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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Copper Connections- No Leaks!

Today I helped a friend finish up the plumbing in a house he's renovating for resale in East Nashville. We had earlier removed all the old plumbing in the process of moving the floor plan around a little to make the small 600ish square foot space more livable.

We decided to mix copper and PEX pipes, using 1/2" copper from the fixture to the crawlspace, and 3/4" PEX to connect the lines beneath the floor. We did this because we wanted the rigid copper studs to connect our fixtures to later, but down below it is much easier to use the flexible PEX with the amazing Shark-Bite fittings to connect it all together.

Today I was finishing up the copper soldering for the shower. Copper hot/cold lines came up through the floor for the laundry in the same place so we just jumped off of these lines to run supply lines to the shower.

With that finished, it was time to finally turn on the water main and see how we did. Even with 20-25 soldered joints, no copper leaks were found. This is always good to hear, especially since it's usually difficult to test them until they are all done and ready to go.

We did find a couple PEX joints that hadn't been fully assembled. In case you're new to PEX, here's a tip: before sliding the PEX pipe into a Shark-Bite fitting, make a mark on the pipe with a Sharpie marker about 1/2" from the end. This will give you a reference point so that you know that the connection is fully made. Especially with white PEX, it's hard to tell if you've pushed them together without this mark. Thankfully, with a little squeeze, it's an easy fix.


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