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Thread: Reheating Tee and twist

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Question Reheating Tee and twist

    This is a basic plumbing question.

    I do my soldering/sweating in my shop (uh, workbench in my garage) as much as possible and then carry the finished pieces to where they need to go. Thus this question is about reheating and then twisting a fitting that never carried any water.

    By mistake I sweated a 3/4 tee onto 3/4 pipe so that it pointed 180 degrees in the wrong direction. It was part of a fairly complex piece of work (about 5 90ís) so that I was reluctant to start over. That wouldn't have happened if I had dry fitted the pieces first but carrying that much "semi-finished work" would have meant a lot of things would have gone out of alignment.

    The question: I reheated the tee and then rotated it 180 degrees and then applied a bit more solder. I couldnít tel if the solder got sucked into the fitting.

    Is this a safe operation or should I have disassembled and recleaned and put on a new tee? Will I likely have problems a few years from now?

    I still have the opportunity to disassemble that particular piece but, of course, I'd rather not.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    If you applied a liberal amount of flux before you reheated the joint, you should be OK.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Save your self a lot of work and solder it in place. What your doing is way labor intensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    If you applied a liberal amount of flux before you reheated the joint, you should be OK.

    Well, I didn't do that. I did not remove the joint and reapply solder. What I di was "twist in place." Will that cause trouble?

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    Save your self a lot of work and solder it in place. What your doing is way labor intensive.
    Actually, I've done it both ways and this is considerably easier. I prefer standing while soldering rather than lying on my side or sitting Indian-style.

    Also, I get to apply heat to all sides of the joint rather than just the (under) side that I can get to.

    I much prefer making a good joint rather than springing a leak. As they say, "Why do we never have the time to do it right but always have time to do it over?"

    I am definitely a novice (homeowner) plumber. Trying to get solder to the top of a joint when I'm in a crawl space and the top is inaccessible ... well, doing things at my workbench seems a lot easier.

    Is there a better way?

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You shouldn't have any problem if you heat the joint, apply more flux and a dab of solder. I do agree that soldering in place is usually better, but sometimes doing the soldering in the shop is OK. I just wouldn't try to solder up a fancy assembly in the shop that required a precise matching up. Cut-fit-solder is usually best.

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    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    You shouldn't have any problem if you heat the joint, apply more flux and a dab of solder. ...
    Sigh, I know I'm being stupid.

    Do you mean that

    a) I should disassemble the joint and then apply flux and solder, or

    b) Without disassembling the joint, heat the joint, apply more flux to a heated joint (where?), and then apply more solder.

    If (b), I don't understand what the flux would do if applied to outside of a heated joint.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Heat the joint until the fitting will move to the position you want, but leave it assembled. Apply flux to the heated joint so that the added flux will flow into the joint and pull in the new solder. You could totally disassemble the joint, but then you will have to clean the old solder off the pipe and out of the fitting so that they will fit together again. Even a small amount of solder can be thick enough to make slipping the pipe into the joint impossible. Not at all impossible, but by leaving the joint together, adding flux and solder, you can avoid the cleaning process. If you do disassemble and clean, then treat it like a new joint.

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    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    ... Apply flux to the heated joint so that the added flux will flow into the joint and pull in the new solder. ...
    Wow.

    How does the flux know to go into the joint? Is it attracted there by the solder?

    What temperature should the joint be when applying the new flux? Warm or solder-melting-temperature?

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Just get the thing hot and smear the flux on. It will work.

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If the original joint was done properly, then the tubing and fitting became "tinned", so heating and turning the fitting would not have compromised the joint as long as you used some solder to help fill the joint. Flux may not have been necessary at that point but might have helped create a smooth surface on the joint.

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