DIY How To Install Copper To Pex Shower and Bath Plumbing

in this video we’re going to show you how to renovate your shower plumbing from copper to PEX so if you’re like most people you’re in a home that’s got a bathroom that needs to be renovated and you’ve got it all ripped apart and you’re run into this copper plumbing now you may not be the best plumber in the world but if you can learn how to make one simple solder joint you can convert from copper to using pecks and then you can just use a crimper to install all your plumbing through the rest of the shower this will enable any average homeowner to be able to add jets and rain showers and all kinds of fun features and you can even run your plumbing around the nooks that you want to build on your walls but you needed a couple of simple tricks and here they are first you’re gonna need a copper cutting tube this is really simple little tool pick it up at the hardware store about 15 bucks and copper is a really soft metal actually I’m going to go a little bit lower so what I’m torching them well away from the wood copper is a really soft metal you can actually just tighten that tube on look at this it starts cutting right through every time you make a turn around the pipe you just turn it up a little more they come in different sizes so if you’re in an unrestricted area you can get one with a big handle it makes a little bit easier but in this environment just a quarter turn and then just keep on running it’ll take about six or seven times around and then you’ll be able to cut right through the pipe now if you’re good with the torch there we go we just broke through you could always just heat up this joint and pop both of these at the same time a lot of people may find that a little tricky so this just kind of eliminates all of those problems here we go tighten that on and then just work it around you’ll notice also that this control area is really low back in the day this used to be standard to have it really low because the tub was used a lot more than the shower nowadays people are using the shower almost exclusively and the times of this functions that tub is very rare and so we’re putting them up a lot higher so it’s a little more convenient for while you’re having shower use there we go so now we’re we’re completely clear all we have to do now is identify how they’ve got this mounted on looks like a couple of nails a couple of nails this is a fancy little stiletto tool it’s like a little mini hammer but it it does so many wonderful little things for those hard-to-reach places now in this situation we’re not gonna try to save any of this plumbing so you can be as aggressive as you like because we have drained the water there we go and then we’ll just lift this up to loosen the nails try that right off there we are no important don’t throw this away you’re most likely gonna want to save this copper to add for your tub spout and that is a good piece of copper so no sense throwing the garbage okay so we got our hot or cold traditionally hots on the left if it’s tonight you’re gonna be in for a surprise what I’m going to show you here is how to clean this how to torch it and then how to convert to PEX or just put a brass cap on and the reason you’re going to learn both of these options is if you have options it might save you a trick to run into the store now this is sand cloth and that’s funny because the last time we did a copper to PEX video I used sand cloth I called it sand cloth says sand cloth on the box and people were giving me different opinions about why I was calling it sand cloth in the video in the comment section below and it’s because that’s what it’s called on the box so that’s what I call it these people have a different training for it that’s fine goal here is to get it nice and clean you can’t torch on dirt you have to make sure that your copper is copper in color before you try to torch anything and you want to do about an inch and a half don’t try to just get cheap and clean around the top because all it takes is one missed spot and you’re gonna have a leak so here we are here’s the fitting that we’re going to use to convert from copper to PEX now this is plumbing language we talk male and female things that get receiving and things that go inside all right it’s the way it works so this is the male version this is the female version the female version goes over top of the copper okay which is convenient the male version is the same size as the copper and so this would be convenient if you’re on a joint or using a coupling I just thought I’d throw that out there for you to see but what we’re using is the female version and because the part

