How to use slip couplings to tee into a rigid copper pipe

How to use slip couplings to tee into a rigid copper pipe

In this video we are going to look at
putting a t piece into a rigid copper pipe. This can be difficult to do and I once had to do this a few years ago and there was actually a boiler at the top and at the
bottom it was concreted into a concrete floor so you couldn’t actually move the pipe at all. If you need to put a t piece in there you can’t actually move those pipes
because they are rigid so that does make it extremely difficult to put a fitting in like that even if it’s a compression fitting. You do need some movement to be able to be able to get a new fitting in a pipe like that. So
the way you do it is by using a slip coupling. That is a normal couplar, that is a solder ring fitting couplar. If we take a piece of copper pipe and push
that in there it will actually physically stop where that line is there, there is actually a stop in the fitting and that prevents you from pushing the pipe
all the way through. The same goes for an end feed coupler that has a stop in the
centre and the same goes for a compression fitting. You can only actually push the pipe halfway in that is so you always
make a good joint. In instances where you need to join into something like
that you’re gonna need a slip coupler. The slip coupler looks like that and there
actually is no stop in the center of it so that means that you can push
the pipe all the way through like so. You are going to need two of these to make the joint work. So what we need to do is cut a section of that out and then we need to
use a slip coupler at the top and at the bottom and then in the middle there we
will have our T piece coming out. There is quite a lot of work involved in doing
this but it is probably the only way you can actually join into a pipe that is
rigid that you can’t move. Another problem with pipes like you can’t
actually get the pipe slice in because there is no room. That has actually
been clipped in position in a couple of places so we cannot actually move that
pipe. So we’re going to have to cut through that using a hack saw. I can’t actually get the blade out now so I’m just going to have to loosen that off. It is important when you do this that you
leave enough room. What you don’t want to do is make it too small and have to cut the
pipe again. So we’re now going to make the second cut. If you can’t get in with
the deburring tool you can use a piece of abrasive paper. So they are now
burr free I’m just going to check a fitting on there you can see that goes
on there easily, and also on that end. We are now going to use the piece of copper
pipe that we took out and the overall length needs to be fourteen and a half
centimeters roughly. We’re going to put that T piece in the middle there. Every time I make a cut with the pipe slice I’m going to deburr it using the deburring tool. So we can now push that
part into the fitting and I’ll cut that to length with the pipe slice. So I can now
push that in there you see we’ve got the exact, correct length. So I’m now
cutting the last piece and that is going to go in that part of the T. Because the
slip couplings can slide all the way down the pipe like so it’s a good idea
to put a mark on to ensure that you get them in the correct place. The last thing
you want is it to slip down like that and not make a good joint. So a good way of
doing that is to get a normal cuplar like so with a stop in, push that on
there and then we could put a mark using a
permanent marker and we know what exactly where that fitting needs to be. I’m actually just going to mark it on the wood there. Then I’m going to do the
same with the top. When you fit this piece you can actually
do all the soldering in one go or you can solder the T piece first which will make
it a little bit easier. So in this example I’m just going to solder this
part first. So just like I did before I’m going to clean all of the copper pipe up
using the scotch brite pad. I will also clean the other ends up as well because
they’re going to be soldered shortly. It’s also a good idea if you have an old
fitting to cut a piece of scotch brite pad and just clean the inside of the
fitting this one is actually brand new so there’s no need to do that. I am now going to take a flux brush and I’m going to apply some flux to each of the pieces of
copper. Once we have done that we can then push that into the fitting. We can then just check we’ve got the pipes the correct way around before we solder it. I’m now just going to use a paper towel
to wipe off any of the excess flux. I’m then just going to stand that up in a fitting just so we can solder it. I’m now just going to apply some heat to that until
the solder exits from the fitting. So if you take a look at that you can
see that we’ve got solder exiting from all three parts of the tee. If you’re not
familiar with solder ring fittings these are a superb way of joining copper pipe
and they actually have the solder built into the fitting so they are very, very
easy to use. Obviously for professional plumbers
they’ll probably use something like that which is called an end feed fitting and
if you use these you do have to use additional solder. So that is now cool
enough to touch we now just need to apply some fluk to those two parts. I’m now
going to apply the flux to the two pipes. We can now take the slip couplings, we’ll
just slide those down, I’m going to slide the fitting all the way up there like so,
then I’m going to insert the pipe. I’m going to move the bottom slip coupling
up and the top slip coupling down. You will remember that earlier I put a mark on there so we need to get the bottom of the slip coupling level with that. So the
top one just needs to come down a bit more. So we’ve got the two slip couplings
in the exact correct position aligned with the two marks. We now just need to
remove any excess flux. Because we’re soldering near timber and
plasterboard I’m just going to use the heat mat, I’m just going to tape that in
position to prevent anything from getting scorched or set on fire. So
get the blow torch and apply a little bit of heat to each of
the fittings. You can remove the heat once you see the
solder exiting from the fitting. So that’s how to import a T piece into a rigid copper pipe you can now connect another fitting on there you can do whatever you
want with that, it is a good idea to flush out the pipe obviously before you
use it to get rid of the flux etc. I hope you have enjoyed watching this video if you
have but haven’t done so already please subscribe to the channel.


  1. Excellent presentation. All it needed was a little "real life" of never ending water gushing out the draining cut ends adding six hours to the job ☺

    I've never seen those "self soldering" fittings before. How reliable are they?

    I'm curious to know what is and where you got that heat shield cloth you used while using the torch. Looks easier than my method of bent pieces of stainless.

