copper plumbingCopper plumbing sometimes needs some work. It is high quality but occasionally it will spring a leak. Removing a copper fitting can be done in several ways.

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A torch will make quick work or removing a copper fitting. You will obviously need to turn the water off and drain the water from the piping to allow the pipe to get hot enough to melt the solder. If you don’t drain the system, the water will boil and turn to steam, and will absorb the heat that is necessary to turn the solder to liquid so you can pull it from the pipe.

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Make sure you have a bucket of water nearby and a flame cloth to protect the surrounding area. Heat up the fitting by touching the tip of the blue cone (the end of the torch’s flame) to the fitting. Move the torch over the fitting to make sure the entire fitting is hot enough to pull away from the piping that is connected to it. Use long handled pliers or channel locks to quickly grab and release the fitting. Heat will travel quickly down a metal tool, so protect your hands and don’t hold onto the hot surface for too long.

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Instead of the torch, you can also use a pipe cutting tool. This is fast, but you will be shortening the pipe rather than just removing the fitting. So, if you are replacing the exact fitting, you will have to make up the distance that you cut out.

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Place the jaws of the pipe cutter around the pipe and tighten gradually as you encircle the pipe with the tool. You will notice that it first will score the pipe and then it will stay in the groove. As you gradually tighten it, it will cut a deeper groove until it eventually cuts through the thickness of the pipe’s wall.

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