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Thread: Soldering larger copper 1.5+

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    DIY Member psolutions's Avatar
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    Default Soldering larger copper 1.5+

    Doing mostly residential we very rarely solder copper so a small propane tank with a 4' reach dose the trick.

    We recently started doing light commercial and the only thing that seems to be a pain in the arse is soldering 1.5 copper lines with these little old things.

    There has to be a better way??
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Acetylene or MAPP gas both would work well. The torch you use will make a difference as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber in Previous Life sixlashes's Avatar
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    Back when I was a real plumber, I bought a propane torch that uses interchangable tips that works well for all sizes of copper. It has a regulator that attaches to the propane tank, a 10 foot hose and the handle/tip assembly. I have tips that range from 5/16" diameter to a monster that is 1-1/4" diameter. They range from about 7" to 11" long. I soldered 1/2" to 3/4" with the smallest tip and reliably soldered type M - 4" with the largest. If you are interested, I can find the brand. I used it for ten years and other than cleaning the orifices in the tips, never had a problem.

    Maybe someone else on the forum knows the make of it.
    Last edited by sixlashes; 10-29-2008 at 08:13 PM. Reason: clarity

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    Plumber in Previous Life sixlashes's Avatar
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    Found it. It is a: TurboTorch LP-1 LP CONTRACTORS KIT

    The link to it is about a thousand charaters. Google it. This one comes with a T-4 and a T-6 tip. The T-6 is the biggest. Their web site recommends it up to 4" copper. If you need more heat, you can also run this with MAPP and get higher temps from it. The smaller tips are great for working it tight spaces without starting the place on fire.

    Like I said before, I always used propane and got the job done. It was what we used at the time and I got used to it. It was and still is a reliable work horse. I only use it now for those "can you help with a problem at the house" scenarios from friends.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default torch

    Then there is the acetylene torch with the multiburner "
    staghorn" tip that heats all sides of the joint at the same time. I have a small one for up to 2" and a large one for up to 4".

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    DIY Member psolutions's Avatar
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    Default Flameless?

    Anyone ever tried any of these flameless solutions.. someone recommended me to a rigid press tool. Supposedly it uses special copper fittings that crimp down??? This sounds like trouble. Anyone ever used it?

    Are the different tips really that effective? Im looking into that now.

    Anyone have any suggestions on propane, butane, etc... ? Pipe ranges from 1/2 to 1.5.

    Thanks
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  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ProPress

    A plumber was telling me a situation he saw last week. There was a plumber installing a valve using the crimp system. He went to lunch and when he came back the guy was still working on it. He told him that if he had done it conventionally he would have been done a half hour earlier. I don't know what the problem was because they should install quickly. One thing about them is if you misalign them you cannot "reheat the joint and twist it" like you can with copper.

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking turbo torch...

    just go get yourself a turbo torch with a

    medium size tipp....go get an actelyne tank from a local

    plumbing supply house....keep a spare one handy...


    and you will solder miles of pipe before you run out of gas...


    stay away from thws stupid crimp stuff you see out there
    its is a joke and the joints are not re-usable...

  9. #9
    DIY Member psolutions's Avatar
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    Well on the press/crimp style. I was very ify about it cause im not one to try something unless its been on the market a long time. Im still not so crazy about pex. But now that i cant find anyone who has used it (copper crimp) in my area im definitely staying away from it.

    Ive come up with mostly pex and cpvc. Copper is no problem , but i guess i havent done enough of it to know the most efficient way. I solder all our valves in copper on rough-ins and do many repairs. But nothing as large as running a whole commercial job.

    Can the six of us do it, sure. But i just want to make sure im doing it the best way possible from get go. I know the propane tanks we are using now wont be the way to go.

    Anyone got any model numbers or something they suggest? Im trying to find something i can use for any situation. I also dont want to haul a tank up and down the ladder.

    Do the gases really make that much of a difference. I only messed with propane so far.

    Thanks.
    Plumber in Columbia SC
    Plumbing Solutions LLC
    Residential Plumbing & Repair

  10. #10
    Plumber in Previous Life sixlashes's Avatar
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    The hose on the Turbo Torch is at least 10'. You could add a hose extension if you are working where the overhead is too high for the stock hose. Propane was my choice because it is easy to refill and clean. This is a plus when you are under houses. You do not have to deal with the the soot actelyne can produce. However; if you also need to silver solder, then actelyne is the best choice.

    You can't go wrong with the interchangable tip system on the turbo torch. It has been around forever and parts are plentiful.

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