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Thread: Sanded the pipe and fluxed the elbow

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  1. #1
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Default Sanded the pipe and fluxed the elbow

    , did not flux the pipe, and the replacement 3/4" elbow leaks like a sieve.

    I was putting a light in a closet and somehow drilled through a water line support block and then into the water line right at the elbow. I should have put tape on the drill bit to use as a depth gauge.

    Now I'm waiting for the water to drain out so I can apply more solder.

    With a mirror it appears that I don't have solder all the way around the backside of the joint but I can't say for sure that that's where the water is coming out.

    This almost never happens to me.

    What could I have done wrong with the prep and the soldering? How do I recover from this? Does the joint have to be cool enough to touch before I can pressurize it?

    Fortunately we still have water in the other half of the house thanks to ball valves I had a plumber install.

    Thanks for whatever you can tell me.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 09-27-2010 at 02:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Pull it apart, clean everything, flux it, then sweat it up again...

    I can't tell from here what you did wrong....

  3. #3
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Stuff some wonder bread into the pipe and flux it with a tinning flux.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    It sure sounds to me like there was some moisture in the pipe. It doesn't have to be stand water, and it doesn't even have to be close to the joint. Water, when heated, turns to steam and that will prevent solder from flowing. It may be overkill, but I apply flux to both the fitting and the pipe. Do what you have to do to get the inside of the pipe 100% dry.

  5. #5
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I always cheeck and double check my joints are dry before I solder them. Sometimes that means draining down to a very low fixture.

  6. #6
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Got two more 90 elbows at HD and peeked in their plumbing book. Apparently I've been lucky so far. You shouldn't touch the bare copper joint surface with your fingers, you have to wait 15 minutes before using the joint and this time I fluxed both surfaces.

    Hacksawed the 2nd elbow off and mounted the third. Use pliers to roughen up and remove old solder, then sanded the surfaces.

    I'm still in the 15 minutes.

    How much of 1/8" thk solder should go into one of these joints? I probably used 1".

    Thanks, guys. . .

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