of the plum we’re doing right now is kind of mid demo we’re just getting this all capped off so I can pull the tub of I could also use just a regular plumbing cap and I can cap my plumbing that way too okay but since we’re going to be converting to pecs for the long haul what I’m gonna do to save myself time for tomorrow so I’m just gonna put six inches of pecs on there put on a test cap which is one of these little plastic caps here and that’ll be good for tonight and then tomorrow we can just cut and add the fittings when we’re ready to run the plumbing now basically this comes already cleaned comes from the factory as brass doesn’t really turn it but what I like to do is scratch it up just a little bit so that I have somewhere for the solder to sit into okay so when I’m doing my torching if you haven’t done torching before what I’m looking to do is I’m gonna use this solder here we go you heat up the joint where you want the solder to go to which is up here and you add the solder from the bottom all right so what you want to do is create a nice clean scratched up environment so the solder has somewhere to sit and you’re basically sealing it for the whole width of the joint all right so you end up sealing it about 50 times more than is necessary and that is the goal to give such a good clean joint that there’s no risk of it ever leaking and then you can sleep at night you’ll see the defending is loud enough the solder will melt from the off the side of the pipe at the lowest part and now you know when it’s going in area pushed in and it drip down I know that whole thing is full of solder now I’m adding the heat the top left I’m adding solder for the bottom rate the heat goes up so when it gets hot enough to melt solder in the bottom right I know it’s been sucked because I added the flux there we go and sucked all the way to the top and that’s it that soldering job is done so I just ran into the car I got my pecs cutting tool so I’m out of breath it’s too cold to be standing around in t-shirt I wanted to show you this two different fittings you use to cap the end of the line these are called test caps they’re made of plastic and this is a brass cap that’s if you were gonna have a line and it’s going to end and you want to crimp that and not ever think about it again for the rest of your life not using that today we will be using these and there are wonderful you just slide them on okay we have a couple of rings slide those on and crimp it and that’s it so we’re gonna just stick this on the line and then crimp it all up okay now we torch that only two minutes ago but we’re not concerned about if it’s too hot this PEX handles a lot of heat you way you do this is you would put this test cap on and it has a little stub on it and you bring your ring right up to the the end here and that tells you that you’re in the right place light on your Cooper and done okay so you want your ring about a quarter inch off the end of the pipe snug to the brass fitting boom and this might seem a little bit tedious and frustrating but it is a lot quicker and a lot more flexible than doing soldering alright so we are back here now to finish our conversion from copper to PEX and install our shower valve this is the typical shower tub system it has hot and cold shut ups as well as it has integrated PEX adapters so that you can run PEX directly to this and the tub line comes with a three-quarter inch of PEX adapter which solves all of the problems we’ve been experienced in this industry going to PEX and having dripping from the showerhead when you do pecks to your tub so what we need to do here is really simple it’s just a matter of doing any of our copper work first so we can let everything cool down and then we can just crimp everything together so these systems come the tap just threads off like this just be careful this is all machine brass and it is sharp you may want to wear gloves for this case this is just the test cap with the ring on it and there we go that’s our valve so I’m going to suggest since I’m going to go with the copper option for the bottom I’m going to suggest that you take out the stops for the hot and the cold just pinch them

together and slide that out okay and just get rid tug there we go it’s all in one piece now the instructions that come with this do not tell you that it’s required however experience says when you’re using a soldering web tool if you have anything on that fixture that’s made of rubber you’re probably best to get rid of it and that is why we put the drain cover on there we are so now there’s nothing left here but solid brass now as far as the height that you install your valve at it’s completely optional and consulting with this particular client she has grandchildren that she uses to bathe in this tub so she needs to be able to access the water while she’s bent over at the tub so it’s not as low as traditional for a tub but it’s high enough that you can reach it without having to bend over while you’re having a shower so it’s kind of the best of both worlds here so before we get started don’t forget rule number one turn off the water drain the line just because you turn it off doesn’t mean you’re not gonna have a mess the lines of pressure first so I always drain the line first so this valve is going to go on our center line which is about here if you’re in a situation where you have more stud space Peck’s is awesome they have these wonderful little holders and you can actually bend it around to go to a 90 without using a crimp okay in our situation here though we’re we don’t have enough room to turn that so I’m gonna have to use an elbow and since I’m using an elbow in the hot line there’s no sense using this on the cold because I’m only gonna be able to have as much pressures on the hot side anyway in a shower so the easiest way to hook up your plumbing