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  • Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

    i was doing an inspection last week and came across these copper connections on a job still under construction.

    the plumber is using a t-drill for making his large tee fittings and also copper roll grooving for his large fittings and couplings.

    it appeared that most of it was prefabbed in his shop and sent out to the job site.

    t- drill allows you to drill into a copper line and "pull" out a branch tee.


    for the most part it's designed for a pulling a 1/2''-2'' tee from a 1/2''- 4'' line. theses tees need to be brazed as the joint depth is only 1/4''.

    there is an attachment that allows for a 4'' branch tee.

    the advantage is you save the cost of fittings, and you save the time and effort to solder the other 2 joints of the tee as all your doing is the branch.

    when i was doing new construction, we had our t drill adapted to work on up to 6'' pipe so we could do a 6'' x 2'' tee.

    i still own a few of these t-drills if anyone is interested


    the other joining method is pretty much similar to what the sprinkler guys have used for close to a century.

    copper roll grooving. you roll a groove into the end of the copper pipe and join the ends with a roll groover copper plated coupling.

    they also sell roll grooved fittings to go along with your pipe.

    pretty simple to set up and install. the unit i have is a hand groover and is operated with a roll groover set up for copper. ridgid makes a large selection of roll groovers. but the unit i have for in place hand grooving is similar to the ridgid 915. good for 2-8'' copper.

    of course for production work you could go with a machine mounted groover.

    so although these photos are not from my own work, these are samples of what is current in the pipe joining field

    rick.



    pictured above is a 6'' x 1.25'' tee and below is a 4'' x 1.25'' tee.



    pictured on the left is a 4'' x 4'' t drill joint with a roll grooved 90.

    right side is a reduced 6'' roll grooved tee 4'' x 2.5'' x 6''.



    close up of the tee.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 07-17-2009, 10:54 AM.
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

    Looks good. Some people are sloppy and don't take the extra minute to line up the clamps. It looks so much better when you do.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

      It will all be sharkbite in a couple of years.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

        We just did a job with 800' of 4" type L cold water main suspended , groove lock for all of the couplings and all the tee's were pulled , not one leak on the entire system . The pipe was grooved on the job , and tee drills are quick in the right hands . We would still be working on hanging it in the old day's , today it's already filled and tested .
        Last edited by leakfree; 07-21-2009, 06:21 PM.
        Steve in the trade since 73 doing new residential/Commercial work

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        • #5
          Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

          That looks pretty good to me with the exception of the galvanized couplings and hanger rings.

          G3

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          • #6
            Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

            Originally posted by G3sprinklers View Post
            That looks pretty good to me with the exception of the galvanized couplings and hanger rings.

            G3
            i couldn't figure out the 4'' as it was the only size in gal plate. didn't make sense.

            if you look close, there is sticky felt on the gal loop hangers. verry common here to use. the copper plated hangers are spendy and don't work as good as sticky felt.

            good call g3

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

              how good is roll grooving? can the joints last for a long time without problems?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

                Originally posted by Athanatos View Post
                how good is roll grooving? can the joints last for a long time without problems?
                next time you're in a commercial complex with fire sprinklers, see what the majority of the larger joints are made with.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

                  Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                  i couldn't figure out the 4'' as it was the only size in gal plate. didn't make sense.

                  if you look close, there is sticky felt on the gal loop hangers. verry common here to use. the copper plated hangers are spendy and don't work as good as sticky felt.

                  good call g3

                  rick.
                  I don't understand the Galv fittings either and meant to ask if you could explain why they are there. But from your comment above it seems you are confused by their use too. Did you ever get an explanation as to why Rick?
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

                    The "roll-grooving" appears to be very much like "Victaulic" type joints as Rick mentioned being used on fire suppression systems. Having worked for a Fire Sprinkler System installer, it's nice to be able to hang all of your piping work, then go back and put the pieces of the puzzle together with Victaulic couplings. These type couplings work by using the water pressure to insure a tight seal on the piping, the more pressure, the better the seal, in theory. We had one situation where a "new hire" who stated he had previous experience with Victaulic joints started cutting the "groove" in the pipe in the lathe with a cutting tool, not a good idea. He had only cut three "grooves" when our shop foreman caught him and stopped it. It turns out he had never seen a groove roller macine. I also agree with having the couplings all turned the same way for appearance. I'm also wondering if those galvanized couplings are actually Victaulic for fire systems. Thanks, David

