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Difficult pressing decision

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  • Difficult pressing decision

    I have a difficult situation and look forward to any discussion. I have a multi-storey building that was built around 30 years ago. Back then they did some strange things especially with materials used. Over here we used to use lots of copper and copper composite(hope this is the right description) products in commercial buildings. Now many of the buildings were gravity fed from the top plant room so sometimes materials were of lesser grades. Essentially we have 4 grades/type of Copper tube, a,b,c & d. Of course d is the thinnest. Most of the time the minimum grade allowed was Type B. However local conditions, with the exception of gas which has to be a minimum of Type B. Now we have Flushometers installed in all of the building toilets. My problem is that they used 70/30 brass pipe as the supply line for the flushers. Now when I was an apprentice we were welding this material for sewer and waste in these buildings, not as water supply of any sort. I don't know the thickness of the material but if it is as I know it it is definitely not Type B copper tube. Problem, there is a leak. It is close to the joint where the tube bush was welded on and is screwed into a gate valve. Cant take the gate valve off, limited space. Cant use compression fittings, would do more damage flaring pipe. Also limited space. So I wonder whether as we have to use "compression sleeves" inside 50 tube before pressing would this work. I am going to pursue this with the viega reps down here but I haven't heard of it being used on anything other than Copper.(note:- Viega are only now looking to introduce Stainless Steel but it hasn't been released officially here yet). This is just another one of the fantastic challenges I am facing yet again.
    Point:-leak is on live side of main, level 3 of 10. Either way have to shut down supply but want to explore options first as time is always the critical when dealing with the tenants. They definitely don't understand what we do to keep them in comfort.

  • #2
    Re: Difficult pressing decision

    of course a picture is worth a 1000 words.

    if the copper alloy is the same od as what the press fitting is designed for, then in theory it will fit and work.

    the issue is if the tubing is sound / strong enough to support the crimping process. when you say 50 tube, are you referring to 50 mm/ 2'' pipe? 2'' gets a pretty significant crimp and could destroy the integrity of what's left of the tubing. a soldered repair will not affect the tubing wall strength. also a shark bite fitting will not stress the tubing either.

    sounds like until you cut out the damaged piece, you really won't know the integrity of the line. problem is, it sounds like a temporary fix as the tubing might be worn out.

    why not try an external clamp or epoxy type pipe patch on the exterior pin hole until you can determine if it's time for a repipe.

    you could always fly me down and i'll bring all my toys to assist you in the repair

    what do your local guys think will work?

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      Re: Difficult pressing decision

      You could UT the pipe wall to determine the remaining thickness if that is a concern.

      they can be rented too
      Last edited by Bob D.; 07-14-2013, 09:06 AM.
      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


      1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


      • #4
        Re: Difficult pressing decision

        Rick, Bob thanks. Tube is quite thin and I cant believe that they actually got away with doing this. The 70/30 brass pipe is not as malleable as here is no way the building owners are going to straight copper tube. I would presume the tube to be the same od although not quite sure. BTWI pressed a 50 copper elbow today and the distortion of the press was huge. I used the inserted ring piece as directed by rep and was still in awe of what the machine did to 50 copper tube. According to rep 50 tube is the hardest to press as there is something to do with the strength of this size. Mind you competitor to Viega doesn't recommend we use an insert which surprises me.
        Back to my dilemma. There is no way the building owners are going to entertain a re-pipe. Down under we are a little backward when it comes to things like this. Even though there are problems they believe it is cheaper to just keep on patching and repairing as opposed to other. Mind you it is not happening really regular but ........!!!!
        I have seen some of these products like epoxys but didn't think it would work. May look at that in the short term. The other thing that we contend with is that the building managers try to impress the owners by minimizing the amount of money they spend on maintenance. Stupid thing is is that they all know that maintenance is required with everything, even us huimans from time to time, and yet they throw away their brains. Sometimes accuse us of causing the materials to breakdown - yes go figure...............!!!!!!!
        Repipe would be good but will probably stitch the BM up by asking the question, "what do you want me to do??????". not going to happen too soon but as it is still a minor spray and the ceiling hasn't fallen in yet.


        • #5
          Re: Difficult pressing decision

          here is the product that should work as i've used it before with good results when i couldn't remove and replace.

          CALL: 800-BLU-GLUE
          FAX: 800-HOT-GLUE

          Christy's Slick-Wrap Pipe Repair Kit 2" x 60"

          Product Summary

          • Permanent repair for up to 2" Pipe
          • Water Activated Fiberglass Tape - Quick Drying
          • Complete Kit - No Tools Required
          • Pressure Tested to 300+ PSI
          • Use in Temperatures From -60� to 800� F
          Units per Case12List Price$31.45MSDSSafety Data SheetSpec SheetSpecification Sheet PDFProduct Description

          Click to enlarge


          © 2013 T. Christy Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

          Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 07-15-2013, 08:49 AM. Reason: link
          phoebe it is