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Thread: sweating copper pipe - flux shelf life

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member tbb2's Avatar
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    Default sweating copper pipe - flux shelf life

    Does plumbing flux go bad?

    I have a can of Oatey 95 that looks a bit separated.
    Flux is supposed to be stirred any way isn't it?

    I back checked on the Oatey site and they give the product a 2 year shelf life from date of manufacture.
    Then the can is not dated in any way.
    So I'm suspect Oatey just wants DIYs who use less to buy more every time we do a job.

    I know I have used this flux after two years without ill consequences.

    What in this chemical mix could go bad?
    I suppose if it was water soluble I would suspect bacteria but its petroleum based.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As long as it didin't set opened for ages, I'd just stir it up and use it. The more eco friendly water soluable stuff is probably more susceptable to becoming unusable if it dried out, but that doesn' seem to be your case.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    As long as it didin't set opened for ages, I'd just stir it up and use it. The more eco friendly water soluable stuff is probably more susceptable to becoming unusable if it dried out, but that doesn' seem to be your case.
    believe it or not, I may still have a couple of old "NoKorrode" cans that have to be more than 25 years old, that last time I tried sweat soldering with them, worked fine! I bought Oatey products more recently, but it was about 2 years ago that the old flux still did its job well and made beautiful joints. The cans have a little rust on the outside, but the contents "looked" fine. I bought new flux so I wouldn't think of myself as being a cheapskate.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
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    I would replace it. I have a bottle all the time in my work van. It might be a a month before it gets used. Every day in the summer months it turns to water and then somewhat gells at night. After awhile it does not seem to work that good so I pitch it. It gets to where the fitting won't suck solder in. That's the only thing I can figure out. Once I have a new container all is well again.

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