(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: Soldering copper with dripping water.

  1. #1
    DIY Member Don Zorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    33

    Default Soldering copper with dripping water.

    When soldering copper in the basement, I shut off the main water supply line to the house and open up all taps in the house, but the water seems to keep dripping forever - making it impossible to solder.

    The only thing that I have found to alleviate this problem is to stuff some compacted bread into the copper line to hold back the water long enough to solder and then flush out the debris afterward. Really low tech solution - and my guess is that the pro's would probably frown on this.

    I have often wondered how the pro's deal with this problem? Blow out the lines with compressed air? Anyone care to comment?

    Don

  2. #2
    Plumber RioHyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    339

    Thumbs up

    What kind of main shutoff valve do you have coming into your house? Sometimes older gate valves can be a cantankerous sort either not shutting off all the way, not turning back on after being shut off, etc.

    The bread idea is an old one I've seen people use in the past. Just be sure to take the airators off all your faucets and run alot of water through to clear it out. I dont use bread as a rule unless I'm making a sandwich. There is an item on the market that looks like a big vitamin E pill. I cant remember the brand name, we just call them "beads". Two sizes, 1/2" and 3/4". Shove one of these in the pipe, solder away, add heat to the pipe where the bead is and it dissolves. I've successfully used the beads a handful of times though ideally I'd rather see if I can get the water out of the line and not shove anything into it to accomplish this.

    Another way to stop the water is with a JetSweat and ballvalve though now you're talking bigger money. I don't think a DIY'er would really want to invest that much into a JetSweat kit that might be used once in a blue moon.

    Rio

  3. #3
    Plumber Plumber2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    196

    Default

    You can use a vet vac and suck the water out of the pipe.
    Plumber for 20+years

  4. #4
    DIY Member Don Zorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Rio - Beads - interesting - I got to get some of these - next stop to HD and I will see if I can pick some up. I did remove all of the aerators and flushed out all of the lines. Thanks for the tip.

    Did a google search on Jet Sweat and came up empty handed. I have heard that some plumbers can freeze a line to hold back the water - is that what the Jet Sweat kit does?

    Shop vac - good idea too. Would be useful for draining toilets as well - I guess plumbers probably keep one of these handy in their trucks.

    Don

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Stainedrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I've been working in the plumbing trade now for 5 years or so. I have used a variety of ways to stop the water.
    On a low budget method, bread is the best method I've found so far. Never tried the beads, but I've used other things. Paper napkins/towels, sponges or cloth work, tho not very well. Just always remember to remove it before closing off your system.
    On the other end, "JetSwet"s are handy but expensive. A single size runs $50+. The kit runs better than 300 bucks. The nice thing about the "Jetswet" is you don't have to use a full-port valve, you can use an IP Adapter also.
    And the reason you probably couldn't find a site for the "Jetswet" is the spelling. It's manufactured by a company called "Brenelle Ent."
    A few years back I ran across a similar tool called Dutchfingers. Not sure the price anymore but I think they were quite a bit less expensive and if I remember it worked with 1/2" and 3/4" pipe.
    Last edited by Stainedrat; 08-17-2006 at 03:34 PM.

  6. #6
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    1,328

    Default

    I've used bread before. Also can switch to compression fitting if need to.

    Thaty Jetswet thing looks pretty slick.

    You could take some 1/4" OD copper line and fix it up to your shop vac hose(not too tightly as you'll probably burn out your motor). Then slide the 1/4" line in past your joint so it'll suck up the water as it drips...

    Kind of same idea they use at the dentist when they stick in that suction tube behind the dental dam...tries to suck up your face.

    Jason

  7. #7
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Posts
    4,243
    Blog Entries
    1

    Talking bread is best

    those things you get from home depot are

    not all that good.... they dont do anything that

    bread will not do.....


    just make up a dough ball and cram itinto the pipe

    force it back about three inches and then jus do your thing..

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member sanaka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    28

    Default

    I've found the beads too fragile to survive being pushed into the pipe. They break open and leak their goo all over your joint area - total lameness. Bread works fine as long as you plan a good place to eject it from afterwards.

    I believe Rigid makes a 'freezer blanket' that you wrap around the pipe upstream of your joint and freeze the water inside so you can solder. A budget version of this could be done if you can obtain dry ice - shove some chips of it up your pipe, or perhaps pack some around the outside of a small pipe, to freeze the offendding water for a few minutes.

    Peace,
    Sanaka

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,042

    Default

    Home stores carry a product called "Plumber's Bread" which is a non-perishable product which you push into the pipe to absorb water, like bread. Unlike bread, it dissolves very nicely and you don't clog up aerators, and you can keep it in your toolbox forever.

  10. #10

    Default

    I found bread to work well. WHITE bread (no crusts). Anything with seeds or grains can clog aerators.
    I tried beads once and they broke on the sharp end of the pipe.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  11. #11
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    When I needed to solder a new cut off valve to my main water supply, I found that the line between the meter and house still contained water. I devised this little trick that worked very nicely. I made a loop in the end of a coat hanger wire to attach a strip of towel. I inserted this swab into the pipe, opened the valve to be soldered and slipped it over the wire. The towel held the water from the joint while I soldered the valve on, then I just pulled it out.

  12. #12
    In the Trades kordts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    exurban Chicago
    Posts
    551

    Default

    I bought an 1-1/2" Jet-Swet at my local supply house. It was needed for a repipe on dual high recovery commercial water heaters in a suburban Chicago branch of a national restaurant chain. It paid for itself in one use. Then I bought a used 1/2" thru 2" set on **** for less than what I paid for the single one from the supply house. They are great! Some schools have so much pipe that draining takes hours, if not days, these really are the way to go.

    Jeff

  13. #13

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,653

    Default

    Jet-Sets DO need full port valves, as do ALL expansion type plugs. There are many ways to ensure a dry connection, but each job is unique, so the method has to be adapted to the situation. One method I have NEVER used is bread. There are too many easier ways to do it.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Victor, MT
    Posts
    460

    Default

    Pasco's "Quick Sweat" works on the same principle as the "Jetswet". It is not as heavy duty, but works fine and costs a lot less. It uses a flexible cable that can be pushed through an elbow, which is sometimes handy.

Similar Threads

  1. Soldering.. copper to copper OR copper to brass.. which one?
    By lithnights in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-02-2010, 05:15 AM
  2. soldering copper pipe
    By outofplumb in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 12-24-2008, 05:58 AM
  3. Soldering larger copper 1.5+
    By psolutions in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-11-2008, 06:40 PM
  4. soldering soft copper
    By scott99 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-07-2007, 03:13 PM
  5. Under ground copper soldering
    By charxlie in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-16-2005, 02:23 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •