do sloppy copper joints fail easier?


I had to relocate some plumbing copper pipes in by basement. They are 3/4 pipes. They were in a difficult place and there was some moisture in the line. I cleaned the joints well and used the flux paste like normal, but since there was moisture in the line (dripping water in the line) the joints took a long time to heat up. I got the solder flowing into them eventually and I used a good amount, but they look like crap and are burnt looking too. On some of them I can see the solder looks like it has gaps in it at the seam.
Anyway, they aren't leaking and I tried to shake them/stress the joint and they still hold fine. My question is this, it is possible that I burned off the flux while heating it so long...does this mean that these joints can fail prematurely? or is it that if it holds water, it is fine and will last as long as a nice looking joint. I have read that pinholes can happen when the joint is soldered, but not sure about after the fact.
Thanks.
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Yes, it is possible. If you got a good bond of solder inside the joint, it will last forever. The crappy look may be just on the outside. Keep an eye on it though. If you have to do it over, use a hotter torch rather than play on the joint with a little propane job. You sometimes overheat the outside in order to get the right heat to the inside and allow for the solder to flow.
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Time will tell...you could grab ahold of the pipe and move it back and forth to see if it leaks.
A couple of tricks for the future...in the plumbing supply stores, they may have little balls that you push into the pipe while soldering. When done, the water will dissolve the ball. Or, you could put a small plug of bread in pipe, solder and when the water is on open the tap and the plug will be dissolved and flushed out.
I've heard that MAPP gas torches work well.

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Use Mapp gas next time if the joints fail. Mapp is hotter and really need with the no lead solder.
Keep a eye but most likely joints will be fine
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Finding the keyboard operational DAC entered:

a dinner roll from the company cafeteria. He had to re open the pipe when the roll didn't dissolve. I never ate in the cafeteria after that. Bob
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I had one of these fail on me. I had worked late and the inspector was due in the next day. I arrived 5 minutes before the inspector and there was water everywhere.
My recommendation is to leave the wall open for a few days and whack the area with a mallet each day several times. If it survives this, you probably have made a good joint and ugly on the outside doesn't count.
--
Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
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Thanks, I think I will do that. I did use mapp gas on these as I thought the hotter torch would heat it faster since it was in an awkward place. I hope these hold!
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I had to diagnose a pinhole leak recently. Thought it might be condensation. It was truly a pinhole sized leak. Under full pressure it would take 24 hrs to build up one med. sized drop. Over a week it could do in a whole Kleenex. Over time everything would be wet. I tried using Oatey plumbing epoxy (mixable round putty in a clear plastic tube), but it failed. As did Devcon plastic Steel ( 2 parts in squeeze tubes). And magic wrap rubber tape. All that is flexible stretchable rubber tape - doesn't even bond to itself. It all leaks. I was told to do it right the first time. Now I have to take off ceiling panel wall angle, the whole painted drywall wall, cut through top stud (done) and do it right with soldering. The failure of the repair may be partially blamed on the fact that I didn't turn off the pressure at all. I have a reason for that. I can't remember using Devcon Plastic Steel. I have used JB Kwik. Its a JB Weld product. Its also 2 parts in squeeze tubes. But it dries fast (like in 5 minutes like steel). Devcon Plastic Steel takes 2 hours to dry. This may have been the reason for the failure. That and an impossible to turn broken, ridiculously positioned water shut-off valve. If I had it to do it again (only in this specific situation - now I am a real believer in doing it right in most circumstances), I'd again use a type of "plastic steel" - ONLY "JB Quik", available in the automotive dept. I'd shut off the water. Literally 5 minutes or less and it goes from peanut butter to a polished little piece of jade. I have used JB Weld's JB Quik on a cracked engine block with success for weeks! To close a gapping hole in a cracked engine block from spilling pressurized coolant at (outside) engine block temp. Oh ya, and, don't use Kleenex. Cut little strips of tissue paper, and stick them on the joint with tiny pieces of scotch tape. Easier to see a little water than Kleenex - it goes transparent.

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Punch the product button at http://jbweld.net/index.php
I am not telling you not to do a real repair, or to repair at all. In my situation there was the size of the leak, why it leaked, the tightest of spots, with so much to do otherwise, oh, and the water didn't shut off completely at the time. JB Weld is what it claims. I can only assume it would work, but not sure, and don't know duration. Plumbers who say no, probably don't know it - only KWIK. It is to steel what glue and sawdust is to wood.

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As I was just told, there is also compression type fittings. I just got a new ball valve water shut-off with compression type fittings from HD. Inner bore, outer thread, sleeve, nut w/ edge. Do not know if these are Kosher.

