Copper pipe comes either flexible or rigid. In new homes, you will more than likely find rigid copper pipes because it makes for a neater installation. When repairs are needed, most plumbers will use flexible copper pipe so that studs and other obstacles can be worked around easily. Rigid copper pipes are more difficult to use than the soft and flexible copper pipe. Read on to learn how to install flexible copper tubing.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Tubing cutter
- Coil-spring tubing bender
- Flexible copper tubing
Learn ways to handle flexible copper pipes gently. Flexible pipes often come in a box that should be held by the box handle, not by the copper pipe inside.
Twist the copper pipe in order to uncoil it and straighten it out to the length you will need. Straighten the pipe a few inches at a time.
Cut the flexible copper pipe with a tube cutter or hacksaw. Once you make your cut, sand any burrs from the cut end on the inside and outside of the copper pipe. You can use the blade of the tube cutter or a metal file to sand.
Lead the flexible copper pipe in the direction you need--bend it gradually with large arcs to prevent kinks. Once the copper pipe has a kink, you will not be able to use it.
Slide a coil-spring tubing bender in your flexible copper pipe for any tight turns you may need. It will be nearly impossible to kink your pipe if you use this tool.
Repair your copper pipe. This requires you to polish the tubing to remove dirt and grease. For a joint solder you do not need to polish as much.
Insert copper tubing into the broken pipe and join with compression fittings, flare fittings or by soldering.
Tips and warnings
- Always check your city code to determine which type of pipe to use.
- Do not use copper tubing for a gas line. Natural gas will cause the inside of the copper tube to flake, which can damage appliances.
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