Joints too Large for Capillary Action? (Copper Fittings too Large)

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Hey fellas - I recently picked up a bag of (50) 3/4" 45* elbows from SupplyHouse.com. I haven't checked all of them, but it seems like they are too large for standard 3/4" pipe.

I've checked about 6 of these on new and old M and L pipe and they're pretty loose. It works okay if it's a single fitting in the horizontal position where gravity helps fill the gap but for something like a close dog leg with two fittings side by side or in the vertical position, the solder just runs out of the gap, creating a leak.

Aside from buying better quality fittings, any tricks for making these work? Is there some way to crimp / shrink the socket to reduce the gap? It's probably 1/32 of an inch at the moment... pretty sloppy. Should I make a fuss with the supplier? Usually I buy Nibco fittings, these were by Elkhart. Not sure if that matters.
 

Jadnashua

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I'd take it up with the supplier. I've not looked for the specs on those fittings, but it sounds like they're out of spec.
 

John Gayewski

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How'd you handle it? Any tricks on vertical joints?
I filled it, then let it cool, then came back and capped it off later. It's too hard to control the temp back down after you have it hot enough to flow all the way back to the bottom of the cup. You can just come back later after you've cleaned and wiped it off and then gently heat it to right around melt temp. It easier to cap that way.
 

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FWIW, I wound up buying one of these Chinese gadgets. I figure there's a good chance I'm going to run into this problem again... seems like it's harder and harder to find decent quality fittings. This pipe expander is probably garbage for actually making a full swage but it worked like a charm for swelling the end of a pipe just a tiny bit.

 

John Gayewski

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FWIW, I wound up buying one of these Chinese gadgets. I figure there's a good chance I'm going to run into this problem again... seems like it's harder and harder to find decent quality fittings. This pipe expander is probably garbage for actually making a full swage but it worked like a charm for swelling the end of a pipe just a tiny bit.
I have one of those sets it comes in handy.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Any possibility that they are refrigeration fittings intended to be brazed?

I recall trying to put together some fittings on a live heating system from the 50's to install isolation valves and found that my gate valves wouldn't fit over the copper pipe by a tiny scocsh.. but copper fittings would.
 

Jeff H Young

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I've had sloppy fittings and filled them like John mentioned I'd recommend new fittings but I've been there done that. As far as I know (remember) Elkhart fittings are normally high quality I've used them many times as well as Nibco , mueller I guess I don't pay much attention to brand , occasional bad ones of all brands
 
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