is to use a laser level get your laser level on the center line and then just mark all of your lumber where the line is okay all the way up to the showerhead and that’s it now there’s no more measuring involved done God owned a laser level if you run away at home next thing is it’s a rough in just to measure all your components we’re going to temporarily screw this to the wall good to know in this system the there’s two bolts for screwing it and two holes for attaching the plate the ones that you screw to the wall with this manufacturer don’t have any threading in them so they’re easy to identify I know some companies thread all the holes regardless there’s always drives you crazy so we will put that there now for this you’re going to need a half inch coupling for the tub I like to use one of these bad boys because I can attach it to the wall it’s a 90 degree well that comes with a mount on it now what you measure is you measure the gap and then add one inch so you get a half inch for each fitting so we’re going to go seven so I need to cut an 8 inch piece of pipe measure my 8 inch with my thumb of course this is a rough Tumut if you’re at all concerned you can just take off a little bit for good luck okay and you also want to cut at the same time about a 5 inch extension for the tub spout now the particular tub spoke fixture that we have is a slip-on tub spout where the attachment happens near the wall you really only need about 2 inches out of the wall I just like to go a little overboard so that I’m guaranteed I’m not going to have any soldering on the pipe where I’m trying to slide it over the top fixture later ok because we’re dealing with copper and we’re dealing with our hands we’re gonna have oil on the line we just make sure we clean up the copper all the ends give them a good scratch with the sand cloth of course use the fitting brush inside all of the fittings get them all the good scratch quitting here and I’m gonna scratch up the valve as well before we continue we just want to get all of our torch products sitting here handy ready to roll one of the best ways to do your soldering is to have your fixture mounted somewhere so that you don’t have to be holding on to something it’s gonna get rid up I’d like to wear my safety glasses when I’m touching because when I get my fixtures soldered I’d like to use the brush with the flux and just give it a quick wipe guarantees a good seal and making something flashing in your face

so that takes care of that now before we solder we went to assemble alright so we want to get flux inside all of our fixtures you you all right so I put this together temporarily for now I’ve got a screw in this elbow so that while I’m heating things up in the side and they’re starting to the the flux goes kind of very liquid a lot of times these fittings will fall off and I don’t want all this stuff falling in behind that’s up so this is this anchor at all and keep it all in place until I’m done I’ve thrown the screw here to get my waterline bent out of the way and keep it away from the heat so now we’re ready to do this [Applause] I know it looks a little archaic but the fact is we’re not welding we’re soldering so you know in a perfect world it’s nice to have a nice little pretty joint but my goal is to get the solder not if the joint is going to inside the fitting where we scratched it up now I’ve got a scratched fitting and a scratch pipe and solder stuck in all those little grooves that’s what the flux does it’s like a magnet and it pulls all the solder into the inside of the joint where the heat is so you heat where you want the solder to go and then when it’s hot enough to melt it it sucks it in so although I maybe have a couple of points here you might see it what you think is a pin hole I’ll guarantee you that is watertight and before we close up the wall we will guarantee that it’s watertight and do a pressure test so we’re gonna be okay real quick note don’t worry if you get any of this solder on your acrylic they do not bond together and it will just wipe right off okay now because we have turned off the water right yeah and drain the lines a lot pretty sure I’m confident because I’m looking over at the bathroom tap and it’s open and nothing’s coming out yeah oh all right yay all right so what we’re gonna do is we’re just gonna measure how where we want to be here with the water line with our thumb just a little bit below on this again is eyeballing and it might be easier if the blade is facing you sit it in the cradle and this is you want to cut while you turn that’s how you cut it straight without collapsing the pipe if you just cut it straight on you’re gonna crush the pipe out of shape like that and then putting on the fittings is real pain in the back so always add a ring as you go okay and it’s not going to stay where you want it to but that’s okay we also need to add enough to go from here to here I love the fact that this pax is covered in numbers because it makes it really easy to measure okay again we can put the rings on ahead of time we’re gonna have two joints all right now here’s one of these situations everything is so tight together that we can’t connect it now we can take that off put it all in place then we’ll throw another set screw on again just keep it all in still while we’re working all right same with the other side twist and cut and there’s no good to us right fitting two rings connect that eyeball

