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Thread: Solder Fail

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Default Solder Fail

    The ball valve for my irrigation line is leaking at a joint where some of the solder is missing. Do I need to cut out this valve and start over, or can I just add new solder to the joint where it is missing? This valve was put in last year and didn't leak until now.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You cannot repair a solder joint. You need to take it apart, completely dry the pipes and fittings, clean both pieces, flux and solder

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The solder joint is bad "inside" the fitting, and there is NOTHING you can do to clean that section good enough to resolder it without taking it apart. Doing what you propose will create a ring of solder at the face of the fitting, but the joint would still be bad.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
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    Since there is little or no play in the pipes, wouldn't it be more advisable to cut out the bad ball valve, and then solder in a new one along with a slip coupling, rather than trying to melt the existing solder and trying to remove and clean up the old ball valve and tubing?

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    We have absolutely NO IDEA what your installation looks like, therefore we cannot tell you HOW to do it the easiest way. Our replies were to your proposal to try to resolder the joint WITHOUT taking it apart, which would not be a good idea.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It may not be a bad ball valve, but it is a bad solder joint.
    You can cut and throw away, or clean and resolder.

    If I'm replacing bad fittings, I chuck them. If it's a bad solder joint on a new ball valve, I may want to keep it.
    Bad solder joints happen when the heat is not evenly applied around the pipe and fitting, or the pieces were not cleaned and fluxed properly.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 08-16-2010 at 02:03 PM. Reason: added some info

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Fubar411's Avatar
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    Tell me if I'm a bad person for doing this, but I've given up on soldering ball valves. It was awhile ago before I started using yellow gas (I'm just a homeowner). But I've had nothing but good success putting a male threaded on, wrapping in teflon tape, and using threaded ball valves. It may cost a little more, but I can heat the threaded copper until the cows come home and I'm not damaging any gaskets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    It may not be a bad ball valve, but it is a bad solder joint.
    You can cut and throw away, or clean and resolder.

    If I'm replacing bad fittings, I chuck them. If it's a bad solder joint on a new ball valve, I may want to keep it.
    Bad solder joints happen when the heat is not evenly applied around the pipe and fitting.

  8. #8
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Threaded is fine.
    Whatever works for you.
    Soldering males adapters is a little easier then the brass bodied ball valve.

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