Different kinds of solder?

The store carried 3 kinds of Oatley solder; tin/lead, 95% tin, and Safe-flo. I couldn't get any meaningful info off the package, and the store's plumbing guy didn't know the difference.
According to the website the 50/50 is not for plumbing, so that is out. (though the plumber who taught me to solder says he uses it anyways; I guess inspectors have no way to tell?)
The 95% is stronger (and more expensive), but the Safe-flo melts at a lower temperature.
So, for ordinary plumbing, which is more important; the strength or lower melting point. I threw my old package out, so I don't know what I have been using.
On a related note; the tinning flux is 3 times the price of the regular. Does it actually work better?
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An inspector could tell use of leaded solder with a lead test kit. Either the inspectors don't check, or the guy who gave you the info was pulling your leg...using leaded solder in potable supply lines sounds like a quick way to lose your license.
IMHO, I'd go for the lower melting point...either's plenty strong enough for plumbing work (silver solders, in general, are all way stronger the tin/lead solders of yore).
Tinning flux doesn't burn off nearly as easily as regular flux. Soldering with lead-free, I'd definitely use the tinning flux. Heck, compared to the other materials, the cost of the flux is pretty much mouse nuts.
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As a rank amateur, I use a map gas torch and 95% solder. Because you really have to get the work hot to melt it, you almost always get a solid joint

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Safe-flo.
plumbing
guess
lower
I think you can still use the leaded variety for drains lines. You don't ever want to use the lead variety with water lines. You might be the cause of severe retardation or the death of a child.
Buy the lead free and use the lead free flux. I think I use the 95%. It is about $10 per # roll. Use mapps gas and you will have no problems. The cost of solder and flux is minimal.
Colbyt
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How diu we live this long? My old house had a lead pipe for the water feed line. There were tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of homes built that way back in the 1940's and 50's.
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wrote in message

feed
way
I agree Edwin.
Take it up with the Feds.
Actually I think I read somewhere that once the lead achieves a coating (electroplating of a type) that there is little or no danger. That doesn't change the law or the rules we must live by.
And frankly for a few dollars in material cost I would not take the chance.
Colbyt
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I have read (and we know that everything read is true) that use of lead pipes 200 years ago lowered the average IQ by about 10 points. But, even if that is true, there is a huge difference between a bit of 50/50 solder and lead pipes.
Still, I was really wanting to compare the two legal solders.
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Holy crap! I'm going to sue my mother for giving me water to drink. I could have been a genius.
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wrote in message

Yes, very sad; just a 140 IQ...
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I'd still opt for the water over the milk that makes you glow in the dark!
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

oops, my reader screwed up (couldn't be the operator) this is suppose to be under "Different Kinds of Solder"
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I wonder, some times. "Mad as a hatter", Ed you might know that one. You appear to have a wide range of knowledge. And the courtesy to share it with others as time permits.
What soldering I've done on water pipes, the couple lessons I've learned:
1) Clean the pipes, and use a fitting brush. Then clean them some more. 2) Flux on the pipe, not in the fitting 3) Wait about a minute for the flux to start working, and do its job. 4) Apply heat to the fitting 5) While applying heat, try to feed the solder in across the pipe from the heat. The "right" temp is when the solder barely starts to flow, but not any hotter. It's really a skill. 6) Don't let the fitting jiggle at all, until it is cold, and then several seconds longer than that. 7) When possible, don't use used fittings a second time, they are cheap. Use new fittings. 8) When soldering a valve, wrap the valve in a cold wet rag. So you dont cook the valve.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Mercury, not lead. http://www.seagrant.uconn.edu/HATTER.HTML
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Similar thing. Heavy metal.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Mercury is much more chemically active than lead.
--
Jim Yanik
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I see you've bought into the hysteria, too.
How do you suppose anyone ever survived to adulthood with all that lead in the water pipes?
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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95/5 is 95% tin, 5% antimony. Antimony is not legal for water lines in many jusisdictions. Use the safe solder. Also use a flux designed for potable water, NOT the tinning solder, which may contain lead. The new fluxes for water lines must be water soluble and must meet other guidelines. Using the wrong flux can get you in as much trouble as using the wrong solder. Go to a plumbing supply house, see if they will sell you the right stuff. BTW, the right flux is harder to use, and easier to burn, but meets code. The old flux can eat the pipe under some circumstances, if not wiped off.
Stretch PS: Lead in the water lines is only a problem with certain kinds of water chemistry. Many times it is perfectly safe, depending on what is in your water. But violating code can cost you a LOT more than the cost of the solder. Heck it may be cheaper to hire a plumber than guess about this. :-)
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Depends on local codes. In most areas of the US, any solder containing lead may not be used for potable water systems, although it's ok for drains and hydronic heating systems. I doubt that's universal, though.

They certainly could tell with a test kit. Doubtful that they would check unless they felt there was a reason to, but it's easy enough.

The lower the melting point, the easier it is to make the joints. Even 50/50 is plenty strong enough. So go for lower melting point.

Yes.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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I'd sue that plumber, and there IS a way to test for lead, and it's a very simple test, which is as easy as brushing some chemicals on the solder joint and watching for a certain color.
I am not convinced about the dangers of asbestos, I think radon is a joke, but lead is a proven harm to a persons health. Are you that damn cheap that you will endanger your own health, that of your family, and any guests that come to your home, to save between $5 and $10? And if you ever sell the house, you could end up having to replace the plumbing, or be sued if you lie about it, because it's required to answer truthfully for lead hazzards on the sale of a home. Do you know what it costs to be hospitalized these days? Are you really willing to risk all of that, for less than the cost of a dvd movie?
Use the 95 tin/5 antimony solder and the lead free tinning flux and the job will be done correctly and legally. You do not need Mapp gas as others said. What you need a called a Turbo torch. Mapp gas is costly, a turbo torch will cost you $20 or so, but once you own it, you can use plain, cheap propane gas. Or, go ahead and spend the extra money for the low melting solder (I have never used it, i just use the 95/5 and turbo torch). I am providing this information for soldering one inch and smaller copper pipe. For larger drain lines, you might need a mapp gas torch, but who uses copper for drain lines these days. PVC is the way to go for drains.
And note, turbo torches are nice for those rusted bolts on your muffler and other car repairs too.
By the way, what is the name and location of this plumber who is illegally using lead solder? Having been a plumber for many years, I feel obligated to contact the authorities to protect the health of those he is endangering by his intentional carelessness and greed. Just post him name, business name and location and the rest will be taken care of without your involvement.
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