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                    • #11
                      Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

                      cutting groves was once allowed on sch. 40 and thicker. i think they did away with that 10-15 years ago?

                      as far as the gal. couplings. i don't know the contractor. i was there just for a sewer inspection on the weekend and the plumbing contractor was not there.

                      i would think that the copper coated ones are required. it might be they were out of stock and will substitute the iron ones with copper coated when they get them.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

                        On large bore pipe I have only seen cut grooves, it's tough to roll a stick of 10, 12, or 18" pipe. You can use a roller that travels around the pipe which is stationary I guess, we never had one of those. On the big bore pipe the grooves were cut. 8" and under we roll grooved with a Vic roll groover attachment mounted on a RIDGID powerhead. When you get into 20 and 24" pipe then the clamps are segmented into four pieces and we had a different machine for cutting those grooves, don't remember who made it but probably from Victaulic. We ran a few thousand feet for chilled and heating water in a 24 story hotel years back.

                        It must be nice to plan out your whole job and prefab it all in the shop, then deliver to the job and throw it up in the hangers then drop back and couple it all up. The run your branch lines out as the sprinkies usually do. But it's also nice to have to do your own thinking, and not be out there just plugging together parts the way someone else envisioned they should go. Of course if you get to do your own planning and fabbing its all good I guess, as you get to take credit for your own mistakes.

                        Last edited by Bob D.; 08-07-2009, 11:56 PM.
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

                          Seconded on the fact that it looks like victaulic/sprinkler stuff. I have used foam around clevis hangers or electrical tape before to create a break between the metals. Way cheaper than copper clevis's and work well in a pinch. You can get painted ones/paint them too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

                            I just figured the galv. couplings and hangers touching the copper pipe would cause galavantic action. More than likely they ran out of copper couplings and just used what they had on hand.

                            As far as rolled grooves vs. cut grooves.............the only experience that I have with them is 22 years in the fire sprinkler industry. Roll grooves on piping in wet systems will last a good while 30 to 50 years depending on the pipe. Rolled grooves on dry systems will usually rust out at the groove because it holds just a little water in the bottom of the pipe, it can not drain out, 20 to 30 years depending on the pipe and how it is run. Cut grooves can only be used in sch. 40 or thicker walled pipe and will last the same for wet or dry. Cut grooves are better in the dry system since there is not any "hump" inside of the pipe and will let the water drain, even if the water 1/16" to 1/8" deep, it will rust out the groove or the ends of the pipe.

                            I have one customer that their sprinkler system is hitting the 100 year old mark and is still functing. The system is taken care of and any leaks are repaired immediately. The two wet systems have general fire extinguisher alarm valves in them, this was grinnell before they were grinnell. The dry system was put in in 1925 and is still in operation. On this dry system I just replaced a piece of four inch sch. 40 pipe with a 4 x 9 threaded flange on one end, was in the vertical position. The pipe had rusted so thin at the threads that you could count all of the threads, on the inside of the pipe.

                            Cutting a groove on a lathe or better yet in a pipe machine is, or at least did not use to be uncommon. There is not much sch 40 used in the bigger pipe sizes anymore. 1" to 2" is sch 40 threaded and 2" to 8" is sch 10 with roll grooves. I have cut grooves a plenty, the old man that showed me the ropes was born in 1920. I learned a lot from him in the 10 years that I worked for him, all the old ways and yes he did make it hard for me. Not alot of the old head knowledge left so I am glad I got trained from him.

                            enough rambling

                            G3

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                            • #15
                              Re: Copper joints t-drill & roll grooving

                              One thing to look out for (in BC, Canada anyway) is the type of brazing rod you use when T-drilling. Most wholesalers will try to sell you a BcUp 3 when by code you only need BcUp 0. There is a huge price difference between the two due to the silver contet. When at school an instructer told us that BcUp 3 is what jewelers use and is a huge overkill.

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