help on soldering

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Hi,
I start trying to solder brass valve for one of my garden hoses. The problem is that the solder does not drawn into the joint. I follow the instruction on Black & Decker home repair book. Solder melt at the edge of the joint, then drop on the ground, and it does not suck into the joint. I tried a couple of times, no solder ever drawn into the joint and solder stays at the edge of joint, that is it. How am I going to solder it correctly for brass valve? I heated the center of the valve back and forth, nothing happened.
thx
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You cleaned all parts first with emery cloth?
You did use flux?
'Cause it sounds like a no flux issue.

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Jim McLaughlin

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

To me it sounds like it is not clean enough (flux aids in the cleaning) or it is not hot enough, in that order.
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Joseph Meehan

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Sounds like not enough flux or heat one of the two Joseph Meehan wrote:

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both the pipe AND fittings MUST be completely shiney and abslutelty clean, there are inexpensive tools to help do this
then flux both parts assemble and heat FITTINGS not solder!.....
run propane torch at FULL FLAME wide open for max heat and get fittings hot then and only then apply solder.
its attention to details but pretty simple provided you have good access...
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More precisely, flux seals out oxygen which would otherwise react with the brass and form a non-solderable layer of oxide. With a very clean joint (both surfaces), flux, good solder, and adequate heat (use MAPP gas), heat the joint where you want the solder to run. Then apply the solder and wipe off the excess with a damp rag.
Joseph Meehan wrote:

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Stubby wrote:

Thanks for the clarification. I was not sure of it at the time, brain dead again, and I did no bother to look it up.

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Joseph Meehan

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Cleaned the parts to be soldered? Shiny clean. Applied flux? Heating the parts to be soldered? Then apply solder which will flow by capillary action.
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No, not shiny clean, the surface should be roughened a bit like with sandpaper. Then wipe on waterbase flux on all contact areas to be joined. The brass fittings will require a LOT more heat than copper to get what you want done. It's not welding, but it is significantly hotter than simple copper work. Remarkably, the flux will suddenly be drawn in the void between the parts, and you'll know it worked. Be careful not to move the parts when hot, or the solder joint can be broken. Rather, dip in a bucket of water or hose the parts off to quickly cool the finished joint.
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I have seen a plumber fail to heat enough with propane after hours of trying on 1.5" pipe, he did not have map gas.
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Alan wrote:

BS, just roughening it up a bit is a recipe for failure. A pipe joint being soldered does need to be shiny clean. That's what they make those neat little wire brushes for or you can use emery cloth.
Then wipe on waterbase flux on all contact areas to be

Don;t know anyone that plunges soldered joints into cold water either. If that were the case, you'd have a hell of a mess trying to plumb a house!
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Wrong. It needs to be smooth and shiny. Rough surfaces are a recipe for poor joints.

Wrong again -- no requirement that the flux be waterbased.

Nope. The *solder* will suddenly be drawn into the joint...

And wrong yet again. *Never* suddenly cool a hot joint -- that can cause the joint to crack.
Then of course there's the question of how you propose to dip a pipe into a bucket of water...
Better stick to giving advice on topics you actually know something about. Soldering copper pipes is not in that category.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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No, not shiny clean, the surface should be roughened a bit like with sandpaper. CY: I've always done shiny clean.
Then wipe on waterbase flux on all contact areas to be joined. The brass fittings will require a LOT more heat than copper to get what you want done. It's not welding, but it is significantly hotter than simple copper work. CY: Same temp, but it requires much more torch action to get the valve to that temp. So, it's not signifigantly hotter in that it's the same temperature.
Remarkably, the flux will suddenly be drawn in the void between the parts, and you'll know it worked. CY: I apply the flux before the heat. The flux isn't suddenly drawn in. I put the flux there.
Be careful not to move the parts when hot, or the solder joint can be broken. CY: yes,t hat's good advice.
Rather, dip in a bucket of water or hose the parts off to quickly cool the finished joint. CY: I wouldn't want to dip a solder joint in a bucket of water -- that would be moving it. However, I might apply a wet rag to the joint and let the wet rag boil and steam. With most fittings, I just walk away and let it cool on its own. With a valve, it's a good idea to keep the valve cool with a wet rag (small towel). So as not to damage the parts inside the valve. But for couplers or elbows, let em cool slowly on their own.
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Wouldn't you risk cracking the solder and/or deforming the pipe from rapid cooling of the hot joint? Myself, being the MASTER plumber I think I am (honey where's that shutoff again???) would do what you suggest and walk away and let air take care of the rest.

