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Thread: sweating copper/removing solder?

  1. #1

    Question sweating copper/removing solder?

    When wanting to reuse a copper connection, what's the most effective way to remove the old solder and when is it considered "removed"? I've got what should be a fairly simple (hah!) job that consists of removing flexible copper pipe to be replaced with std copper pipe and elbows (restricted water flow problem) and the nipple that the flexible copper is connected to is to short to allow me to cut it back to clean copper so I need to sweat the flexible pipe off of the nipple, clean 'er up, and then connect the new copper to it. I've done some experimenting with soldering copper to fittings and then sweating them off and then trying to remove the existing solder but can never seem to get all of the old solder off to get back to the copper base. Do I have to is my question and, if not, to what extent must I remove the old solder?



  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member CHH's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Denver, CO


    No need to remove the old solder. Unsweat the joint and dress the old pipe/solder as necessary to get the new fitting on. The old solder "tins" the existing pipe and makes it easy to make the new connection. I find a file to be handy for dressing the old fitting.

    The new side must still be cleaned and fluxed.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    The only problem I can think of is if that was a factory assembled fitting that they brazed instead of soldered. Not sure if they do that or not.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default solder

    Heat the tubing and then wipe the excess solder off with a soft dry rag.


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