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Removing a ProPress Fitting

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Has anyone had any luck removing one of these and replacing it with another ProPress or solder fitting?  Seems not possible. 
I have a job that is fitting-to-fitting and want to add a DirtMag. 

8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab

Comments

  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,240
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    Cutting out has been my only option in those situations. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has a good method.  
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    Wirsbo/Uponor Propex?   The Pex ring? I carefully cut in to the ring with a Pex knife 🔪..then u can wiggle off the tubing.  Mad Dog  🐕 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
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    I think it distorts the tube when you press the fitting? My REMS tool leaves a hexagon shape after the press.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    STEVEusaPA
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    Oh...I'm thinking Propex...Nope...usually have to cut it back to clean pipe.  Thats one bad thing about it.  Mad Dog 🐕 
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 642
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    Without destroying one of the fittings, no. Basically surgery with a dremel and mini cutoff blade so you don't nick the copper pipe. Like cutting a line through a broken nipple on a threaded fitting, except extra ptfe and dope won't save you if you go too far. Then you can press another fitting on the open pipe, but press in the same orientation as the deformed pipe.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    I agree with @hot_rod. It deforms the tubing. If you were able, I’d think melting the ring and sliding it off would work. But psychologically, getting a torch to remove/fix a press fitting seems odd to me.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    Mad Dog_2
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,448
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    Yes.
    It can be done. Need to be gentle... goes w/o saying. Oscillating tool cut parallel w the pipe. Careful to not gouge the tubing. Make about 3 cuts. Then carefully pry open the tabs then give it a twist off. The key is to press the piping back on so it gives a similar press pattern.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,833
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    I agree with @hot rod the tubing is pressed octagonal so your not getting a sweat fitting on it unless maybe you anneal the tubing and make the tubing round pound a fitting on it and braze it....ug what a mess.

    Don't know if pressing a fitting on it in the same orientation is goo practice or not
    Mad Dog_2
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,448
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    I agree with @hot rod the tubing is pressed octagonal so your not getting a sweat fitting on it unless maybe you anneal the tubing and make the tubing round pound a fitting on it and braze it....ug what a mess.

    Don't know if pressing a fitting on it in the same orientation is goo practice or not

    Its not ideal but sometimes you get stuck...
    Mad Dog_2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
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    I think you can cut off the fitting by cutting only the fitting then sweat on a new fitting. might need a tube expander to bring the pipe back up to the original size. Once you cut a slot or 2 almost through the fitting it will split easily since it is copper. Crimping another propress on after the tube has been shrunk seems dicey at best.
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    Right, we don't always have the best options, but Silver-Brazing will be your best option if you have  misshapen, crinkled tubing.  Mad Dog 🐕 
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,956
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    I've done it a few times, but it's not easy nor is it a great joint. It's very easy to nick the ring on the new fitting due to the hex shape. This right here is my #1 gripe with press.
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 515
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    Has anyone had any luck removing one of these and replacing it with another ProPress or solder fitting?  Seems not possible. 

    I have a job that is fitting-to-fitting and want to add a DirtMag. 

    You have to cut it back and use a ProPress coupling if you intend to keep it Press because I don't think you'd ever get that pipe round again, at least without a lot of effort. Otherwise, even if you could Dremel the fitting off without nicking the pipe, you'd have to reshape the previously crimped pipe to allow a new fitting and sweat that on or braze it.

    If it were my job, I'd just cut out the Pressed fitting in question and use some new pipe and sweat slip couplings.

