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Thread: Rosin-core solder and copper plumbing

  1. #1

    Default Rosin-core solder and copper plumbing

    Long story short, I plumbed a tub/shower faucet and supply from my basement all using 1/2" copper pipe and a brass faucet body. I used Kester 40/60 Rosin Core Solder because it seemed easier to me than using flux and the solid stuff. Anyways, now I'm having second thoughts about this and can't find any info regarding my situation. Somebody please help!


    http://www.chiptech.com/secondary/ma...f/K/Kester.pdf
    Last edited by Terry; 04-27-2010 at 04:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    First off, using a lead-based solder in potable water supply has not been allowed for years now, so that alone is a problem. Even discounting that, the rosin will probably take quite awhile to disolve and be purged from the fitting, so you may end up smelling it for a long time in your shower or bath. The lead based solder does melt at a lower temperature and while probably strong enough, isn't as strong as the lead free stuff. Prior to the ban, lots of houses were plumbed with lead-based solder, but usually not as high a content as the electronic stuff you used.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    I guess what I'm wondering is if I should tear everything apart and start over? It's just a bath/shower and I won't be drinking from it, but I would have a concern for anyone who owns this home in the future. Will the rosin have any negative effect on the copper? Will the joints fail down the line? I'm quite confident that they have been soldered well.
    Last edited by renegade_00; 04-27-2010 at 03:59 PM.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Since rosin core is intended for electrical work, I would be highly suspect of it's endurance on copper plumbing. Lead solder is of course long gone for stores, so the solders sold for plumbing are all legal and safe for copper. My gut would be to take it out and fix it right.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    60% lead in the solder, even the spec sheet said it was for electrical connections.
    I've never heard of anyone wanting to use lead in their drinking water before.

    The only legal plumbing supply solder has no lead content.
    If you had bought standard plumbing supplies, they would have sold you "NO-LEAD" OR "LEAD-FREE" solder, and you would have used a flush brush and a small container of water soluble flux.

    Rip it out, and start over.
    Last edited by Terry; 04-27-2010 at 04:07 PM.

  6. #6

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    I didn't know it had lead in it. It's an old spool and It just says 40/60. I figured that was rosin to tin ratio. I don't know what the H I was thinking. Thanks guys.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The numbers are lead/tin ratio...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8

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    I'm going to starto over, but I need to know how to get the valve body clean after removing the pipes. I will buy new copper fittings but I hope I can still use this faucet. This and the ball valves. Thanks again guys, I swear this is an unusual stroke of stupidity and I appreciate all your help.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Just heat and wipe with a dry cloth.
    And then some emory cloth.

    You don't have to get 100% off.

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