- Q.On a recent job, a plumber
who was soldering up 1/2-inch Type L copper supplies
encountered an I-joist. So that he wouldn't have to cut
into it, he used a pipe bender to give the pipes a
slight 3- to 5-degree bend. Is this okay, or would it
be better to use soldered fittings?
A.Kenny Hart, a master
plumber and certified home inspector in Hampton
Roads, Va., responds: While I would not
recommend bending rigid pipe unless it is annealed
(heated) first, offsets made with a pipe bender are
pretty common when using Type L annealed copper
tubing (sometimes referred to as soft tubing).
A pipe offset without the use of soldered
fittings might actually be less likely to leak than
one with fittings, because it has fewer joints.
And in this case, it sounds like your plumber
considered both structural and plumbing issues as
he did his work — always a good thing.