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Working with brass pipe

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  • Working with brass pipe

    What different (if any) tools should I use for threading and installing brass as opposed to steel pipe? I quote from plumbing-basics.com "Brass pipe is softer than steel or iron pipe and is easily marked or marred by ordinary pipe vises and pipe wrenches, so friction clamps and friction wrenches should be used. Iron-pipe dies should never be used for threading brass pipe. Special brass-. pipe dies should be secured and used. They will insure good, tight screw-thread joints in brass-pipe plumbing." What are these diferent clamps, wrenches and dies? I have always used the same tools I use for steel on jobs in the past, but I now finaly get to repipe my own home. In San Francisco when I have done remodel work and looked at existing piping, brass has always stood the test of time, not steel and not copper. I do not want to use pex or any other pipe that hasn't been proven for 50+ years, I want something that will last for generations.
    Thanks for any advise

  • #2
    Re: Working with brass pipe

    Why not just use copper? Brass is a nightmare if you ever want to add anything in the future.

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    • #3
      Re: Working with brass pipe

      Good luck finding and affording brass pipe and fittings. Especially in California.

      As far as I know, there are no special dies for brass. Just regular high speed steel or alloy steel dies.

      As far as wrenches go, strap wrenches won't mar the brass, but unless you're doing finish chrome, a strap wrench will drive you nuts.

      Curious if you've actually found a source for brass pipe and if you can afford the cost.

      Rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Working with brass pipe

        It's still out there, and so are the fittings, but you wouldn't want to pay for it.

        I think they might have meant to use a set of dies dedicated to brass.
        Multiple layers of heavy duct tape or duct tape and a leather wrap under the wrench jaws can work at times to keep from damaging finish brass pipe or chrome. Soft jaw wrenches and strap wrenches can be a pain as Rick said.
        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

        https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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        • #5
          Re: Working with brass pipe

          In Cali it would also have to be lead free $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
          26+6=1

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          • #6
            Re: Working with brass pipe

            I agree with seanny use copper, type L copper should give u 50 plus years of trouble free service,,,,,unless there is something in the water??

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            • #7
              Re: Working with brass pipe

              Originally posted by SFHOJPlumber View Post
              I do not want to use pex or any other pipe that hasn't been proven for 50+ years, I want something that will last for generations.
              Since you're talking all crazy-like... Pex hasnt been proven here in the US for many years but elsewhere it has a had a long and fruitful life. No pipe will last generations. 50-75 years is what I would expect from any metallic pipe. If you truly want generations you need to use stone. It worked for the Romans and is still in use today...
              ~~

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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              • #8
                Re: Working with brass pipe

                milwaukee still has lead water service lines in older parts of town,,,,,,,,,,,,,, would that fly in california,,,,,

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                • #9
                  Re: Working with brass pipe

                  Originally posted by cheesehead plumber View Post
                  milwaukee still has lead water service lines in older parts of town,,,,,,,,,,,,,, would that fly in california,,,,,
                  It wasn't that long ago that Atlantic City removed the last of its wood water mains which ran under Pacific Ave.
                  "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

                  https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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