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Thread: Solder particles in water?

  1. #1

    Post Solder particles in water?

    I purchased a newly constructed home 15 months ago and have had an on-going issue of having dark gray/greenish particles come from both the hot and cold water lines. I've had the local water authority test the water and all parameters are within limits, but their analysis showed a tin level that is not consistent with the water authority. After a few months I was able to collect enough particles to have them tested. The analysis showed mostly tin, with some copper and other trace metals. I was told that it is common to have pieces of solder inside newly installed copper water piping and to flush the system. In addition to normal daily useage, I've flushed the system a few times by running all sinks, tubs, hoses at the same time for 15-20 minutes. Still I have the particles. Any ideas on what is causing this? Is this normal in new construction? Is it only a matter of time for everything to flush itself out or can I do something?

  2. #2
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    I use alot of solder, I mean ALOT.
    I have yet to see my pipes have residual chunks after an initial flush.
    Is this happening at one fixture? a group of fixtures? or the whole house?
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The way joints are soldered, it would be almost impossible for ANY globules to be inside the pipe, much less a lot of them.

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    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    The way joints are soldered, it would be almost impossible for ANY globules to be inside the pipe, much less a lot of them.

    But then....I had a sister decide she could plumb as good as me.
    She was gonna "show me up" - decided to solder a 1/2" coupling into a 3/4" IPS brass riser.
    After a full day of running back and forth to the meter to shut off and on and seeing the things continue to peep she called.
    She spent the whole day oozing solder into the drop into the basement trying to get it to hold, without flux.
    Had to get an adaptor, flushed the pipes and still had constriction.
    Finally went down into the crawlspace and cut the line...I'd say I got a good half roll of solder to flush out in pea sized chunks when it was all said and done.
    Now sis sticks with her day job.
    Last edited by GrumpyPlumber; 09-15-2007 at 01:57 PM.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Could be from a very sloppy application of tinning flux. Flushing should help/

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