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Thread: sweating

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member v1rtu0s1ty's Avatar
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    Default sweating

    I have only worked with 1/2" copper pipes. I would like to know if there are some things I need to worry when sweating a 3/4" or 1" copper pipes, or are they the same?

    This is for my preparation for the lawn sprinkler system project in the future.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    They are the same, but since the fittings and pipe are larger, they take more time to heat up.

    A little emory cloth helps to clean the pipe where it will be going into the fitting and some good flux.

    I like using Bridgit® Nickel-Bearing Solder

    http://www.jwharris.com/jwprod/solderalloys/#1

    A quote from their site:
    Bridgit caps like no other lead-free solder, and its wide plastic range of 170°F allows the operator to fill both tight and loose, non-concentric connections with ease. The strength of a Bridgit joint far exceeds the pressure point at which copper tubing will burst.

    Last edited by Terry; 06-21-2010 at 12:02 AM.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member v1rtu0s1ty's Avatar
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    I have a follow up question. I would like to know if the sweating procedure I was used to is correct.

    1. clean the outer pipe and inside coupler with emery cloth or round steel brush
    2. apply flux on both
    3. heat it
    4. apply solder

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    That's pretty much what I do.

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    DIY Senior Member v1rtu0s1ty's Avatar
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    Lastly, I have always used the blue can propane. The other one is called MAPP(yellow can) if my memory recalls it properly. The guy at home depot told me not use the yellow because it's hard to work with because it's very hot. Should I use MAPP on 1" pipes or should I be fine with blue can propane?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member v1rtu0s1ty's Avatar
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    Additional

    Assuming you have already sweat pipes, now you turned on your water, one joint is leaking, how do you fix this issue since it's already soldered?

  7. #7

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    I've soldered 1" with the regular blue bernzo. It's about the technique. There are bigger and swirlier tips for the propane that people really like here. It is poss to use MAPP. Just shld be quicker w/ it. B4 next project, I'll def invest in a quickfire igniter. Sparkers and butane lighters are for suckas!

    As far as fixing the leak ex post: Any patch rigs I've tried have not worked AT ALL around a fitting. IMHO, you should unsolder and redo the joint. It may actually be easier to cut it out.

    B4 u whip out the pipe cutter, though, get a 2nd opinyun.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  8. #8
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Once water has gotten to a joint and you discover a leak, it can not be fixed by just reheating. There are just two things you can do. Cut the fitting out, solder in a new fitting and probably add a piece of pipe and a coupling to make up the loss from cutting the fitting out, or heat the joint and remove the fitting. You can reuse the fitting, but it's a PITA to clean the old solder out. The pipe will be OK, just wipe the solder off with a rag while it's still hot. A leaking joint can be caused by moving the joint while the solder is still soft, not enough heat to flow the solder completely around the joint, or not enough solder. If you suspect a joint before you turn the water on, you can add flux and solder, but not after the water has be in the joint.

  9. #9
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Default Resoldering joints

    I've successfully resoldered both joints I've had fail on me in my DIY career. One was a cap on an old under-slab line where I simply didn't clean the old ratty pipe well enough before capping it. I guess I was hoping a lot of flux would cut through the oxide, but it didn't -- you've got to see bright copper everywhere you want solder to stick. I just heated it, took the cap off with a pair of slipjoint pliers, thoroughly cleaned the pipe, re-fluxed, re-heated, and placed the cap on again with the slipjoints.

    The other was a 3/4" tee, don't remember the cause of the leak, probably just a dumb*ss mistake. This one taught me that you've go to be 100% sure all the water is out of the pipe, and the pipe is open to air somewhere. I thought I had drained out all the water, and by habit closed the valve when I was done draining. After applying heat for a while the joint blew apart, spraying steam, hot water, and hot solder around. After changing my pants, cleaning, re-fluxing, etc., the joint was easy to mend.

