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Brass fittings on stainless steel

I've used brass brass fittings on stainless steel nipples on indirect water heaters for years with no problem, now a union plumber was called out to a system I installed 5 years ago who told the home owner that the indirect was improperly installed , you never put brass on stainless steel! I called Triangle Tube the manufacture of the Smart 60 indirect and posed the question to tech support, they didn't know of any problem. Has anybody had a problem with brass and stainless?


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,575
    edited July 2018
    What problem was there to require the union plumber?
    Was there any degradation of the fittings to be seen?
    Some people are just super critical in areas beyond their expertise.—NBC
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,633
    That's how I've always done it as well. I wonder what the union guy's proposal was to "install it correctly". I've never had or seen any problems by using a brass coupling threaded over the stainless male, and then using a copper make adapter from the coupling. I do all open water systems like that. I've found a brass coupling better than a brass valve for transitioning materials. Then you can have the vacuum breaker in the copper and sweat in a valve after.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 196
    The problem is you are not a union plumber, not the brass or stainless steel. I was a member of the union for many years and for some reason ,beyond my understanding, some union members think they will increase their perceived expertise by running down a non union tradesperson. The use of dielectric fittings is for the elimination of electrical corrosion of the less noble metal and of course you use them in an iron to copper situation. Stainless steel, does not have the same place as iron pipe does on the periodic table, because unlike steel pipe ,it is a blend of metals where steel pipe has a very close relationship to the ir or iron profile on the periodic table of values. Unfortunately, you are being abused by someone who is a UNION GUY ,but unfortunately failed high school chemistry. Take some advise from an old tradesman ,smart people improve their skills by reading, listening,and trying to constantly improve. Stupid people back stab ,because they think it makes them look like gurus, they may look smart to the inexperienced ,but to the geriatric club of which I am one, they look like children carrying tales out of school. All the best, Jack. Greetings from Canada
    Long Beach Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,838
    I agree with @Solid_Fuel_Man dielectric sucks they always leak. And I agree with @Jackmartin about the backstabbing and yes I am in the union.
    Solid_Fuel_ManLong Beach Ed