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Thread: Clear solder from brass fitting

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member cmose's Avatar
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    Default Clear solder from brass fitting

    I was soldering a one inch brass fitting to one inch copper. Couldn't get the solder to take on one side of the fitting so I took the fitting off before the solder set. Now the fitting has a good bit of solder in it - can I clean out the solder to reuse the fitting (if so how)? Had to special order this fitting be I'd prefer not to wait on another one if I can avoid it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    You took it off before the solder set...?

    What torch are you using?

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member cmose's Avatar
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    Benzomatic mapp torch

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    DIY Senior Member JerryR's Avatar
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    I am not a pro but this is what i would do..

    Heat it up until solder melts, grab it with vice grip and slam it on a piece of wood to drive out as much hot solder as possible. When it is cooled off use a 1" stainless brush to clean out remaining solder. You may be able to use sandpaper to clean it out after it is cooled.

    If you are using a propane torch I suggest you get a MAPP gas torch instead. It burns much hotter.

    Jerry
    Last edited by JerryR; 01-28-2012 at 07:10 PM.
    JR

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member cmose's Avatar
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    It's benzomatic's yellow cylinder, not sure if it's true mapp.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It isn't because they stopped making "true" MAPP in January 2011 after a fire in the plant. The new stuff is MAPP+ and burns about 400 degrees less. Heat the fitting and use a cloth to wipe the fluid solder out of the socket. If you use a brush it will solidify the solder as soon as you insert it so you will not get all of it out. When it is hot, slamming it on a piece of wood could dent it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member cmose's Avatar
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    I thought I remembered reason something like that but wasn't certain.

    I've tried heating the fitting a few times - gotten the thing read hot, but there are still a few ridges of solder inside the fitting. Does the fitting have to be devoid of solder and perfectly smooth to reuse? Or can it contain some solder and ridges so long as the pipe fits?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If the pipe fits without binding it should be fine. Any solder that is in there will melt and distribute when you sweat the fitting.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member cmose's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. Tried yet another time but had the same dead spot that wouldn't take solder as before. Tossing this fitting and ordering another one!

  10. #10
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Sounds like your fitting or pipe is not clean.

    If your joint is properly fluxed and there are no tight spots, the solder will pull from one side all the way around the joint.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member cmose's Avatar
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    Don't think that was it. Spent 15 minutes ensuring the two sides were pristine the first time (knew I didn't have extra). Was liberal and thorough with the flux as well. Both times it was the same spot that wouldn't hold solder.

  12. #12
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You mentioned that in the attempt to clean, you got it "red hot". Overheating brass and copper can sometimes affect the metal in a way that subsequent soldering is very difficult. That said, I can not explain why there is one spot on your fitting that won't take. Anyone seen this before???

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Well if he insists on this "red hot" heating method, that I've never heard of, I can't imagine how that would work well.

  14. #14
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    He probgably overheated the fitting/pipe and burnt his flux up before the solder ever hit the joint.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Ding ding ding.

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