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Alternative to copper unions for stainless indirect water heater
I'm nearly ready to solder copper pipes to a new indirect water heater (Lochinvar SIT040) in California. I'm not a plumber, but am doing the job myself after practicing soldering for awhile.
I ordered 1" copper unions for the water heater, but they look a little beat up. Some have nicks on the area that creates a seal. After reading about the problems with copper unions, I'm looking for an alternative.
I could solder the pipes directly to the threaded copper adapter to the water heater (stainless male pipe thread), but what if the adapter leaks after everything is assembled? I'd need to drain the water heater, desolder the fittings, tighten the adapter, and resolder again - sounds like a pain.
Is there a better way to do this other than unions? I've thought about stainless / copper flexible hose, but it seems like there should be something more reliable and more permanent.
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