I have a 1” underground copper pipe in tight quarters, not good access. The pipe is not perfect and looks oval. Is there a tool I can carefully insert in a 1” pipe to get it round again? Trying to prevent ripping out a sidewalk. Would like to get it as round as possible for the sharkbite fitting.

  • 1
    Broomhandle? or wood dowel tapered to fit. But if the pipe is not near to perfect round you might find it will leak.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 13, 2023 at 18:56
  • How badly deformed is the pipe end? And do you have room to cut off the deformed end?
    – SteveSh
    Jun 13, 2023 at 18:58
  • How 'bout a tapered wood tenon, used in wood working? Basically, what Solar Mike suggested.
    – SteveSh
    Jun 13, 2023 at 19:03
  • 1
    Even if th inside of the pipe was perfectly round, it's the outside that matters. It needs to be perfectly round and smooth, no scratches. that the surface that gets pushed up against the 'o" ring.
    – JACK
    Jun 13, 2023 at 19:20
  • 3
    If the pipe is damaged a slip-on fitting isn't the solution. You're going to want a sweat joint.
    – isherwood
    Jun 13, 2023 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


You would better off using a 1" CTS pack joint, as typically used for water service connections at the meter in my area. They clamp to the outside of the copper tube. Soft copper tubing is widely used here for water service, it comes in big rolls, and is very rarely perfectly round after it had been unrolled and laid in the trench.

  • Is this the same thing as a compression fitting? Jun 13, 2023 at 20:46

1" copper pipe is going to have an OD of 1.125 inches (1-1/8") when true.

You can round it from the outside using an adjustable wrench, or what is called a "crows-foot" wrench, to push the out-of-round parts inwards. In both cases, the wrench should have smooth jaws - you want to gently push the pipe into round, not rip bits off. You might consider applying some lubricant to the wrench jaws, but remember you'll have to solder this joint later (so maybe the lubricant can just be water).

Check your fitting for the depth of the hub. Your pipe has to be round for at least that distance -- not just the last 1/4". It's probably easiest to round from the main body of the pipe towards the end, rather than trying to round the end and then work inward.

  • I see this method on YouTube. Have to dig quite a ways down to accommodate the wrench handle. Jun 13, 2023 at 20:40
  • 1
    You might want to purchase a crows-foot wrench if the digging is too much work. That should let you use a ratcheting driver (hopefully one you already have) and stay within a small radius of the pipe center.
    – aghast
    Jun 14, 2023 at 13:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.