    Thanks, have a great week! 🍺

  2. Excellent video, with every step made so easy to follow. I think I've asked if you could explain types and usage of gas blowtorches a few times over the years, sorry to mention it again! 😊 I see you mention them on another comment – your Rothenberger looks really solid and reliable.

  3. Great video as always. Genuinely surprised those slip couplings didn’t fall down due to gravity when you melted the solder. It’s happened to me in the past. I used an old screwdriver to hold it in place whilst soldering.

    Nice video. Well explained as usual 👍

  4. Nice video. Also if your stuck without a slip coupling you can file down the inside of a regular endfeed coupler. You have to be careful though as the wall of the copper is abit thinner in the middle when you do.

  5. I’ve done the haksaw way like yourself before then I found me a cheap wire cutter of eBay and just kept it in me plumbing box !
    Good video 👍🏼

  6. You can make a slip coupling by putting a steel nipple in the stop coupling and rap on the stop with a ball peen hammer. It flattens the stop.You can clean both ends of short pipe at the same time with a longer piece of sand cloth.

  7. The really old solder fittings were made of brass and had a hole in the side to feed the solder in. Here in the U.S., the "l" is silent in solder. Pronounced "soder" The hard one to do is spelling escutcheon

  8. Great video at a great time. I have been struggling with this for weeks now as I didn't know 'Slip Couplings' existed. You're going to save me hours over the next couple of months (upgrading and adding radiators on a single pipe system). Many thanks.

  9. I've only been in this situation a few times, thankfully.

    In a plastered in situation you would need to use 3 pieces but in a clipped in one I would just cut once and unclip one side of pipe and push in the slip fit. But even in plaster I've just cut back the plaster till enough pipe was exposed to bend out.

    Good video.

  10. Great video… a non plumber(but quite handy), I've had that problem a couple of times…..solved it in different ways (not pretty), I wish I'd watched this video first! My latest problem is a shower waste (1.25 ") that is below the 4" main waste. Not
    a lot of room below the floor….is there some sort of pump you would recommend ? Keep he videos coming.

  11. Loved it that you added the X4 when sawing the pipe. And here was me thinking the Ultimate meant you could saw at that speed naturally 😀

  12. I'm not a plumber, just trying to gain some knowledge and i have learned a lot from you so far so thanks. Just wandered why you don't use solder as well as flux like others do. that's got me a bit baffled

  13. Never knew about Slip coupler fittings… more education thanks !!!! 😂😂
    A multitool with the appropiate blade will make easy work of cutting … even a pipe in tight to a corner 😎👍

  14. You only needed one slip coupling!, but the thing you didn't show people is to rim pipe edge after cutting it!, good video though!

  15. The one thing that bothers me is the copper cuttings from the saw getting into the pipe. I can't think of anyway around it though. Maybe if you could cut away the brackets and crimp the lower section of pipe to keep the chips from going all the way down. Then cut the upper section, bend the lower section out far enough to get a small pipe cutter in, and then push it back. Then you would have two ends with clean cuts. Just a thought.

  16. Great video, thanks. Well explained. Can the demurring tool you use in the video be used on the pipe attached to the wall. Will it fit? If not would a pipe cleaner deburrer be as good? Complete novice so apologies if an obvious question.

  17. 1 T and 1 slip. Sawzall with metal blade, jigsaw, etc. 1. Cut out section. 2. Attach the T to removed section. 3. Slide the slip coupling onto the removed section. 4. Cut off the extra length from the removed section that now has attached T and slip waiting to be welded. 5. Connect the T to the pipe. 6. Slide up the slip fitting and weld = done.

  18. If it was me, I would have turned water off, cut pipe, removed brackets on pipe,removed timber, wall linings, taken out cylinder, then joined pipe in vice, weld, then put back together.

  19. I know how to use repair couplings, I only clicked the video because it looked like he was using a torch with pro press fittings. I’ve never seen sweat fittings like that before. Must be a European thing. They’re sure making soldering idiot proof though they do make a sweat joint look much prettier

  20. Dont forget before soldering to align the T outflow parallel to your wall. If its rotated a bit too much in or out, any long pipe off the T will angle incorrectly.

  21. personally I would have used a compression 'T' and bored out the web on a pillar drill. You can definitely ease the pipe out of the bracket on one side enough to install the fitting once the pipe has been cut. But if you have to use a solder 'T', then you certainly only need to use a single slip coupling as well to make it work.

  22. All very clear and well done.. You could have used a single slip joint and the T instead of 2x slip fitting. Two less joints and one less fitting needed. Also I would suggest turning the pipe in the fitting to be sure that the flux is spread to both surfaces if not directly applying to both inside and outside surfaces to be soldered.

  23. You can't beat a good fluxing, the only thing i would add is poke a good bit of solder in the joint just as she's running, she will remember that for the next 30 years.👍

  24. I copied method this using compression fittings and it worked, thanks. Important… If you have side-to-side movement (just not up and down) you will only need one slip joint. 1. cut out piece from stationary pipe 2. fix bit of pipe to one side of tee, 3. put slip joint on stationary pipe, slide out of way, 4. move pipe to side and put on tee and fix, 4. Slide slip joint down and fix. I used 2 slip joints, was only after I was thinking about it, that I realized that as I had side-to-side movement I could have just used 1 slip joint. Thought I would share

  25. Okay . . . this may be one of the BEST plumbing videos out there. I never would have figured this out on my own. So that's what the slip joints are for!!

  26. At 5:08 good idea on how to determine depth of insertion. I am not a plumber and I have two pipes that are going to require slip couplings and I was trying to figure out a way to know when I was halfway into the coupling. Now I know how. Thank you.

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