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CU to Brass fitting?


Mike Lamb
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On the job, I thought this was a copper male adapter to iron without a dielectric union but the photo looks more like Cu to a brass adapter? I can’t say I’m familiar. I see solder at the CU to CU here, but not anything where it meets the brass if that is brass. Does this look OK? It is pipe for a circulating boiler.

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That particular type of sweated-on fitting looks like copper and is copper colored but I don't think it's an issue.

When I was a rookie and I saw those, I'd write them up and explain how copper couldn't connect directly to galvanized and about the whole requirement for brass or a dielectric blah, blah, blah. Then after about 4 or 5 customers called me up to explain that licensed plumbers had looked at the issue and were declaring that it was not an "issue" and that (I imagine) I didn't know what the f*** I was talking about, I decided that the prudent thing to do would be to not report them as an issue until/unless I found corrosion or some other issue with them.

Well, it's been nearly 15 years and I've seen many thousands of those on many thousands of inspections ,installed by many different plumbers in many different jurisdictions without dielectrics or brass or bronze or anything else between them and the steel, and have yet to ever see any issues caused by dissimilar metal.

I'm convinced that although those are copper colored that they must have a very high brass content in them or something like that. Don't know why I've never bothered to just stop in the plumbing aisle at the big box and look at them to see what they're labeled as as far as content goes.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Well, it's been nearly 15 years and I've seen many thousands of those on many thousands of inspections ,installed by many different plumbers in many different jurisdictions without dielectrics or brass or bronze or anything else between them and the steel, and have yet to ever see any issues caused by dissimilar metal.

That's because there are two things to consider: 1) the separation of the the dissimilar materials on the galvanic scale and 2) the mass of the materials.

An iron fitting in a more noble copper assembly will fail miserably. A copper fitting in a big iron assembly will be functionally unaffected as will the iron because of the difference in mass.

Hang a copper pipe from a ferrous wire and the wire will quickly fail. Hang an iron pipe from a copper wire and not much happens at all. Same separation on the scale with different results.

I see stainless fasteners in aluminum assemblies all the time with no discernible reaction. It'd be foolhardy to reverse the roles.

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