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any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-24-2006, 05:19 PM   #1
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any plumbers in the house??

I'm working on a rehab right now, and plumbing is not my forte....probably because I dont know how to solder....so copper is out of the question (when I DIY, anyhow)

I was removing a bathtub surround, and broke off the faucet. Upon close inspection, I see that it's the threaded type of faucet which you'd normally just screw onto the copper stem with a screwdriver or pipe wrench. BUT, this one is PVC, and that's what I broke (stem).

I want to replace this myself, but I'm not sure if PVC is acceptable. I'm almost sure that if I made another PVC stem, and tried to thread a faucet onto it, that it'd break. Not to mention, it wouldn't be as sturdy as copper.

So, what do I do? And also, how the hell did the guy before me manage to thread the faucet onto the pvc stem so tight that it didn't leak? Also, how can I remove the PVC fitting thats still threaded onto the faucet, but stuck way down in there?

Thanks
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-24-2006, 05:57 PM   #2
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Fortunately for me there is a "real" hardward store close to my home, been going there 30 years. If you have one of those nearby you might go in and ask who is the plumbing expert cause you need help. Depending on the problem they can help or let you know if you need to bring in the pros.
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-24-2006, 06:06 PM   #3
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Quote:
Originally Posted by poboy
Fortunately for me there is a "real" hardward store close to my home, been going there 30 years. If you have one of those nearby you might go in and ask who is the plumbing expert cause you need help. Depending on the problem they can help or let you know if you need to bring in the pros.
haha, funny you mention that. i just stopped into a REAL hardware store for some other things today, and had time allowed, i woul've gotten my broken off hunk of crap out of the car and gone back in. BUT, my 9-5 beckoned
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-24-2006, 06:26 PM   #4
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Soldering is relatively easy: clean the pipe end/fitting with emory cloth, apply flux, heat the joint, melt the solder - with the hot copper, not the torch. When the joint is hot enough, the solder will "run" into the fitting. Careful not to burn yourself, or the house...* :P

Otherwise, use teflon tape or plumber's thread compound, also known as "pookie". Any doubts about your capabilities, or my instructions, ask the old guy in the plumbing department at your local hardware. Also try diy.com or hgtv.com...

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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-24-2006, 09:36 PM   #5
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
I'm working on a rehab right now, and plumbing is not my forte....probably because I dont know how to solder....so copper is out of the question (when I DIY, anyhow)
Thefed, you desperately need a subscription to Family Handyman magazine. Pay $12/year through http://www.discountmagazines.com and write that off against your rental property on Schedule E or your corp/LLC return.

Soldering has been dumbed down to well within the capability of the average DIY'er. I taught our 13-year-old how to do it a few months ago and none of the joints on our project leaked.

Finding PVC in a bathroom piping connection would greatly disturb me, especially if you live in a climate where water freezes. Is PVC really allowed by local code?!?
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-25-2006, 07:28 AM   #6
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

I'm thinking that it might be Pex tubing not PVC. I have never seen PVC on a water (pressure) line. Pex requires special crimpers that apply fittings. Pex is like a poly vinyl tubing. You can homerun lines to the entry point. So that you could turn off just one line (like a bath faucet) but still have pressure to another line (like a tub).

But ....
if it is PVC can't you fit a female end onto the pipe? or is that a male?

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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-25-2006, 01:09 PM   #7
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Welcome to the world of DIY.* Copper is actually pretty easy.* The tools are maybe $15 and after practice on 4 or five fittings you'll be an expert.* One suggestion if you go this route, stick with a propane torch.* *The mapp gas models are for pro's only.*

Concerning PVC, it is legal in some areas of the country, but you're liable to find it anywhere.* There is no real danger in using it, only that it is not usually up to code.* Getting a tight seal on PVC threads is difficult, and it again is not unusual to find whoever did the job would have bottomed out the fitting.* If you are going to duplicate the PVC fitting, use a teflon based pipe dope instead of teflon tape.*

Getting the old fitting out involves using a plumbing "ease out", (which is liable to be more expensive than the faucet), or making your own "easeout".* *Some type of chisel or tapered flat bar with the edges sharpened to bite into the plastic while you unscrew the broken fitting.*

Good Luck.
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-25-2006, 01:37 PM   #8
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

I bought a kit for my sprinkler system with a cutter and an e-z out (misnomer if I ever heard one) for about $10, iirc...

Good for getting those broken nipples risers out!!