it cut it all right then we have to take our trusty crimpers now these are awesome I think the last time we did one of these copper to PEX videos we used a different locking system since then crimp right has come up with a crimping tool that is around $40 instead of 400 so it’s finally making something that a homeowner can use so you can use these solid rings to crimp now as a homeowner without a huge investment in your plumbing again this means that you can do your own plumbing and the tools will be a lot cheaper than hiring a plumber now the goal here is to get the ring about a quarter inch away from the fitting all these fittings have these little barbed rings on it so as long as you’re making solid contact on one of these rings you’re going to be fine but if you aim for the quarter-inch rule you’re sure to be good as gold you know the scary thing is plumbers today are using exactly the same system that seems like an awful lot of money to play with Lego pay for a plumber now don’t get me wrong I love my plumber and there’s a time and a place to call in a professional but when they make plumbing systems this simple man man oh man he’d better learn how to do this yourself or you were just throwing away your money now what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our valve and we’re going to put them back in in the closed position which is straight up and down and we will put back our clips and this is a pretty simplest system to install a little bit of a push push that down and then close them into the end of the cradle probably see it easier on this side I just got to push it in right drop this in there okay we are good to go the last thing to do here of course we have to put in the shower system just thread this on again go backwards until you feel it sit right nice and gentle in case your cross threaded there we go I know I mentioned this when I was taking this apart but I’m putting it back on you’ve got to use a pair of gloves here you’re supposed to do this hand tight you can use a wrench just for a quarter turn but hand tight is plenty but wear gloves all of these machine lines here if your hand slips at all it’ll just slice you to shreds all around the inside of your palm hey and I learned that one the hard way alright so now we’re at a point where we’ve got our hot and cold water supplies all krypton the shut-off valves are back in our cartridges back together our tub supply is all installed and capped now it’s time to do the shower and this is just a pecs to pecs this is a drop ear connection again put it on your line and tighten it down to the board so I’m just gonna eyeball it to the perfect cut add a little bit that’ll never hurt wonderful thing about the pecs is you can always cut it a little bit long because you can bend it in place and then just drop it down get your crimping tool set that to a quarter inch well we now have plumbing let’s go turn the water supply on and double-check everything please alright so my son’s downstairs turning on the water supply what we do is we get on the phone together so that I can communicate with him if we have any leaks and the first thing we’re to do is with the taps closed we’re going to check our solder joint here and our connections leading up to the valve and we have no initial issues can you go full pressure please all right and we’re all pressurized okay come on upstairs buddy okay so now here’s a great little invention that I get at my plumbing supply store I haven’t seen these in the hardware store before so if you’re looking for one you might want to go to a specialty supplier but this is just a simple little cap has a gasket on it an extended pipe so that it’s easier to cut wallboard and identify things when you’re doing your tile work but it just threads into your showerhead spout okay it’s exactly the same diameter as the fixture itself and you just tighten that on nice and tight now you can test the pressure in the whole line because I’m

capped up here with this and I’m cap down here with a solder so now we’re gonna open up the cold water supply perfect we’re all finished our plumbing rough-in system now the final trim goes on after the tile and that’s also where the cartridge gets installed in here the reason they have the shut-off valves on this bracket is so that you’re not mixing hot water through the cold water line I know that there are some systems out there that come with a test cap that don’t have the locks and I’ve had situations like that where you install your shower before you know it a couple days later the toilets running hot water while you’re busy tiling so these are designed to keep the water from flowing until you get the rest of the system put together and that’s about all you need to know so if you want to see how this is all finished up I’m sure I’ll have some of the finishing trims in the project video later on but thanks for watching thumbs up if you liked it and comment down below if you’ve got questions about this system or other systems we’re always here to help me answer your questions every day and we’ll see you then you