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 Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

I am having a trench dug this week so I can run water to my shed from the house. Looking at things, it appears that the easiest thing to do will be to tap into the hot and the cold water lines on top of my hot water heater. Both those lines are copper? Is it possible to tap into those? What do I need? What would be best to run underground to the shed?

I am in N.W. La so freezing of below ground pipes really is not a problem.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: SMSPlumbing (PA)

Call a professional. If you do not know how to tie into copper, then you are way over your head. Sorry to sound mean. But seriously reconsider doing it your self.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

I have done it once...watched a youtube video, then did it hooking up a friends water heater! LOL!! There was nothing to it really.

I just do not know what material to use to run the lines underground, and therefore, how to tap that into the copper lines...

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

First..... there are a lot of Utube videos around that are just horrible....so don't think that will make the job!

However, for your job, running either rolled soft copper or PEX underground will "git'r done". Either could be tied to the pipes at the water heater using Sharks.

If this was a project inside your house, based on your inexperience, you have noticed a lot of votes against! But I accept DIY as fact of life. ( the carpenter's union may not be happy with some things I do at my own house!) and this job has minimal downside as a DIY project.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

I am bad about always trying to DIY and always swear I will never do it again when that 30 minute job took me 4 hours, but I always manage to pull it off and then the next time something comes up, I am right back there DIY and cursing because it is taking me so long & I am running into so many problems! I will probably never learn my lesson...

This is in the house, but it is in the utility room which has a simple concrete floor that tapers slightly down in the center to a floor drain! What is the worse that can happen? LOL!

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

Never mind...you don't have to answer that!!!!

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: SMSPlumbing (PA)

For the copper, use k copper. It is thicker and designed for underground. I have never put pex underground so I can not advise you as to what to use. There is also Black Poly pipe. Use 160 psi. You would just use either female or male X insert barb to connect.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: hj (AZ)

Tapping into the lines is one thing, the type of lines is another, and they are separate decisions which have NOTHING to do with each other.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: hj (AZ)

I seldom use black poly pipe, in fact just once, but I am not sure if it is suitable for hot water, since they use hot water to soften it for the insertion fittings.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: dlh (TX)

getting the line from the inside to the outside will be the hardest part depending on what you want it to look like. if just taking it through the wall and then down into the ground make sure to insulate the exposed piping. if wanting to take it into the concrete and out under the floor you probably have a grade beam at the perimeter of the foundation and depending on how they poured it, the beam could be anywhere from 12" to 20" thick and up to 2' deep

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

Will definitely be simply going through the brick then down to the ground.

Looks like several opinions on what to run underground...

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

My trench is dug...now all I need to do is make the decision on what to do! I am thinking I will run either PEX or CPVC since either one are good with the Shark's. From what I can tell, both those and copper are all workable with the Shark fittings. Looks like 3/4 on top of my water heater...that sound right?



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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

3/4 copper is exactly 7/8" OD, but the parallax in the picture is affecting what we see. It can't really be anything else.

Most codes don't want plastic connected directly to the tp....we would like to see 18" of copper before plastic comes into the picture.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

So should I use a copper T, then use copper through the wall to the outside & convert to the other on the outside of the wall?

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: proplumbing (OR)

Hire a professional.......Please

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

I take it this site is full of professionals rather than do it yourselfers...I did get a quote on simply tieing into the copper lines & installing the valves, I was going to run it the rest of the way myself...$225!!! No thanks!! I think I can figure it out!

I have done a lot of things myself around the house simply by researching and asking LOTS of questions before I got started!

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: hj (AZ)

Yes it is, but it would be, unless you had an extremely large water heater. You do not have a lot of pipe to work with, so you are going to have to be creative to get the tees into those lines, because there appears to be ZERO room to flex them to insert the tees.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: hj (AZ)

I would use copper ANYWHERE the piping is exposed and could be damaged, meaning until it goes underground. The same applies to the power to your heater. The wire is supposed to be enclosed in a flexible metal sheath, such as Greenfield.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: hj (AZ)

In your case $225.00 may have been cheap to get the tees installed.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: SMSPlumbing (PA)

Quote "I take it this site is full of professionals rather than do it yourselfers..."

I would hope so. I would never ask a DIY person to tell me how to do a job correctly. If I had a question about tearing out the transmission on the car,, I would not ask a bunch of guys who tried one and got lucky. I would rather hear it from guys who have been trained and have done a lot of them. I know my limits and somethings are just not for the DIY person.

When you get a price from someone, that price includes more than just a couple of tees and solder and valves. Don't forget about the insurance, the vehicle that got them there, the training and knowledge. There are many factors for a quote. And when it comes to plumbing, there is the correct way, and then there is the "oops I flooded my house" or "I cantaminated the plumbing sy

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: hj (AZ)

quote: or "I cantaminated the plumbing sy

Or, "I contaminated the whole neighborhood's water supply system."

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: bassadict69 (LA)

For those that responded with more than "hire a professional"...THANK YOU!!!!!!

I will be attempting this myself in the next week. I will post up the final results, good or bad!!!

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

Two 3/4"x3/4:x1/2"copper tees.two 3/4"street 90,s and two copper /repair,roll-free stop-less\ couplings.Done.effective draining the water from the connection points.would be the failure point.shut off the power .gas .drain the heater half way and pin open the relief when connecting the new tee,s.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: Don411 (KY)

Only way to get a Tee in that pipe is going to be to cut out the vertical section, unthread the fitting from the weater heater, and rebuild the connection from the elbow down with a Tee in the equation. I would also use a union on both hot and cold so the water heater doesn't need to be cut out to be replaced.

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 Re: Need to tap into copper water lines...
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

Don wrong!

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