Lowe's or Home Depot
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-25-2006, 01:38 PM   #9
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskaverse
Welcome to the world of DIY.* Copper is actually pretty easy.* The tools are maybe $15 and after practice on 4 or five fittings you'll be an expert.* One suggestion if you go this route, stick with a propane torch.* *The mapp gas models are for pro's only.*
Actually...once I switched from propane TO mapp, I found this are much easier to solder...the joint heats up much faster, and you can often solder even if there is some water in the lines..difficult with propane, imo.

Another thing that makes it *real* easy, is buying the pre-soldered joints (i.e. at HD). You just clean pipes, slide them together, and heat them up...solder is already embedded in the joints - couldn't be simpler. I've done dozens of joints (both ways, but now I always use the pre-solder ones) and never had a leak.
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-25-2006, 09:53 PM   #10
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

PVC bad. Especially in a faucet that, as you discovered, may be leaned on. If you cant get the soldering straight and wont hire a plumber, use a compression fitting. Way better than a piece of plastic.

Throw the faucet out and get another one. They're about six bucks.

While you're getting the faucet, get a propane torch and a hunk of whatever piece of copper pipe and fittings that they're clearancing out (usually tagged on the shelf with a red colored price tag), cut the pipe up into chunks and practice soldering with the pipe pieces and fittings.
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-25-2006, 11:39 PM   #11
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Black iron fittings and unions work, too.

Teflon tape and Channellocks are my friends.
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-26-2006, 06:47 PM   #12
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

The deeper you go into the South, the more the PVC shows its applicability. Here at about 30 degrees north latitude the water has voluminous quantities of sulfur in it. Millions of years of rotting vegetation, I guess. My instructions to my builder were to NOT use anything other than galvanized iron and copper for my plumbing. No plastic fixtures or faucets for me! He overrode my ignorance and told me to ask around first and I found people who'd had to replumb their whole houses due to the
buildup of copper sulfate that first clogged then corroded the water pipes.
Just don't let the sheetrockers drive nails into the hot water lines...cost me $6500. after the home warranty ran out.
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-26-2006, 09:02 PM   #13
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

the fed,

- I second shepard's tip--try the pre-soldered copper pipe fittings (they are available Home Depot near me, but not at Lowes). Soldering copper is really not hard to begin with, but I've never had a leak with te pre-soldered fittings.

- Also, if you're soldering in the wall, you'll need a heat shield to prevent a possible fire. They sell a black heat-shield cloth at the hardware store near the pipe soldering supplies (be prepared to spend about 12 bucks). Keep a wet rag handy, too, and moisten down the wood/etc near where you'll be working.

-I've done a lot of these now. It's not hard at all provided you can get the water out of the pipe before you start. And, if you do it right it will last nearly forever.

samclem
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-27-2006, 08:11 AM   #14
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Old Plumber's trick...Stick a piece of bread into the pipe to dry out the pipe. The bread soaks up the water and the water comes when you remove the bread.
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-27-2006, 08:26 AM   #15
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpax7
Old Plumber's trick...Stick a piece of bread into the pipe to dry out the pipe. The bread soaks up the water and the water comes when you remove the bread.
This is a good tip, but it is almost impossible to remove all the soggy bread from the pipe...but not to worry, just run the water for a while after completing the repair to flush the bread out of the system.

One caution: not a good idea to use this trick if you're working upstream from your water heater. No real harm done, but it could take quite some time to "get the bread out".
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-27-2006, 02:53 PM   #16
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Wheat bread?
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-27-2006, 03:06 PM   #17
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
Wheat bread?
You do NOT want to waste use wheat bread on copper plumbing. Might cause the joint to swell.

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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-27-2006, 03:10 PM   #18
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpax7
Old Plumber's trick...Stick a piece of bread into the pipe to dry out the pipe. The bread soaks up the water and the water comes when you remove the bread.
Good luck with that near any 90-degree bends or valves...
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-28-2006, 12:23 PM   #19
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

My dog ted likes bread, I could get him to eat the soggy bread out of the area to be soldered.

Then we just need something to soak up 5lbs of dog slobber.

By the way, is this an old trick plumbers use or a trick that old plumbers use?
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Re: any plumbers in the house??
Old 04-28-2006, 01:13 PM   #20
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Re: any plumbers in the house??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
By the way, is this an old trick plumbers use or a trick that old plumbers use?
Yes.

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