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Thread: How not to melt washer outlet box?

  1. #1

    Question How not to melt washer outlet box?

    I am replacing leaking washing machine valves and the outlet box but have run into problems. How do you prevent the new outlet box from melting when sweating on the new copper valve adapters? I have gone through two boxes so far.

    The old valves were sweated directly to the copper pipes. When I removed them, I bought the copper adapters to accept the new threaded valves.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    You remove the threaded valves from the box,

    sweat in short pieces short enough to get back down into the box to nut up and tighten,

    but long enough make the necessary soldering to connect far enough away where the heat of the soldering doesn't transfer heat to the box.

    Usually those lengths are 6-8" depending on where the holes located in the box. If it is a 2 by 6 framed wall, you can run even longer lengths and make this possible.

    Somewhere on my site I have a picture to this idea.....lemme see if I can find it.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  4. #4

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    Well, I guess if I didn't have this phobia about screwing things up, I might have come up with that idea. From looking at your pix, I didn't know the valves tightened (attached) to the box.

    This is the old setup I'm working on. Leaks and mold were the main reason for removing the wallboard.

    Thank you and thanks for the pix. A big help.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valves

    If you have the right valves, (and I have never seen those valves used for a washer box), then the solder connections are not close enough to the box to cause a problem.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    If you have the right valves, (and I have never seen those valves used for a washer box)
    Thank you for responding.

    I believe the house was built in '82. But what's wrong with the valves? Don't you use standard water valves?

    When soldering the connections, I used as small a flame as I could, but when the copper pipe and flux got real hot, the flame wrapped around the pipe and melted the part of the box behind it as well as the hole the pipe comes through.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I would recommend these for a box.http://www.siouxchief.com/oxbox/

  8. #8
    DIY Member enosez's Avatar
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    I personally like this one, though a lot more expensive.

    http://www.watts.com/pro/divisions/w...ntelliflow.asp

    If your concerned with melting the box why not solder a 1/2 sweat by 1/2 female on some copper pipe and then thread it onto valve body assembly.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Wrex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enosez View Post
    If your concerned with melting the box why not solder a 1/2 sweat by 1/2 female on some copper pipe and then thread it onto valve body assembly.
    This would work well but you would probably have to enlarge the holes on the box to accomodate the hex female end of the fitting.

    How about this remove the valves from the box and sweat the valves to a short length of copper pipe that extends outside the box. Insert the valves into the box. Then cut the existing tubing running to the valves to fit this stub pipe. Then simply solder the short stub pipe coming out of the valves to the existing tubing with a 1/2" to 1/2" sweat coupling.

    This will keep your torch away from the plastic box and avoid melting.
    Last edited by Wrex; 03-23-2008 at 05:37 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valves

    No, I use regular washer box valves with the extended shanks and the handles on top. Even ball valves can get tight and the handles being behind the valves could make it very difficult to operate them.

  11. #11

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    I've soldered many hundreds of washer boxes and have to say that I've never melted one. I'm guessing you have a torch that I would simply throw away.

    As to that mold - if it were my house, I'd remove the rock on the other side of the wall and replace it. There are rules about such things.

    From this site:

    "The purpose of mold remediation is to correct the moisture problem and to remove moldy and contaminated materials to prevent human exposure and further damage to building materials and furnishings. Porous materials that are wet and have mold growing on them may have to be discarded because molds can infiltrate porous substances and grow on or fill in empty spaces or crevices. This mold can be difficult or impossible to remove completely.

    As a general rule, simply killing the mold, for example, with biocide is not enough. The mold must be removed, since the chemicals and proteins, which can cause a reaction in humans, are present even in dead mold. "

  12. #12

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    Many thanks to everyone that responded.

    I do like the Ox Box and the Intelliflow boxes, but I'm sure the latter will be out of the budget. Makes me think, though, that the stainless hoses would be a very good idea, especially if we go with the double decker washer/dryer set up.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herk View Post
    I've soldered many hundreds of washer boxes and have to say that I've never melted one. I'm guessing you have a torch that I would simply throw away.

    As a general rule, simply killing the mold, for example, with biocide is not enough. The mold must be removed, since the chemicals and proteins, which can cause a reaction in humans, are present even in dead mold. "
    The torch is one of the usual ones found in hardware stores. I kept the flame as small as possible, but not being a plumber (or even an experienced solderer) is most likely the problem.

    As for the mold, behind that wall is (of course) the cubby hole in the garage where the water heater sits.

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A hotter torch means you're on the fitting for a shorter time...then the cooling can begin. A weak flame means you're on it a long time giving the heat a chance to migrate.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member Fubar411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    I would recommend these for a box.http://www.siouxchief.com/oxbox/
    After redoing my laundryroom, I wish that I had done my supply and waste in separate white boxes. Only b/c the supply hoses are notorious for bursting. If you leave the supply in an area more accessable, you can turn on and off the water when you're doing laundry, which isn't a bad idea.

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