Can You ProPress Soft Copper?

Can You ProPress Soft Copper?

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Can You ProPress Soft Copper?

Soft copper is an alloy composed of copper and a variable amount of zinc. This alloy has a range of uses, but people mainly use it as an electrical conductor.

Its relatively new technology has boasted usage for decades in other industries due to its good conductivity properties.

Soft copper pipe is a flexible type of tubing that can be easily bent and shaped. It’s often used for water supply lines, particularly when flexibility is required, such as in tight spaces or connecting appliances. Soft copper pipes come joined using compression fittings or soldering techniques.

ProPress fittings, on the other hand, are specifically designed for use with hard copper pipes. These fittings are made of high-quality brass and feature an integrated sealing element.

The ProPress system utilizes a specialized press tool that crimps the fittings onto the pipe, creating a secure and watertight connection. This process is much faster than traditional soldering methods and does not require an open flame.

Using ProPress fittings on soft copper pipes is not recommended. The fittings boast a design to work with the flexibility and malleability of soft copper.

Can You ProPress Soft Copper?

Soft copper can quickly become deformed or flattened during pressing, leading to leaks or compromised connections. Using the appropriate fittings and joining methods for the type of pipe you want to install is crucial.

What Fittings Work On Soft Copper?

Compression Fitting-Easy to install and remove.
-Usable with both rigid and soft copper tubing.

-Provides a leak-proof and secure connection.
– Suitable for both high and low-pressure applications.
– Can be reused multiple times with proper disassembly.
Flare Fitting-Provides a robust and reliable connection.
-Suitable for high-pressure applications.

-Resistant to vibration and movement.
-Compatible with both rigid and soft copper tubing.
-Allows for easy disassembly and reassembly.
Soldered Fitting-Creates a permanent and leak-proof connection.
-Can be used with both rigid and soft copper tubing.

-Offers excellent resistance to vibration.
-Suitable for high-temperature applications.
-Provides a smooth and clean appearance.
Soldered Fitting-Creates a permanent and leak-proof connection.
-Can be used with both rigid and soft copper tubing.

-Offers excellent resistance to vibration.
-Suitable for high-temperature applications.
-Provides a smooth and clean appearance.
Push to Connect Fitting-Quick and effortless installation without soldering or compression
– Reliable connection.

-Can be used with both rigid and soft copper tubing.
-Allows for easy disassembly and reusability.
Threaded Fitting-Allows for a secure and adjustable connection.
-Suitable for both rigid and soft copper tubing.

-Provides a reliable seal with the use of thread sealant or Teflon tape.
-Can withstand high pressure and temperature conditions.
-Offers flexibility for disassembly and reassembly.

Can You Propress Anneal Copper?

Yes! You can press annealed copper by using a “pro” press machine. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the copper from the tank.
  2. Set the shop press machine to the go/no-go height setting for annealed copper, typically about 1 inch above the top of a pipe (the height of a tuckpoint bead).
  3. Attach your pipe press tool to the end of an arm to place it over and around your pipe. Then lower it on top of your pipe onto all four arms.
  4. Place the piece of copper onto the upper arm and then press down. DO NOT press down with your hand, as this may chip the annealed copper. If you need clarification on the amount of force, have a helper hold the piece of annealed copper with their hand at a certain height.
  5. When you release your press, the copper gets squeezed out of its bead because it boasts compression into a small space. This small space allows you to remove it quickly.
  6. Because the area where you press is hard, you can do this entire process without damaging the metal. If you have some damage, grind it with your Dremel tool.
  7. You can fill most hard-pressed copper with a filler such as resin or epoxy. You should also check your pipe with a straightedge to ensure there are no dings or bumps in the pipework.
  8. If you have a Teflon insert, you can use it as a dummy instead of real steel for annealing and then epoxied. This will help prevent future leaks.

Is Propress Better Than Solder?

SpeedFaster installation process.Slower installation process.
Skill RequiredRelatively easy to learn and use.Requires skill and practice.
ReliabilityStrong and durable connections.Dependable when done correctly.
SafetyNo open flames or hazardous fumes.Requires caution due to heat.
AccessibilityLimited access in tight spaces.Can be used in various applications.
CostHigher equipment cost, lower labor.Lower equipment cost, higher labor.

How To Propress Soft Copper?

1. Gather the necessary materials: You’ll need ProPress fittings, ProPress rings, a ProPress tool, a pipe cutter, and the soft copper pipes you want to join.

2. Measure and cut the copper pipes: Use a pipe cutter to cut your copper pipes to the desired length accurately. Ensure that the ends of the pipes are clean and free from burrs.

3. Determine the ProPress pipe size: Measure the distance between the outside diameter of your right-hand and left-hand rings. This measurement is called the proximate diameter. Enter this value into the customizer of your ProPress tool.

Can You ProPress Soft Copper?

4. Mark where you want to drill: To mark where you want to drill in your soft copper, use a pen, pencil, or marker to create a dot about half an inch from each end of the pipes you’re joining together.

5. Mark the center of the ProPress rings: Mark a dot center between the dots you created in Step 4. This mark helps you determine where the drill bit should go.

6. Drill and assemble: Take a round drill bit the size of the proximate diameter of your ProPress rings and drill one end of the pipes you’ll be joining together through both pipes.

Slide the ProPress rings on to make sure it’s correct. Then drill the other end of the pipes.

7. Drill through both pipes: Use a pipe cutter to cut through them in one clean, straight line, leaving enough material to set the ProPress rings properly.

8. Add threading: Thread the soft copper pipes onto your ProPress rings, and that’s it.

What Is Rigid Vs. Soft Copper?

