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Thread: is there a limit to reheating copper?

  1. #1

    Default is there a limit to reheating copper?

    Hi, well this will be the 3rd time I will have to "fix" the copper joint seal. B/C I ran water to test it, I know I have to take it apart (which I had done before) and clean it. The last time, it was a son-of-a-gun to pull apart and then the solder stuck to the pipe and fixture like glue. Had a heck of time to getting the solder out of joint and pipe so that the pipe would slide in.

    So is there a limit to the number of time copper or brass can be reheated? I'm going out to get fresh flux and brushes just to reduce the chance of failure. Thx in advance.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    I know of no limit on the number of times copper can be reheated. From a practical standpoint, if the problem area is in a difficult place to access, you might want to consider cutting the problem area out and replacing with new. It would eliminate cleaning the old solder off. You would need to use a coupler on each end of the repair. Do you know why you had a problem? The most common problems are not cleaning the fitting and pipe end, not fluxing, poor heating and solder application, moving the joint before it was cooled and set, and running water into a hot joint to try to cool it faster.

  3. #3


    I think it was the flux this time and perhaps not heating it properly. I just got back with fresh flux (trying tinning flux this time round) and new brushes. It is quite dusty here (major restoration work) so perhaps the flux and brush were contaminated with dust. But it's good to know that the shower fixture is not toast from being put to the torch 3 times. Thx again.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Fubar411's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    St Louis, MO


    My only advice is to read what people say about soldering, it is all true. You need to clean the copper and then clean it again. You need all the water out of the system, drain as much as you can as copper conducts heat well. Then, heat the fitting on the opposite end, and the pipe, but mostly the fitting. Hit is hard with that heat and after the solder starts to sizzle, put the solder in opposite the flame. Have a clean rag so you do leave a mess.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default copper

    The shower fixture will not be damaged, but any internal parts probably are if you did not take it apart first.


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