How practical is it to re-use copper pipe fittings?
I've done a bit of plumbing before, but have only ever bought &
soldered new bits - when I shift my water heater to a better location
though I'll free up a few tees and elbows; how practical is it for me to
re-use these on the 'new' work (i.e. do the parts desolder and clean up
easily enough for re-use)?
There are a couple of ways to do it.
1. Heat up fitting to melt solder, then whack it on a hard surface.
Expect some solder spray.
2. Heat up fitting to melt, and put the fitting onto the pipe while
molten, then solder as an end feed.
I'm not convinced its worth it though, you'll get a higher incidence
of leaky joins, and end feed stuff is cheap.
For sure. It's definitely no big deal to buy new bits, I just like
re-using things whenever I can. :-)
(and heck, that was a fast reply. I love this group...)
If you're buying from somewhere like BES, fittings aren't
expensive enough to bother reusing.
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]
Assuming you've got it off ok, simply flux the new pipe, heat and push it
in place, adding some solder in the usual way. Bit of a fiddle if things
are tight but quite doable where access is easy.
*Oh, what a tangled website we weave when first we practice *
Dave Plowman da...@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
> In article <pan.2009.10.09....@remove.this.gmail.com>,
> Jules <jules.rich...@remove.this.gmail.com> writes:
> > On Fri, 09 Oct 2009 09:18:05 -0700, NT wrote:
> >> I'm not convinced its worth it though, you'll get a higher incidence
> >> of leaky joins, and end feed stuff is cheap.
> > For sure. It's definitely no big deal to buy new bits, I just like
> > re-using things whenever I can. :-)
> > (and heck, that was a fast reply. I love this group...)
> If you're buying from somewhere like BES, fittings aren't
> expensive enough to bother reusing.
Too true, I can't believe people would even try to re-use soldered
I dont even re-use compression fittings (or pipe, it all goes on the
scrap pile), it just isnt worth the time to clean them for re-use, as
well as the possibility that they may not seal so well as new ones as
they could have slightly deformed in use.(not talking olives here, just
the bodies and nuts).
To reply by e-mail, change the ' + ' to 'plus'.
A useful backup method though for the diy-er to have up his sleeve if he
finds he's run out of the relevant new fittings at 4pm on a Sunday...
Absolutely, try finding a 28mm reduced branch Tee on a weekend, plus
it's 2mins to heat them up and bang them out. I'm not saying I would
bother for standard 15mm but I have done it when stuck.
BBC3, ITV2/3/4, channels going to the DOGs
Well, I wouldn't chance compression fittings either - but pipe's pipe and
solder's solder, hence the reason I asked about those. Seems a shame just
to toss 'em. Was curious as to how much "old solder" renders them unusable...
(DIY stores open until at least 7 - some until 9 - on a Sunday this side
of the Atlantic, thankfully - although it's a 16-mile round-trip to the
nearest, so it's still a pain in the bum whenever I find I'm missing some
It is perfectly possible. I see it as part of the challenge to achieve as
much as possible by re-arranging the existing components.
There is probably a higher risk of a leak than if you use all new joints and
>> How practical is it to re-use copper pipe fittings?
> It is perfectly possible.
With solder it's a bit of fiddle to clear enough of the old solder
out but it is possible. I resuse compression all the time, with a new
olive and old pipe.
> There is probably a higher risk of a leak than if you use all new joints
> and pipe.
Can't see why with a previously used solder fitting it will be fully
tinned so I'd say less chance of leak...
Once its been soldered and unsoldered you've got muck and burnt flux,
which can result in a water leakage path. Solution is to melt the
thing and wipe the inside with wet denim while still molten.
Reusing compression fittings and old pipe is easy, just add a tiny
smear of linseed putty on the olive, and this takes care of any minor
damage to the pipe surface.
A waste of time and energy.They're cheap, if you don't get them in the
DIY sheds. The copper is soft when hot and any handling whilst trying
to desolder them will usually deform them.
> just add a tiny
> smear of linseed putty on the olive, and this takes care of any minor
> damage to the pipe surface.
Verboten with potable water. Use PTFE paste.