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,166
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    I think someone will invent a reverse press tool with little hands that grab the copper molecules and pull them back into the original shape. Use the same technology as the cast iron radiators that "hold the heat" (see related post here) https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/comment/1709810#Comment_1709810

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    PC7060MaxMercy
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 642
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    They make rerounders for type L/K
    https://starlightplugs.com/rt-2-l-3-4-copper-rounding-tool-type-l/
    https://www.reedmfgco.com/en/products/water-services-tools/round-it-straightener-rerounder/

    I mean you'd probably just replace the section before you order more tools but if it happened to have very expensive components on either side.. possibly.
    STEVEusaPAmattmia2
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
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    It would tough, not impossible, to put a new fitting over a removed one. At least with the tool I have. It distorts it on both inner and outer wall.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
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    I knew there was this type of tool for exhaust tubing and I know there are all sorts of tools for making fittingless connections for refrigeration work in copper so I figured there was a tool to reshape copper pipe to its original size too.

    https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/SER2071?impressionRank=1
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,387
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    Hmm, @mattmia2 , that tool reminds me of PEX expansion tools 😉

    Yours, Larry
    mattmia2Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
    edited June 2023
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    Hmm, @mattmia2 , that tool reminds me of PEX expansion tools 😉

    Yours, Larry

    Actually, the version I posted is the version I am familiar with, but google also found a version that fits a miwaukee/wirsbo type expansion tool.

    EDIT: Or maybe not, looks like it was just a pex expansion tool that it somehow got from "exhaust expansion tool"
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
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    Also, this is why using the npt version of expensive components is a great idea, all you are out is an adapter if you need to rework something, no chance of burning up an expensive part trying to remove and sweat in a new piece of copper.
    STEVEusaPA
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
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    A REMS Ex-press will swage the tube for a fitting end. You need to soften the copper first or it will split. This tool will do up to 1-3/8 (1-1/4") copper tube. Also pex expansion heads are available.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbesmattmia2
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 4,103
    edited June 2023
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    A few of you suggested pressing in the same orientation as the previous fitting, but wouldn’t an opposing orientation re-shape the copper for a better chance of sealing against the o-ring?

    I like that REMS Ex-press tool, but I don’t know if you could fit it into the pipe that has been deformed by ProPress. 
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,448
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    A few of you suggested pressing in the same orientation as the previous fitting, but wouldn’t an opposing orientation re-shape the copper for a better chance of sealing against the o-ring?

    I like that REMS Ex-press tool, but I don’t know if you could fit it into the pipe that has been deformed by ProPress. 

    I understand your logic.
    When getting Viega training they did say that if you needed to "adjust" the press fitting, keep the jaws on the fitting and keep the same "footprint". If you press against the original shape you would risk breaking the seal and possibly have a leak....
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
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    >I like that REMS Ex-press tool, but I don’t know if you could fit it into the pipe that has been deformed by ProPress. 

    I suspect you'd need to start with a size or 2 smaller to re-round it before you could stretch it to the needed size.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
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    The pics I showed above are the demo. Press, cut off, soften, insert REMS swage tool. The expander fits into the tube easily, no muscle needed😳

    Fairly easy modification really. Just take care cutting the old fitting off to not cut into the tube
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,387
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    Hi, Isn't the difficulty with reshaping work hardened copper, that you can't really soften it with heat because in this case other press fittings are so close by, that you would cook/burn their seals? :|

    Yours, Larry
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    Hi, Isn't the difficulty with reshaping work hardened copper, that you can't really soften it with heat because in this case other press fittings are so close by, that you would cook/burn their seals? :|

    Yours, Larry

    Exactly. I've put wet rags around adjacent fittings before when soft soldering, but annealing takes a higher temperature and I'd be worried.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,083
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    Hey there @Alan(CaliforniaRadiant)Forbes
    Maybe the only thing I don't like about Propress is there are no second chances. You just cant remove a press once it's done.
    I've had some bad presses as large as 4". Just have to cut them out and start over. Doing so in a tight space is such a shame too.
    I, (ahem!) have also soldered missed press fittings too. That can work sometimes but if you are too close to a good -o- ring? Well then that's another story
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
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    Hi, Isn't the difficulty with reshaping work hardened copper, that you can't really soften it with heat because in this case other press fittings are so close by, that you would cook/burn their seals? :|

    Yours, Larry

    Exactly. I've put wet rags around adjacent fittings before when soft soldering, but annealing takes a higher temperature and I'd be worried.
    If the rag is still wet it isn't getting above 212 f at that point.
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,827
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    I would start fresh ... Retrofitting is always messy

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    MaxMercy