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How long to flush lines?

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  • How long to flush lines?

    I really like soft water, but I don't like the taste of it as much as hard water. It's not a health concern, there isn't that much sodium added to the water... and it doesn't taste salty.... I think it has to do with the Ca and Mg that the softener removes. It' leaves the water just sort of bland (if it's possible to imagine water that is more bland than normal).

    Anyway, I decided to replace the feed line to the icemaker/water chiller in the frig with a hard water line. Fortunately there are hard water lines under there, servicing the back yard hose bibs and such, to tee off from. Yes I know that it is harder on the icemaker... I would rather have good tasting water and get a new icemaker every so often.

    Working under the house.... delightful as always.

    The question for the experts is, how much do you flush through new copper pipe before you call it good and hook it up? The water comes out pretty nasty for the first half gallon or so and then seems to run clear. But to be safe, I run 3 buckets nearly full.... I figure about 12 gallons.

    Too little? Too much?

    Just curious as to what y'all do.

  • #2
    Re: How long to flush lines?

    12 gallons "ain't gonna do squat"....many factors to consider. Did you solder any fitting? What flux did you use? Probably more of an issue of time rather than flow, but flow is also a consideration. The copper will build a patena on it...basically "sealing" it, that takes time.

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    • #3
      Re: How long to flush lines?

      water soluble flux will flush out in a matter of seconds. regular flux will wash out much faster in hot water than cold water, but depending on how much flux was used, it might never flush out. especially with a low flow of a 1/4'' ice maker on a 1/2' line.

      the copper is not the issue, it's more the flux. solder is lead free, right

      i still drink from hoses

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: How long to flush lines?

        Yeah, sorry, of course all sweated (no sharknibbles for me!). I use Oatey water soluble flux from H-D and lead free solder. I'm not really concerned about the Cu... it's the flux residue that one must flush out, no? But I see some metal flecks from reaming in the first bucket of flush water... probably good for you!

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        • #5
          Re: How long to flush lines?

          water soluble flux flushes and turns soapy when flushed. when it clears up, then it's gone.

          reaming shavings are bad for valves. they're sharp and get caught in the soft rubber valves.

          i use a 4 pin pipe displacer good for 1/2''-2'' and it pushes the copper back into place. no shavings. propress, no flux or solder

          you're good to go

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            Re: How long to flush lines?

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            i use a 4 pin pipe displacer good for 1/2''-2'' and it pushes the copper back into place. no shavings. propress, no flux or solder

            rick.
            Hey Rick - can you steer me to the pipe displacer? That sounds like something I could use.

            Sorry I don't think I will go propress. Sweating is just too cheap and easy... not doing piping for $$ so saving a few minutes isn't an issue for me. Besides getting a good sweat in an impossible location is half the fun!

            Thanks again!

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            • #7
              Re: How long to flush lines?

              page #4 part 7415. http://pace-asp.com/images/pdfs/sc_A...wcase_0410.pdf

              i have a few and they work nice. wish they had a better gripping handles like a channelock.

              rick.
              phoebe it is

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              • #8
                Re: How long to flush lines?

                Thank you Rick! That tool looks like a good idea. I think I can make one in the shop that might address the concern with the grips.

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