you have a very odd system, the tee you describe must be threaded, but for some reason that fact is not apparent to you. Virtually no residential iron supply pipes were brazed or welded. It may be that your pipes are so corroded that you do not appreciate the fact that they are threaded.

      Unless you are a master pipefitter, you will never be able to “solder” iron pipe to copper pipe. If you were a master craftsman, you might be able to braze such a connection, though it would never pass a routine code inspection. Copper/iron connections may be effected via standard approved fittings in which a copper fitting is mechanically joined (by threads or some means of compression), and thence continued in copper via soldered joints.

      To do the job, you will need to be able to cut into your iron pipe and thread and fit connections to which you will solder in your copper line. I appreciate and sympathize with your professed poverty, but I can tell you that you’d be better off getting a professional to do the job. Even if you educated yourself on the art required to do the job, you’d still have to invest in the necessary tools (pipe cutters, threaders, torches, etc), not to mentionyour own time, and this investment would likely exceed the cost of hiring a plumber.

      NtP

    • #295449
      Selgas
      Participant

      I suspect that the tee is in fact threaded on the inside and what you have done is broken off the pipe at the tee leaving the old threaded piece still in the tee. If this is the case then go buy an appropriate “easyout” tool that you can screw into the fitting and unwind the broken threaded piece out of the tee. Sometimes a little heat applied to the steel fitting will assist with this work.
      If you are going to put brass fitting into galv steel or plain steel then you had better use dezinced brass fittings otherwise you are going to have a mechanical breakdown sooner than you would have hoped for.



      Selgas Services Ltd
      Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

    • #295450
      bheusmann
      Participant

      I know that I didn’t break off the copper line inside the T-fitting, because there is about 1/2″ on the end of the copper line where it came loose from the T-fitting that I can see signs of someone trying to solder it there.
      Now, what might have happened is yes, I can’t appreciate the fact that the lines might be so old that I didn’t pay attention to the corosion and am just going on looks rather than hard fact that it is not a copper line. Also, I could not get 100% of the water out of the supply line and I have learned that even the smallest amount of water will prevent the joint from heating up enough to flow the solder. This might be my problem.
      In any case I am going to take a closer look at the problem and see if it really is a threaded fitting, in which case things will be a lot easier, or if in fact the water puddling by the fitting is preventing the solder from flowing into the join.
      Thank you for the replies and observations. I am by no means a master plumber or craftsman, just a regluar joe blessed with the tallents to overcome most obsticles like this

      -Bryan

    • #295451
      DUNBAR
      Participant

      Once you get that old piece removed, you should be able to easily reconnect back into your water line.

      By the way, how many days have you gone without water in your home?

      Sorry……3rd grade was hell on me.

      » This message has been edited by DUNBAR on 03 December 2003

    • #295452
      nicktheplumber
      Participant


      By the way, how many days have you went without water in your home?


      He means, how many days have you GONE without water…”

      Nicktheplumber and grammarian/curmudgeon

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