Can't do simple freaking soldering on brass pipe

Page 2 of 3  


Hey, whatever works! lol
I'm going to go to the store tomorrow and get some better solder and flux. Then I'm going to completely cut out the section that I've done since the workmanship is so shoddy it will probably fail in the near future. I might get a few extra parts to practice on, but I'm fairly confident that I'll have rather different results with solder and flux that is better suited to the task.
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't get too excited. It's partly your equipment, but really it boils down to practice practice practice. I think I spent about 20 bucks on 1/2" copper pipe and fittings then stood in the garage and soldered. Almost caught my Workmate on fire 3 times, almost dripped solder on my hand (I've dripped molten plastic on my arm before - it will burn a hole in your flesh), and out of the 15 or 20 attempts I had 2 successful joints. You had the videos, which I think will make it easier for you. I didn't have the luxury when I started learning. If you can do 5 good joints in a row - then I'd start to work on the real thing. BTW: Don't forget to practice on 1" pipe if you can.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
For a one inch fitting, I'd sure suggest Mapp gas. Yellow tank. Many propane torches will burn Mapp, also.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Make sure that the solder is good for brass pipe, and that the soldering paste is compatible with the solder. I know this sounds like common sense, but I was having lots of issues with getting good results with 95/5 solder and lead free paste. I changed over to lead free, silver bearing solder and paste that specifically says "lead- free" on it. The silver bearing solder only costs around $.50 more per pound than the regular lead free solder. A couple of other tips:
1) Heat both sides of the joint. Apply more heat to whichever part has more metal to it. I like to work around the joint, then apply solder to the opposite side of the joint that I am applying the heat to.
2) If your torch can use propane or MAPP gas, use MAPP since it can generate more heat.
3) You don't need to get the metal glowing cherry red, it is easy to apply too much heat to it, and burn off all the flux.
Feel free to email me off list if you are still having issues.
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's a big thing, is to watch someone else.
Hint: Heat one side of the pipe, and at the same time touch the solder to the joint on the far side. Where the fitting meets the pipe. At some precise temp, the solder starts to flow, and the flux is still bubbling.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I have no shame in admitting I use pre-solder fittings. One less thing to worry about while doing this.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How well do they work? I looked at them once, and it didn't look like there was very much solder contained in that little groove inside the fitting. Maybe enough when the pipe is new and freshly cleaned...
Besides, it looks like you can only use them if you first cut, clean, flux, and assemble all of the pipes going into a coupling or tee, then solder all of the joints on that fitting at once. If you left one arm open, the solder would melt when you're soldering the other arms and form a blob that would prevent adding the final pipe later. That doesn't fit my preferred style of working.
    Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

To go against what someone else suggested - you may be getting the joint too hot. The solder won't stick or wick into the joint if its too hot.
BTW: This isn't something you can learn in one day - trust me. It takes quite a bit of practice and on top of that brass is even more difficult to solder because it's typically thicker than copper. If it all possible I'd practice in the garage on a couple pieces of spare until you get it down right - then work on the real problem. It's something you have to get right and it won't be obvious to your untrained eye when it is right.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks, that opinion does help. I was beginning to think that I had gotten it too hot. The solder is definitely not wicking into the joint like it's supposed to. It just clumps up and falls away. Very annoying. I'm trying to avoid having to pay a professional to come do it, though. I've called a couple of places and given them very good information about the job and they still won't quote me a price over the phone. And they charge $40 just to come out and look. I don't know if they're going to charge $50, $100, $200...I have absolutely no idea. But hell, I've already spent nearly $80 for the supplies to try it myself. What a pain in the ass...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Put the heat on the fitting (coupler). When solder clumps and falls off, it means it's not soaking in with capillary action.
Where are you, anyhow? What city and state?
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Read this and several replies and your responses --
First question I have is "brass"??? You sure or you mean copper which would be far more normal ordinary plumbing fittings.
After you get past that, what are you using for flux and solder?
And, finally, heat source? A 1" pipe takes a pretty decent-sized flame to heat adequately quickly.
As for technique, heat the fittings, not the pipe and definitely not the solder. Hot enough is when the solder melts on touch to the joint. If it doesn't flow easily you've either got incompatible solder for the material, flux, or both.
If you are new at this, I'd also suggest buying a couple feet of regular 1/2" Cu and a few fittings and practice on a few of them to get the hang of it rather than continuing to practice on your end project.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm sure you're right. It's got to be copper. :)

I'm using Oatey silver lead-free solder and Oatey H-20 water soluble flux.

Just a simple propane torch.

I definitely need the practice. Unfortunately, at this rate I'm pretty sure I'm not saving any money by doing it myself. I should have just paid for a real plumber to do this from the beginning. But now I've spent nearly $80 in supplies. I might as well try to finish the job.
If I did it wrong and I have an unfinished solder joint, can I pick up again to finish it, or do you think I'll just need to cut away that section and start over with a new coupling?
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Like I said before, go to this forum, search for the thread on sweat joints. Read the pro's recommendations and follow through.
You don't need to cut away the section. It does have to be cleaned with emory cloth. The pipe couplings have to be equally clean. Don't use water soluble flux. Don't heat the solder, heat the joint. Keep the torch moving. One inch copper with propane is tough. Good luck.
--
---
there should be a "sig" here
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ah...I am using Oatey H-20 water soluble flux. Should I make another (fourth) trip to Home Depot and get some different flux?
Maybe a neighbor has some different flux. I may also need to borrow a different torch. I've tried two propane torches (first one kept going out). Maybe a MAPP or acetylene torch would work better, especially on one-inch pipe outside in a breeze. Damn wind.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I'm about to just say "Screw it" and go buy some JB Weld. Would that work? ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

for a sprinkler application.
--
---
there should be a "sig" here
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Duct Tape...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sure, if you never put water pressure in the pipe.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Try using a yllow Mapp bottle on your existing propane torch. And set up a wind break.
If your neighbor has a torch, maybe he'll come over and work with you?
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Jul 23, 6:53 pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I was able to get it done with a new MAPP torch and some non-silver solder. Worked just great!
Now I'm trying to figure out how to unclog a sprinkler system valve. I know I had to do it once before many years ago, but I don't remember exactly how to do it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.