Tim Carter, of AsktheBuilder.com, demonstrates how to flare the end of soft copper tubing to produces leak-proof joints.
Tags:ask the builder,copper tubing flaring,renovation,soft fitting brass,tim carter
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Just about everybody knows what this is. It is a piece of copper tubing but it is a specific type. It is hard copper. It is hard because it is hard to bend it. It stays pretty rigid. What if I told you there was a different type of copper and you did not have to solder it when you put it up against to fitting. Here is a small piece of soft copper.
This is basically a three-eight inch piece but it comes big. They can come as big as an inch and a half or two inches and the most common size used around here is probably three quarter in soft copper. That is the type of one that actually brings the water into most of the houses in the area.
You can bend this thing. Go around corners and it does not necessary kink. You can actually make a 90 degree bend with soft copper tubing. When you have to connect one piece of the soft copper to another piece or to a dissimilar piping material, you have to use these special flare fittings. We are actually going to take the end of the copper tubing and flare it to meet this conical shape on the fitting.
To actually flare the end of the soft copper, you need a simple flaring tool and that what this is. It is a little vice clamp that actually holds the soft copper tubing and it has holes in it that match the size of the pipe and this part of the tool is actually the thing that creates the flare. We are ready to get to work.
You simply put the tube in this part of it. I almost made a mistake. This is where everybody makes the mistake. You have to put this nut on the tube first before you flare the end of it. If you do not do that, it will never fit.
The next step is just too simply tightening these thumb screws to clamp the piece of tubing in the flaring tool. Attach the final part of the flaring tool that actually creates the flare and you can see the cone tip fits down inside the copper tubing.
The final part is this simple little handle that slides into the end of the conical part so that you can actually start to turn and flare the end of that copper. It is so easy to do.
We finished and you can see what it does. The flaring tool actually takes the copper pipe which is soft and makes like a bugle into it, it flares it out and of course the nut slides right up on top of it. Now watch how this works. Remember this part of the fitting has that matching shape and when those two things go together and the nut tightens down it will not leak. Look how easy it is to connect soft copper.
I am Tim Carter, ask the builder.
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