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Flaring Flexible Copper Pipe

Following is how to flare a copper pipe in order to put a compression fitting on the pipe.  Compression fittings are commonly used for copper, PVC and other flexible pipe media.    NOTE:  If you are using this for a gas fitting, make sure that this is allowable under your local building code.  Most localities require a licensed contractor to do this work.  In any event, make sure that the gas is OFF before opening up the existing pipe to make your connection and that you have to piping tested for leaks.

Items needed:
Flexible copper tubing
Flaring Tool
Cresent Wrench(es)
Tubing Cutter

Safety Suggestions and Tips Be sure water or gas off
Use a tubing cutter to cut pipe to length
Check and comply with local codes

Level of difficulty

Time Required:
15 minutes


Cut the pipe to length
Cut the pipe

Step 1:

Cut the copper pipe to the length that you need - leave a bit extra in case you mess up.  You need to use a tube cutter for this, a hacksaw or other method will leave a ragged edge which won't seal right.

Clamp form onto pipe
Clamp form onto pipe

Step 2:

Place the nut from the compression fitting over the end of the pipe before continuing.  Clamp the flare form over the end of the pipe.  Make sure the pipe is in the correct hole.  The pipe should be flush with the top of the form.  Generally it is easiest to alternate tightening the two sides of the form a little bit at a time.

Tighten reamer
Tighten reamer

Step 3:

Place the reamer (looks like a countersink) onto the form.  Begin to tighten the reamer, forcing it down into the pipe opening. You will notice that the pipe will begin to flare and it gets harder to turn the handle.

Finished flare
Finished flare

Step 4:

The top of the pipe should be visible and should be spread out against the side of the form.   Take the reamer off, if it doesn't look like this then the pipe has slipped and you need to go to step one.


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