Unsweating brass fitting from 1/2" copper pipe
I have two outdoor faucets that are leaking.
I am in Phoenix, AZ (very hard water) and wanted to change out the existing brass fittings for ball valves.
I am having a hard time unsweating the brass from the copper. I've read through many posts on this site looking for answers, but nothing seems to help.
I have turned off the water at the main, drained the plumbing lines and heated the brass fitting with MAPP gas for a good five minutes. I try to twist the fitting off, but it won't budge. I am afraid of twisting too hard b/c I don't want to damage the copper pipe behind the wall.
There is a bit of water in the pipe. Would that cause the fitting to not sweat off? It's probably been on there for years and years.
4 1/2" Angle Grinder to remove brass fitting with water in line
Since I didn't know how to crack one of the water meter connections and I didn't want to open up a wall, I got out a 4 1/2" angle grinder:eek: with a metal cutting wheel.
I cut off the brass hose bibb, stuffed a bunch of bread in the pipe and sweated the rest of the brass fitting off. It came right off easily with just a little bit (less than 2 minutes?) of heating with MAPP gas.
I cleaned the old solder off the copper pipe with emery cloth. That took quite a bit of work. I probably should have heated the solder and wiped it off first, then used the emery cloth.
I did try heating the solder and wiping up at a couple of points in the cleaning process, but that didn't seem to go so well. I was afraid I would heat the copper pipe too much and ruin it somehow!
Anyway, I brushed the flux on, put on the copper fitting, twisted to spread the flux, heated with the propane torch until the solder melted and pushed a bunch in.
I was a little concerned that I wouldn't get a good fit, because the copper pipe was pretty beat up and bent right up to the edge of (and maybe a little beyond...) where the copper fitting was going to go on. The fitting also was fairly "loose" on the dry fit. So, I pushed some extra solder into the joint. I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do, but I thought more would be better than less.
After the joint cooled and stopped taking solder, I looked at it to see how well the solder went in. There seemed to be one small area where no solder was showing, so I reheated the joint and pushed more in. Again, I'm not sure if that's the right way to do it, but I went for it anyway.
Long story short, I turned the water back on at the main and lo and behold...NO LEAKS!!! My first experience at soldering seems to be a success!!! I can't tell you how worried I was and how thrilled that I am that it all worked out. Thanks to everyone on this site for helping! :D
Pictures attached below.