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A Tee extractor is used to make branching connections on installed soft copper, hard copper, and aluminum pipe. This can be faster and easier than cutting the pipe to install a T-fitting, especially in hard to reach areas.

To make a Tee in an existing pipe, drill a hole in the pipe with the supplied self-centering bit. Insert the correct-sized extractor into the hole and twist the bell until it makes firm contact with the pipe. Turn the extractor to the left with the supplied ratchet to make the flare, and use the cam pincer make a ridge on the mating pipe to set the correct insert depth. Finally, mate the pipes and solder.

The set comes with 1/2″, 5/8″, 7/8″, and 1-1/8″ extractors, self-centering drill bit, cam pincer, and ratchet all in a handy steel carrying case. You’ll pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 for this set.

Catalog (PDF) [Rothenberger]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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11 Responses to Roll Your Own Pipe Tees

  1. Geoff K. says:

    Someone please describe to me a threshold for needing such an expensive gizmo. For $700 there had better be a REALLY good reason to need this, or at least a whole bunch of branches that need to be installed. I’m all for gadgets that do one thing and do it well, but there’s a limit to how much I’d spend for such specificity…

  2. Mike47 says:

    Who in this depressed economy would buy something like this?

  3. fred says:

    Rothenberger AG makes some fine pipe tools – certainly the equal in quality to those sold under the Ridgid, Reed and Wheeler Rex banners. This set, seems to have a limited niche application – probably aimed at making up custom manifolds or adding branches in very tight places. Maybe this is a European thing/gadget – but we tend to buy prefab manifolds or make them up in the shop. That’s not to say we do not do some branch fabrication in the shop – by plasma cutting fishmouths and then welding up branches. Often the issue here has more to do with appearance than plumbing functionality – and our final product may be a SS railing rather than a plumbing manifold.

    BTW we do use swaging tools made by Mastercool and Imperial Eastman (now Stride Tools) – and PEX expanders made by Uponor (Wirsbo). All of these tools are expensive – but they fit our niches and productivity/cost model pretty well.

  4. Jerry says:

    $700?! Not so sure that this device would really save anything in performing its tasks. On the other hand, I can cut/trim/clean a pipe and solder a tee in place in about 5 minutes. Maybe others, who only do this job rarely would love such a tool – of course, we are back to $700 for something that would take them a couple of lifetimes of use to break even. It is a great tool idea but…….

  5. Shopmonger says:

    I have to agree with Fred and Jerry, i think for $700 i could find lots of creative ways of making t connections…. In fact i would just use a shark bite if i was in that tight of a scenario….

    As for manifolds is would be just s easy to pre-assemble one with stadard solder connections.

    Please someone who uses this let us know…. Am i missing something….?

    Shopmonger

  6. BigEdJr says:

    They could have used this when building this….

    http://thereifixedit.com/2010/04/06/epic-kludge-photopipe-dreams-always-run-into-knots/#comments

    Toolmonger and thereIFixedIt are my 2 favorite sites…

  7. Cameron Watt says:

    For $700 I want a hot tapping machine!

  8. Brau says:

    I’ve heard enough wealthy home owners brag about how their electrician didn’t use any splice boxes or, the contractor imported this, or how their “European” plumber used this or that. I sold an alarm install because I included some rare contacts that look like actual screws and keypads with a gazillion lights. They flat out LOVE to brag to their peers about what what kind of detail they bought with all their money. With this tool set and a bender, you could possibly install plumbing without any standard couplers. Less joints means it’s less prone to leak. They’d be all over that.

    Me, I just think it’s way cool for the custom (creative) aspect and wonder how closely flanges can be placed on a single rail.

  9. kyle says:

    THis is cool but too expensive and the only common pipe size it works on is 1/2, if it included 1/2, 3/4 and 1 for about $150 i might consider it

  10. fritz gorbach says:

    The sizes listed are likely for refrigeration sizes which differ because they are measured by od instead of id … thus 5/8″ is equivalent to 1/2″ and so on. I’m told these are quite useful when making custom manifolds for large systems etc.. I have never used one though. The use I would get doesn’t justify the price, and I can accomplish close to the same with a hole saw and some silver solder. However, if i had to build some complex rack systems, I would certainly invest in one.

    By the way, I many companies that make tools targeted for HVAC-R mechanics make this same type of tool.

  11. Kevin Straight says:

    These have been around (in larger sizes) for years in the Fire Sprinkler world. We use them in high-rise buildings that have copper sprinkler pipe, when they remodel and we need to add more heads in the middle of a line.

    Its a pretty specialized tool even for us. Then again, it doesn’t take too many hours to pay for something like this, considering what union sprinkler fitters cost. Also, it is sometimes the only method allowed by the building management.

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