Threading old copper pipe supply line?

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Threading old copper pipe supply line?

Post by mikemark8808 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:24 pm


I'm in the process of fixing up a home at the moment and the house improvement videos have been very helpful. However, I did stumble across 1 problem that seems to be of great importance, since it is dealing with the main water supply line to the house. The problem was the main shut off valve before the meter had broke and rendered useless, the knob may have been stepped on perhaps. It was also soldered on which means I have to cut it off. Local codes around here do not let me solder anything before the gate valve after the water meter, don't ask me why.

I turned off the main water line today and prepared to do a bunch of plumbing work. However, I am really worried about using a Sharkbite fitting on the main line, the only thing I could find at the big box store. If this 3/4" slip-on fitting, rated for 25 years, shall fail at the O-ring, before or after 25 years, like what would I do? It may pop out and cause water damage, albeit the floor is concrete, but I want to save myself the embarrassment of water gushing out all over the house while we wait for the water company to come shut off the water for who knows how long.

I do believe there are also brass compression fittings available, but I could not find the one I need at the stores nor online. I also feel compression fittings are a big risk even though I have used them in the past, especially in this situation. The inspector specifically told me I cannot solder anything and that I must use all mechanical connections. He said compression or sharkbite is okay, but like I said, that just seems really dumb to me. He did mention something about flaring the connection somehow though.

What is the best way to go about this? Is there a way to thread the copper pipe coming out of the ground? I do believe it is a 3/4" 'k' copper pipe, it has turned green over the years. I have searched threading tools and most of them just do black iron which is no help for me. They also tell me that copper may be too soft to thread. Also I have never threaded anything in my life, but I did see that it was fairly simple with the ratcheting tool on black iron pipe.

Thanks for your help in advance,

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Re: Threading old copper pipe supply line?

Post by Shannon » Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:46 am

I never do anything ahead of the meter, I always hire a plumber for those jobs. Most I see are done by having a soldered fitting then brass threaded fittings and the valve then the meter. I also have seen the compression ball valves used for the main house shut off. Not sure that I would use a shark bite in that situation either. You should be able to find a 3/4" compression ball valve. If it was mer I would pay the plumber to come out and do that connection.
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