PropertyRigid CopperSoft Copper
MalleabilityLess malleable and harder.More malleable and softer.
ApplicationsWater supply lines, HVAC systems, electrical work.Plumbing, refrigeration, electrical connections.
StrengthHigher tensile strength.Lower tensile strength.
BendingDifficult to bend.Easy to bend.
CostRelatively cheaper.Slightly more expensive.
DurabilityMore resistant to deformation and damage.Less resistant to deformation and damage.

Can I Use Compression Fittings On Soft Copper?

Yes! You can use compression fittings with soft copper tubing. Compression fittings boast usage in plumbing and HVAC systems to create secure connections between pipes or tubing.

Soft copper tubing is flexible and malleable, which makes it suitable for bending and shaping to fit various installation requirements.

Compression fittings create a tight seal by compressing a ferrule or compression ring against the tubing and the fitting body when tightened. This mechanism allows for a secure connection without soldering or brazing.

When using compression fittings with soft copper tubing, ensure that you have the accurate size and type of fittings for the tubing.

Compression fittings boast availability in various sizes and materials, including brass and stainless steel, and you should match them to the specific size and material of the soft copper tubing you are using.

Can You ProPress Soft Copper?

Additionally, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for properly installing compression fittings on soft copper tubing.

This typically involves cleaning and deburring the tubing, inserting the compression ring or ferrule onto the tubing, and then tightening the compression nut onto the fitting body to create a leak-tight seal.

What Is The Difference Between Soft And Annealed Copper?

PropertySoft CopperAnnealed Copper
Electrical ConductivityHighHigh
Resistance to CorrosionModerateModerate

Can You Propress Flexible Copper?

ProPress does not boast compatibility with flexible copper tubing due to the following:

Fitting Design: ProPress fittings come with specifically rigid copper pipes. They feature a specific shape and mechanism requiring a rigid pipe to seal appropriately.

Flexible copper tubing does not have the rigidity for the ProPress fittings to function correctly.

Seal Integrity: ProPress relies on a mechanical seal that presses the fitting onto the pipe. The design and force exerted by the pressing tool boast optimization for rigid copper pipes.

Using ProPress on flexible copper could result in an inadequate or unreliable seal, leading to leaks or other plumbing issues.

Pipe Integrity: Flexible copper tubing is more susceptible to damage than rigid copper pipes.

The pressing force exerted by the ProPress tool could cause deformation or distortion in the soft copper tubing, compromising its structural integrity and potentially leading to leaks or failures.

Compatibility Issues: Manufacturers tailored the dimensions and specifications of ProPress fittings to match those of rigid copper pipes, ensuring a proper fit and seal.

The fittings may not be compatible with the size and dimensions of flexible copper tubing, making it impractical and potentially impossible to use ProPress with this type of tubing.

Manufacturer Recommendations: The manufacturers of ProPress systems provide guidelines and instructions specifically for use with rigid copper pipes.

Deviating from these guidelines by using ProPress with flexible copper tubing would be against their recommendations and could void any warranties or guarantees associated with the system.

Does Annealing Copper Make It Stronger?

No, Annealing copper in the context of plumbing does not make it stronger. Instead, it makes it:

1. Easily Bendable

The annealed copper will become soft and more easily bent. That means you can be gentler with it, but you won’t be able to use the harsher bending methods like those found in plumbing.

2. More likely to break at Sharp Edges

The annealed copper will become softer and more likely to deform or even break at sharp edges than unannealed copper can.

That means if a section of your copper tubing is too tight to curve for the unannealed material, it may not work for you either.

3. Less likely to kink

If you buy copper pipe and bend it to a sharp angle, the kinks inside that curve will be harder to remove than if you do it with unannealed copper.

That’s because the annealed copper will be softer and more likely to deform and less likely to recover from being deformed.

4. More Susceptible to Denting

Denting is much more likely in annealed copper than when using unannealed material. That’s because the annealed copper is softer and more likely to deform than the unannealed material.

Why Is Soldering Better Than Crimping?

Electrical ConductivityExcellent electrical conductivity due to the direct connection formed by melted solder.Good electrical conductivity but may not be as reliable as soldering.
Mechanical StrengthProvides strong and durable connections, especially for larger wires or components.Generally, provides reliable mechanical strength, especially when using high-quality crimp connectors.
Ease of UseRequires skill and experience to perform effectively.Relatively easy to learn and perform, especially with the use of crimping tools.
VersatilityApplicable in wide range of applications, including delicate electronic components.More commonly used in specific applications like the automotive and aviation industries.
RepairabilityDifficult to repair, as the soldered joint must be heated and desolderedRelatively easier to repair, as crimp connectors can be removed and replaced.
CostRequires soldering iron, solder, and flux, making it more expensive initially.Requires crimping tools and connectors, which can be cost-effective for larger projects.

What Type Of Copper Cannot Be Used For Bending?

Copper TypeBendabilityRemarks
Oxygen-Free CopperBendableHighly pure copper with low oxygen content, suitable for bending.
Phosphor BronzeBendableCopper alloy with phosphorous, retains good bendability.
Copper-Nickel AlloyBendableAlloy with nickel ,maintains good ductility for bending.
Beryllium CopperLess BendableCopper alloy with beryllium, exhibits less bendability.
Hard-Drawn CopperNon-BendableCopper, subjected to an extensive drawing process, becomes stiff.
Copper Clad SteelNon-BendableSteel core with a thin layer of copper, lacks inherent bendability.


Soft copper tubing does not boast the same durability or flexibility as rigid copper tubing, nor is it intended to. Soft copper may be the right choice if you need easily bendable tubing or enough give to use harsh bending methods.


Hi! I' am Tyron. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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