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Old 09-19-2019, 02:29 PM   #1
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Default Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

Hi,
I have 2007 dodge sprinter 3500 with 14' box.
There was a coolant leak, and I went "Sprinter Expert".
And he found the spot to leak, and he took out the part(he told me we don't need the part), and put plastic Elbow instead to connect 2 hoses.
https://imgur.com/q61n36l

And yesterday, On the way from SD to LA,
I saw Coolant light was on, and I saw there was no coolant at all in a tank.
And after taking time, I found the elbow he installed melted like the picture.
https://imgur.com/uUfAKJE

I asked him, and he told me that he doesn't know why this thing happen :)
And he told me that I can buy copper elbow from Home Depot
And I got this yesterday.
I just want to make it sure if I can use this Copper Elbow for high temperature and pressure
https://imgur.com/a/9izCJpv

By the way, yesterday night, I tried to put the elbow(3/4") to the hoses.
However, it was very hard to do.
Is there special way or tool that I need to use?

Thank you in advance.

Last edited by sprinter8888; 09-19-2019 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

You may need a 5/8" elbow. The elbow that was used is a low temperature non reinforced elbow. That type should never be used on the vehicle cooling system.

If you go to an auto parts store, most have a box of heater hose fittings (cooling system fittings) behind the counter. These are high temperature plastic fittings designed for this purpose. a 3/4 or 5/8" fitting will cost less than 10 dollars. I strongly suggest using these, as copper pip does not have barbs, and the hose may slip off.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...062/17190315-P
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

I just called him again, and he told me that I can buy smaller size if it is hard to install.
So I’m going to buy 1/2” size elbow.
The reason that I bought 3/4” is because he used 3/4” size elbow.
I wonder how he was able to install it.
Do you think is it ok to use 1/2” size?
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

If you don't get a firm fitting connection, it may leak, or blow out on the highway. See my post above and get the right part...
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

The plastic elbows from an auto parts store may also have "barbs" on the ends to help keep the elbow in place.

(i had the same melted-elbow happen in a rental VW Kombi in South Africa ... the melted elbow had been a piece of electrical conduit)
The correct plastic elbow had a bracing web and barbs.

--dick
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

If the hose is 16 mm or 5/8" inside diameter (yours looks bigger in the photo) you can use a 3/4" brass fitting intended for PEX pipe, I think Home depot carries the Sharkbite brand. The barbs are rather shallow on the Pex fittings so the clamp needs to be very tight. If you can trim the end of the hose so you have a fresh clamping surface it's a good idea.
Different types of pipe fittings are diffferent sizes despite what they are labeled. If the copper fitting pictured fits your hose it would work as a temporary fix but I would replace it with a barbed fitting, preferably metal, when possible.

Last edited by Moto Vita; 09-19-2019 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

It’s the barbs or ribs that you need, so that pressure in the system doesn’t blow off the hose over the smooth sides of a typical copper elbow. But in a pinch, yes it’s fine to use. You may consider using some glue on assembly, and tighten the **** out of the clamps so that it has a very secure fit. I’ve never seen a quick fix repair coupler, but I’d be surprised it they don't exist at the local auto parts store.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

You can also use the hot water PVC fittings from the hardware stores. They are the gray ones used in home to carry HOT WATER.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

Short term the gray PVC fittings work, but coolant can reach 250F, and those fittings will not last very long at that temperature.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help. Emergency! Can I use Copper Elbow(from Home Depot) to connect hoses?

As mentioned above, you need the hose barbs on the fitting to keep it in place. Without those, the elbow will migrate out under pressure with a catastrophic failure as the result. Along with the good options above, a couple other places come to mind to get a temp rated elbow with barbs (likely brass): Farm equipment supply / tractor supply -- they have to get creative; Marine / boating store (for instance, West Marine) -- Having a nautical background, this route is frequently my go to.

If you are stuck using a smooth copper elbow, I'd probably rough it up first, and use some heat resistant glue as mentioned above.
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