My own experience is that I got a rough "lava rock" type look to the
solder when I had insufficient heat. My first soldering attempts were
made with a 6" long butane torch and it took about 5 minutes to heat
the joint sufficiently. Then after I dropped a pipe wrench on my
torch I couldn't get a decent looking joint at all. The solder would
tend to kind of glob on.
I got a new mapp gas torch and it made a huge difference, only about
30 seconds to heat the joint sufficiently and the solder would wick
right in. I noticed that you said in an earlier message that you
remove the heat when you start applying the solder. This could allow
the temperature of the copper pipes to fall and lead to the rough
finish you're observing. (Copper is an excellent conductor of heat so
if you remove the torch I'd expect the temperature to fall fairly
quickly as the heat spreads out down the pipe.) I continue to apply
heat towards the inside of the joint until the solder wicks.
-- one end of the pipe is open to the air, right?
I was soldering a cap onto a pipe and I took a little too long to
apply the solder. The cap shot across the basement and melted the rug
where it landed.
On Oct 23, 12:13 pm, email@example.com wrote:
I had a similar problem a few years back and I was finally able to get
the joint to solder after I bought a new can of flux. Maybe the flux
went bad or something settled in the can from the heat in the shed but
new flux fixed it for me. YMMV
Take a file to the pipe to get the rest of the solder off or reheat it and
use a soldier wick to suck it off. You can get wicks in HD or somewhere
similar. A round file worked without alot of pressure should be fine also.
Most leaks are caused by the copper pipe not being hot enough when you
apply the solder. Otherwise not enough flux. Make sure you clean the ends
with sandpaper before applying any flux or solder.
Thanks to all who replied. I got it last night! Yeah!
I wish I could say for sure what the problem was, but I ended up doing
pretty much everything that was recommended in one shot, so not sure
what really helped the most. I think part of the problem, and why I
had to try so many times, was that after it was leaking the first
time, I was probably trying to hard on all of the next attempts
assuming that something was wrong. In the end, I just said to myself,
"The other fittings went on fine, so stop trying so hard and just give
it one more shot, just pretend it is the first time your doing this
one, and that it was never leaking."... I just went back to basics,
and didn't try too hard, and it worked. Plus I opened the faucet,
used sand paper, bread, and several other tips as well, so was
probably a combination of everything.
p.s.-Could have been the fishing gods helping me out as well, because
of the 1 day delay, it could time out that I'll be waiting for
waterproofer to dry on Saturday instead of Friday, so maybe I'll get
to go fishing after all =]
On Oct 24, 11:26 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I haven't checked this Group in a few days so I'm coming at this
I had a similar problem with repairing 1 small horizontal section of
pipe. I just couldn't get the solder to flow. I ended up with gobs
of solder dripping on the floor. Cleaning and fluxing over and over
didn't help. It was frustrating as hell. The problem was that water
was still slowly dripping through the system and collecting in this
perfectly horizontal piece of pipe. The torch was heating the water,
not the pipe! The solution was to cut vertically at the nearest
elbow (letting the water drip into a bucket), repair the horizontal
piece with a new elbow, THEN solder that to the vertical piece.
Bottom line lesson for me...water is a great insulator and you can't
solder with even a small amout of water sitting in the pipe.
Actually, the reason you can't solder with even a small amount of water
sitting in the pipe is that water is a *terrible* insulator -- but it's very
effective at transferring heat away from the spot that you're trying to heat.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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