One of the most commonly used types of water supply pipes in residential properties is copper pipes. Copper pipes are ideal for supplying both cold and hot water around a home.
Traditionally, copper pipe connections are usually made by soldering the fittings together. This is done by putting two copper pipes together in such a way that they make a sleeve or a joint (or a tee in case you need to connect at least three pipes) that fits in the pipe ends.
Flux is then applied to the interior surface of the sleeve or joint. It’s then heated using a torch. The next step involves applying solder onto the heated pipe such that it melts and seals the seam. Today, there are other methods of connecting copper pipes without soldering them together.
Using Compression Based Fittings
- You can join at least two copper pipes using compression based fittings. These fittings come with a brass cylinder within them and some nuts around their exterior surface. These fittings are mostly used in cutoffs behind toilets and under the sink, where they’re used in connecting two supply lines to a third one that supplies water to the toilet or sink.
- Take a copper pipe and cut its ends square. Fit the ends into a compression fitting. Next, mate two pipe ends (if you’re joining two pipes) or put each end into the outlet of the tee connector.
- Use an adjustable wrench to tighten all the nuts. Doing so will push the pipe ends into the interior tapered cylinder, thereby making a watertight seal. You can remove the fittings by simply loosening all the nuts. Ensure that water is turned off before handling compression fittings.
Using Epoxy Connectors
- First, purchase epoxy. It looks like cement and is used in making solderless copper pipe connectors.
- Next, clean the pipe ends you’ll be joining using sandpaper (60 grit option). Sand the ends until they shine bright. Avoid wiping the sand dust off upon sanding.
- Make a bead of epoxy and apply it on the exterior surface of the copper pipe. Apply another bead of epoxy on the interior surface of the fitting connector that will be used in making the joint. Next, insert the pipe into the connector. Rotate it up to 180 degrees. Turn it again 180 degrees back. Hold it for a minimum of 5 seconds. You’ll get a permanent bond in around 45 seconds. If you’re working with large pipes or pipes that can’t be rotated, you’ll apply epoxy on the connector and the pipe. Then push them together until they bond tightly.
Using Push-Fit Type of Connectors
- First, buy some push-fit type of connectors. They come with an O-ring made of rubber.
- Next, cut the pipe ends square. Insert the pipes into the push connector and push them until the ring holds the inserted pipe tight. Attach the copper pipes one by one. Joints made using the push-fit type of connectors are tee connectors, elbows, and straight runs.
- You can always remove the connected pipes from the connectors using a special removal tool. The connectors may be reused in case they’re not damaged.