I have a rigid 1" copper pipe that I'm trying to solder a tee onto.

It comes off the house and only moves about 1CM up or down. I've already cut it to test how rigid the two pipes were.

This isn't much of a problem since this water line won't be used for another few weeks.

How can I fit the Tee on if I can't get the upper pipe higher or the lower pipe lower though?

I thought about cutting the upper pipe more until it falls into the 1cm threshold and then solder it there, but I'm not sure if this is a good idea.

Edit 0: Pipe Pipe 2

  • 1
    Before soldering the pipe stub you have showing in your picture into the new tee do make sure to do a bit more shining of the pipe end. It should be smooth with no signs of the dark oxidation. Steel wool is the best to clean up the pipe.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 18:38
  • 1
    I used a drift in one tee and knocked out the limit stops - slide it down on one pipe then line up and slide onto both... Do make sure it finishes in the correct position...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 5:57
  • @SolarMike I did something similar, but Home Depot just sells the required coupler/tee without the internal stop. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 5:17
  • @SarahSzabo lucky you! hope it goes well. PS get the pipes really clean with a good flux so it solders the first time...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 5:19
  • @SolarMike I did! It went well! I got everything really scraped down with sandpaper and then fluxed it up according to all the tutorials I watched on soldering. I haven't turned on the water yet, but I see that the solder formed a nice ring around the joint. I would call this a success. Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 0:37

2 Answers 2


If you make another cut in the pipe (either above or below your T - it doesn't matter), you could fit a Union there:
enter image description here
Solder the 2 halves of the union first so that they're ready to re-join the new cut, then solder the T.
Since one piece of the pipe you're soldering into the T only has the half of the union on it, you should have enough wiggle-room to get it all assembled.
Once you've finished soldering the T, screw the union together.


The standard solution for this problem is to cut the pipe in a second location and insert a soldered in union fitting. When installing the side of the union with the outer hex nut threaded part do not forget to slide it up onto the pipe and secure it out of the way before soldering on the corresponding part of the union. If you forget you will be unsoldering or cutting again.

I have had to do this very thing to replace corroded pipes above my water heater when the existing piping was embedded into the framing above.

enter image description here

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