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Compression fittings are not to be used in a concealed location, such as in a wall. They have a place, but for regular plumbing repairs, they are for sissies afraid to learn to make a good sweat joint.
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it is not in a wall: please fix me:
My original main water shut-off valve is leaking about 12oz./minute. I purchased a B&K 3/4" Ball Valve with compression fittings which I want to install in a vertical stretch of 3/4" copper tubing JUST AFTER the horizontally mounted Trident Canada/Neptune water meter.
In order to fit the new valve into the " vertical tube run I have bought a wheel-type mini tube cutter. The installed valve will be about 3-7/8" from end to end. I have measured both sides for the distances from the outer edge to the bottoming point (1.404" & 1.272"), and subtracting from the 3-7/8", the valve will displace approximately 1.282" of 3/4" vertical copper tubing, which I have to cut out, after I wash but not sand the outside. This method requires me to disconnect the pipe/tube with elbow at the water meter thread boss "out"-end connection with the nut.
The other method of installing the valve is not to disconnect the pipe/tube at the water meter "out"-end and to cut the gap larger than the calculated 1.282", so I can slip the nuts then sleeves on both end pieces of cut Vert. tubing, and slide on one end of the valve up to the bottoming point, then align and slip on the other end of the valve, and center it all for equal but not bottoming connection on each side. I am not sure how much to cut out in this case w/r/t engagement lengths.
Are the sleeves tight, should I pre-heat them in boiling water to expand them, and make a wooden sliding tool.
To take the pressure off me, I may be able to stop the flow instead of using just buckets/trays rags while Liters flow. I bought a 3/4" galvanized cap in the plumbing dept of HD which seems to have the same thread as the thread on the "out"-end connection of the water meter. I am out of my depth w/r/t the thread types, like NPT vs. NC, but on the meter I viewed 4 threads (5 crests) in 4-1/2 or 4-2/3 sixteenths on a steel rule and a major diameter of 1.044" using a dial caliper, which is an estimated 1"-14, regardless of thread type. The cap I got has a similar visual distance between 5 crests (4-1/2+), and a minor diameter of .934". That's a .110" (1.76/16ths) diff b/t meter's max thread and nut's min thread diameters, and a visual equality of tpi,+/- 0.1/16". Still I am in no way sure if this cap thread is designed to fit the thread on the water housings boss, or even if I SHOULD disconnect the water meter "out"-end connection in the first place, since it may not re-seal correctly or require seals . Also, the HD guy said to use Teflon tape to seal the cap, but what about re-assembly and whether to clean or add Teflon tape, with or w/o seals or fittings. There are no visible signs of tape or dope now on either side of the water meter.
QUESTIONS:
1)How to finish the old 3/4" copper tube cut ends I'll be putting into the valve bores after using the tube cutter. I am not sure about inside burrs breaking away and floating into fittings downstream.
2)Which of my two valve assembly methods to use for sliding the valves' bores onto the tubes' cut ends, and what about ease of sleeve manipulation
3)Will I disconnect/re-connect at the water meters "out" connection and if there are any seals or fittings of any material I need to obtain, and if I can (safely) use a galvanized cap temporarily to stop the leaking water flow, with or without Teflon tape or plumbers dope
4)Is a compression fitting Kosher, especially since its a shut-off valve? I have it because there will be water flowing through if I don't disconnect at the water meter "out"-end connection, and I am a diy'er and not sure of my Vertical soldering anyway
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It's probably OK. If the joint is over the ground under a raised foundation, check for a wet spot in the dirt when you get around to it, but again, it sounds like you're OK. I've had the same problem several times even using Mapp gas, heat was hard to steam away excess water, in a situation under the house where I'm tried to simultaneously hold a piece of drywall as a fire break against burning floor joists, as I also hold the solder and torch. But, eventually, the joints soldered. I've had all these for several years now, admittably much to my own amazement.
About the bread idea--not really so good. I've tried this too, and had crap back up into my faucet screens. Some screens, like the weird little plastic ones in my expensive Grohe masterbath faucets are a real hassle to clean. So, if you use the bread, take off all the fawcett screens and flush completely before considering your work done. If the dissolve pills work, that's great, but normally, I don't keep things like that in stock, so I just want to get the job done. It's best to simply isolate the area with shut-off valves, pull the pipe down to drain to completely, and then if necessary prop the pipe either up or down to keep the excess water away during soldering. I've learned to very careful when determining in which order to solder joints. If I can bench solder everything but that last pain the butt joint, then at least I know I've only got one joint to keep an eye on later.
On Feb 27, 6:46 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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