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With an elbow or coupler, it's just copper. On the other hand, a valve has a plastic ball, or a rubber faucet washer. In those case, it's best not to get the valve cooking hot. So the wet rag is more benefit (keeping valve cool) than risk of the solder.
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Christopher A. Young
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The brass valve is probably farily heavy, and the heavier a fitting is, the longer it takes to heat it up sufficiently for solder. Use Mapp gas, not propane. It is much hotter. If you clean your parts, use flux, and mapp gas, and some patience, it will work.
flank
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Thanks everybody for taking time to answer my question. Here is how I did it: First I used torch to heat the copper pipe and tried to remove residue of remaining solder with a clean sock(as damp cloth), then I used emery cloth and the other tool(cleaning tool with wire in it) to clean the pipe joint. I can tell that the copper pipe is shiny after cleaning. I am not sure whether I need to clean the fitting of newly bought brass valve or not, should I? Next I applied the flux only to the copper pipe source, then placed the brass valve. I don't have MAPP gas, only the propane gas. I heated the fitting until I can hear the sizzling sound, then I applied the solder. If I use propane torch, how can I tell that time is right to apply solder or in other word, when the fitting is hot enough to apply solder using propane torch? Can propane torch generate enough heat for solering brass valve? Thx again.
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Thanks everybody for taking time to answer my question. Here is how I did it: First I used torch to heat the copper pipe and tried to remove residue of remaining solder with a clean sock(as damp cloth), then I used emery cloth and the other tool(cleaning tool with wire in it) to clean the pipe joint. I can tell that the copper pipe is shiny after cleaning. CY: Clean is essential.
I am not sure whether I need to clean the fitting of newly bought brass valve or not, should I? CY: yes. They sell brushes for doing this. About three bucks for the brush. Worth every penny. The inside surface of the fitting (valve) absoloutely totally has to be cleaned.
Next I applied the flux only to the copper pipe source, then placed the brass valve. CY: Then let it sit for aobut sixty seconds to let the flux work.
I don't have MAPP gas, only the propane gas. I heated the fitting until I can hear the sizzling sound, then I applied the solder. If I use propane torch, how can I tell that time is right to apply solder or in other word, when the fitting is hot enough to apply solder using propane torch? CY: Put the heat on the near side of the fitting. Curve the solder around, and touch it to the far side of the fitting where it meets the pipe. At the exact moment hwen the solder starts to flow, feed in at least an inch of solder. Any excess should drip out.
Can propane torch generate enough heat for solering brass valve? CY: Should be OK.
Thx again.
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ALWAYS clean the fitting. It does not take long for oxidation to cause a problem. Clean and flux.

Practice. When it is hot enough. just a touch will start the solder melting. Once you've done a lot of joints, it gets easy. Rule of thumb is to use a length of soler equal to the diameter of the tubing. Once hte joint is made, just wife around it wiht a thick rag.
Can propane torch generate enough heat for

Yes, but it will take longer. New solders without lead take more heat than the older versions. Open the valve so it does not get damaged by the heat. Apply the heat to the portion of the valve that the tubing slips into. That will draw the solder once if flows.
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You must clean the both valve and the pipe.
You must flux both the valve and the pipe.
It can be soldered with a propane torch, but it will take longer than using a MAPP gas torch.
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Jim McLaughlin

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