    Just read Gary's post -- apparently we were both typing at the same time. I agree that you can't fix a failed joint just by reheating. You do have to disassemble, clean, and flux. However, the fact that a joint failed with water in it is no reason (IMHO) to cut it out if you can easily disassemble it.
    Last edited by Mikey; 09-22-2006 at 01:57 PM.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I didn't mean to imply that you had to cut the joint out if water had gotten to it, cutting the joint out is just one of the two ways to fix a leaking joint. The other way is to disassemble. I think it depends on the individual joint, for some cutting out and replacing would be the easiest way, for others, just disassembling and redoing would be just fine.

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    DIY Senior Member v1rtu0s1ty's Avatar
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    Hi Gary,

    Am I correct that as much as possible, put as many flux as I can in order to really get a tight fit and complete melted solder?

    Thanks,

    Neil

  12. #12
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I understand exactly what you're asking. Flux does not make the joint tight, it is what makes the solder "suck" into the joint. The only joint that ever failed on me what one where I was in a hurry to finish and actually forgot to flux and was too stupid to realize that was why the solder didn't react normally when I put the solder to the joint. There is no advantage however in using more than a good coat inside the joint and on the pipe. It doesn't help when putting the pipe into the fitting, copper pipe dry fits very well. You want to be sure you heat the joint completely. I usually apply the heat to the fitting and not the pipe. I usually start heating the fitting on the side facing me, then move to the opposite side and continue heating until the solder flows on the first side. That way I know the entire joint is hot. Then I remove the heat and wipe the solder on around the entire fitting, or as much as I can reach. BTW, I sure not a pro, a pro would likely shake his head and roll his eyes if he watched me solder. But, I've only had that one failed joint, so whatever I'm doing, it works. I hope I addressed your question.

  13. #13
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Default Oatey No. 95 Flux

    I like the tinning fluxes such as Oatey No. 95. That little bit of tin in the flux protects the copper surfaces from oxidation and provides good wetting so the solder is drawn into the joint. You don't have to be quite as skillful to get a good joint.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Default

    You're going to get some contrarian information from me.

    Just some general notes about comments made in this thread.



    (1) First, unlike others, I use a Bernzomatic JTH-7.

    I love this thing. It's only drawback is that it does not have an igniter. I guess that makes me a sucka.

    As advertised, the flame is HOT. In fact, if you get this thing, practice on some scrap before you use it live. If you use it the way you use a pencil burner on half-inch copper then you'll turn the copper to black frangible toast.

    With a MAPP pencil burner it takes me about 30 to 45 seconds to heat a 3/4 fitting. With the JTH-7 it's about ten seconds.

    Another advantage is that the bottle is (should be) always upright but you can orient the burner in any direction. It's a lot easier to get into tight spaces with the JTH-7.

    Call me crazy but I swear that the propane lasts a LOT longer, as well.



    (2) The reason to heat joints and not pipe is that, duh!, metal expands when heated. If you heat the pipe and not the joint then you're making the pipe expand while the joint stays relatively cool. That makes it hard for the solder to be sucked into the area between the pipe and the joint. If you remember this, then it is always easy to figure out what needs to be heated on, say, a street tee.


    (3) I've had success (about 40%) reheating a leaky fitting if I can drain the water out of the pipe. Using the JTH-7 I manage to get the interior of the pipe to dry.

    If, OTOH, the pipe is filled with even a little bit of water you'll never get the leak to stop unless the water is completely drained out.


    (4) I use a lot of flux. As I read somewhere: "Flux is your friend." As another poster noted, putting too much on won't help ... but it won't hurt, either. It also makes it easier to see whether you've fluxed the joint.
    Last edited by ToolsRMe; 09-23-2006 at 05:04 AM.

  15. #15
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking Always wondered???

    I have always wondered exactly what majic FLUX did

    to make two metals weld to one another???

    I have used it for years and have never knew exactly how it works....




    Actually....Flux does not make the solder suck into th joint.......

    the heat from your torch pointed at the fartherest point

    away on the joint maked the sloder flow to the heat source....

    anyone actually know how this really works????


    their has to be a " little factnoid" out there about htis....

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