Re-using copper tubing - yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Boilers' started by Thad Swarfburn III, Nov 27, 2016.

Help Support HMEM by donating:

  1. Nov 27, 2016 #1

    Thad Swarfburn III

    Thad Swarfburn III

    Thad Swarfburn III

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Fitter/Turner
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Tearing apart some equipment at work and have pulled out ten 1 metre sections of 1/8 copper line. I'd like to scavenge this for future steam use but it's been used as indicator line in a hydraulic power pack (to the pressure gauge) and consequently has hydraulic oil in it.

    What are the thoughts on reusing this?
     
  2. Nov 28, 2016 #2

    toolznthings

    toolznthings

    toolznthings

    Project of the Month Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    183
    Location:
    Ohio
    Hi,

    May end up being more work in the end than what the tubing is worth ? May need annealed if it's been " worked " much during the original install.
     
  3. Nov 28, 2016 #3

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

    Ex Bogstandard HMEM Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,697
    Likes Received:
    667
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired Aeronautical Engineer
    Location:
    Crewe, Cheshire, UK
    A few years ago I made a small boiler using some 10mm diameter salvaged tubing from a central heating system.

    After the boiler was made and when pressure tested one of the boiler tubes split along it's length, rendering the boiler useless.

    Since then I have always used new tubing.

    If you have a local car brake specialist in your area, they should be able to order in (or have in stock) small sizes of annealed copper tube for very realistic prices. I would buy it in 5 or 10 metre coils.

    John
     
    Thad Swarfburn III likes this.
  4. Nov 28, 2016 #4

    Ratshooter

    Ratshooter

    Ratshooter

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    10
    Well, at least in the USA, copper tube for hydraulic brake lines has been illegal. At least it has since I started automotive school in 1971.

    There's no need to throw the tube away, it'll be handy for something. It might be okay for misc plumbing. Like blog said avoid heartbreak, best start with new tubes!

    TC
     
  5. Nov 28, 2016 #5

    Cogsy

    Cogsy

    Cogsy

    Well-Known Member Staff Member Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,599
    Likes Received:
    745
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Here in Western Australia we're allowed to use copper for hydraulic brake lines, at least on trailers, but have to have it securely fastened at least every 600mm (2') from memory.
     
    Thad Swarfburn III likes this.
  6. Nov 28, 2016 #6

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

    Ex Bogstandard HMEM Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,697
    Likes Received:
    667
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired Aeronautical Engineer
    Location:
    Crewe, Cheshire, UK
    What you have to take into account is the amount of work it has done before you get your claws into it. It only has to have so many pressure ons and offs before it becomes weakened. For a certain amount of time after installation it will get stronger as the pipe work hardens, then it is just a matter of time before it fails. Sometimes soon, a lot of times never. I prefer not to take the chance.

    For those in the UK

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Copper-Pi...hash=item19ec8c5086:m:md4BEkYpbq1IQkwKmMlNZYQ

    It can be bought cheaper than this if you do an extended online search.

    John
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016

Share This Page