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Thread: copper pipe pressure ratings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Kalamazoo, MI
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    copper pipe pressure ratings

    Check out this table at Copper.org. Table 3a is for type K, 3b for type L, and 3c for type M. http://www.copper.org/applications/p...th_table3c.htm

    Enjoy!!
    Kyle in K'zoo
    Screws are kinda like knots, if you can't use the right one, use lots of 'em.
    The greatest tragedy in life is the gruesome murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts.

  2. #2
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    Also look here:
    http://www.copper.org/applications/p...cth_table4.htm

    Depending on the solder used, the pressure rating of joints can be considerably lower than that of the pipe itself.

  3. #3
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    Kent,

    Good information. I personally don't use solder containing lead anymore. Not because I'm afraid of lead, but because I like the way lead free solder goes on....for me, it's easier to work and get a leak-tight joint every time.

    My next question is does lead free solder fit into the second category on the chart? Is it the tin/antimony stuff or one of the other categories further down? The pressure rating of the joint increases greatly when you use a solder other than the lead based stuff...it appears.
    Kyle in K'zoo
    Screws are kinda like knots, if you can't use the right one, use lots of 'em.
    The greatest tragedy in life is the gruesome murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts.

  4. #4
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    Well, now you got me curious, so I looked up some manf's info:

    http://www.oatey.com/apps/catalog/sh...roduct+Catalog

    I've been using (for general plumbing) Oatey Safe Flo, which is a Tin / Copper / Silver / Bismuth alloy, with a lower melting point (and I assume less strength) than the 95/5 Tin / Antimony alloy.



  5. #5
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    Thanks Kyle this supports what my plumber was telling me yesterday about type M being plenty strong enough for home shop use. the weakest point in any system is going to be the joints. Depending on the solder used.
    I usually find it much easier to be wrong once in while than to try to be perfect.

    My web page has a pop up. It is a free site, just close the pop up on the right side of the screen

  6. #6
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    Bart, don't worry about a properly soldered joint. The solder is in shear stress and provides a lot of surface area for resistance.

    That said, when installing my 1/2" copper air distribution system, I used solder with 2% silver content for the extra measure of strength. There is a good selection of solder at McMaster & Carr.
    Best Regards, Ken

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