Is sweating copper with electric soldering gun feasible?

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Greetings. I know a torch would be best for this job, but the problem joint is a sillcock very badly positioned for a torch. Is is very close to the floor joist and the floor above (about 1" max for both) and recessed far from the inside wall which is a full 2x4 stud wall inside a concrete foundation. I would almost have to hold the torch by the very bottom of the bottle to reach it. I worry even about turning this over to a pro, but winter's coming and now the sillcock is just capped off at the spigot. What are my options here? Thanks for reading.
--
Peder (Please reply to group only, email invalid)

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You can't possibly supply enough heat with an electric soldering gun.
Options would seem to be:
a) Buy a soldering blanket to protect the wood framing from the torch flame. Any plumbing supply store would have them. Don't bother looking at home centers like Lowe's or Home Depot. They don't have them. (Been there, done that, just last month.)
b) Hire a pro.
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I bought my blanket at the big orange store.
wrote:

to
but
flame.
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You obviously didn't look hard enough Mr. been there done that. Both orange and blue stores carry the flame retardant cloths in their plumbing depts.
wrote:

to
but
flame.
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Fine -- you come to Indianapolis and point them out to me. At Home Depot, they didn't even know what I was talking about. The guy in the plumbing department at Lowe's knew what they were, and confidently assured me they were in the tool department with the welding equipment. They weren't.
How about you posting the HD and Lowe's stock numbers for those items, wise guy?
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote in message wrote:

Does the OP mean an electric soldering iron? or some kind of hot-air blower? Either way, if he does improbably find one capable of soldering pipe, it will pose as great a risk to his joists and floor as a torch. Heat is heat.
A pro knows how to solder quickly (with a hotter torch), and has (should have) insulating blankets etc. Though of course, they aren't his joists, if you catch my drift.
If you want to keep this a d-i-y project, I'd vote for cutting the pipe to make the solder joint elsewhere, if possible, as has been suggested. In this case, cut the pipe well inside the house where it is accessible, pull the sillcock and stub of pipe out of the house, solder a new stub onto it on a workbench, and re-insert it to meet the pipe where it was cut, and where it is more convenient to solder. (And if I'm reading this right, it might help to toss the old sillcock and replace it with one with a longer shaft. A good excuse to get one of the new ones with built-in vacuum break.)
Chip C
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I have never tried it, but I can't believe a gun puts out enough heat.
I have used epoxy where I didn't didn't dare take a torch. Two years later the joints are fine. (bought it at Lowes).
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Peder wrote:

No you won't get it hot enuf with a gun. There are highly specialized elec heating tools for this, but let's not go there...
I don't have a clear picture of the space, but creating a heat barrier is one option. Bend up old sheet metal to fit over the joint/pipe so it blocks the flame from the wood. Take a spray bottle and wet down all nearby wood; that's very effective.
If possible in the situation, cut the pipe back further, then remove the sill cock and solder an extension on it. Dunno if that's clear, but I'm suggesting move the place where actual soldering has to be done to a more accessible spot.
Maybe the epoxies intended for copper fitting joining would work in your case without any soldering. HD has it.
Jim
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Gun won't provide enough heat. Consider buying a torch that has the nozzle connected to the tank via a 3 foot hose. This allows the gas bottle to remain upright while the torch (and user) may be inverted.

to
but
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Peder wrote:

1. If your worry is about the wood overheating and catching fire, don't worry. I may get hot, it may even catch fire, but if you are ready with a little water to put it out after you finish the joint, you will find that you only charred a small amount of wood. It takes a long time to structurally effect a 2x4 with fire. Soaking the wood before hand will eliminate most of the problem.
"Blankets" are made to protect what you don't want to get hot. And despite some peoples experience I have seen them in the Big box stores. Maybe not all of them all the time.
Another approach that might work would be to cut the pipe off in a more accessible location and build the parts that are not now assessable and then you will only need to solder the one last fitting and it will be easier to get to.
Good Luck
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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don't
I'd still be very careful. A plumber working on a bathroom fixture in a relative's house a few years back caused a fire that burned their house to the ground. He was an experienced plumber. I'd feel much safer using the blanket.

more
then
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close
recessed
concrete
of
pro,
a
that
it's happened at least twice in my area in the last year, with multimillion dollar mansions involved.

to
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wrote:

I personally know of two cases in older homes where it was the paper backing on ancient insulation up inside the wall that caught fire. That situation can be very difficult to deal with. In both cases, the homeowner had quick access to a garden hose, but was unable to do anything other than slow the spread a little while waiting for the F.D.
BB
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BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

All three of you have noted some good points. My suggestion should not have been offered when I don't know the ability of the user. While I personally would feel safe, unless I observed a potential hazard I could not mitigate, I should not have assumed someone else would recognized the additional hazards noted.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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This is generally because people trying to put out fires in their house aren't usually willing to wreck the wall in the process, and that's what's needed.
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Thanks for everyone's quick and informative responses. I think pro is the way to go and they would probably have the soldering blanket suggested (and some insurance), too. Sometimes I guess you just gotta pay. Thanks again.
--
Peder (Please reply to group only, email invalid)

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to
but
What this guy said is the way to go: -------------------------------------------- If possible in the situation, cut the pipe back further, then remove the sill cock and solder an extension on it. Dunno if that's clear, but I'm suggesting move the place where actual soldering has to be done to a more accessible spot ----------------------------------------------- If you call in a pro, this is probably what they will recommend, since it is less work for them, and less likely to cause a callback. And like another guy said, a good excuse to upgrade to a modern freeze-proof sillcock with the anti-siphon thing built in. Only downside is that you will need to reseal opening in outside wall, with foam or mortar or whatever is appropriate.
aem sends....
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Being a plumber for many years, I never found a spot I could not sweat with a torch. I never had a fire either. However I did always keep a small pail of water handy and the wood did char in some places. Then I'd just douse it. I did carry a 8 inch square of asbestos, but rarely used it. I doubt you will find asbestos these days.
However, you are not a plumber and it will probably take you longer and thus get the wood burning more. Here are a few options. Install a union further downline. Pre make the whole assembly to the sillcock. In other words put all the pieces together where they will go. Then take it all to the cement floor or outdoors and solder it. After it cools, put the whole thing up where it belongs and tighten the union. You're done.....
If for some reason you can not fit the completed section into the joists, your other option would be to use soft flex copper tubing and compression fittings. That would only require one solder joint, which would be where the first compression fitting would attach to the pipe. Put it in a safe area away from all the wood.
If your house burns, remember it's your own fault and you got no one to blame except yourself.
PS one last comment. You need a torch that has a hose between the tank and head. Not a solid head that goes right on the tank.

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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote in

Thanks for your reply. I had considered hiring this out, but I think I have found a way to do it. Right now there are 2 outside water lines in my house, front and back, running parallel in the basement. The problem line is covered by the top plate of the finished interior basement wall and is virtually inaccessible. I think I will saw through that line below the outside sipgot and also cut it where it tee's from the main and cap it there. Then I will tee into the parallel line on the other side of the basement (about 20 ft away), which is far more accessible. Then I can build sub assemblies and hang it up. How's that?
Then again...what would you as a pro charge to just solder the new outside spigot on?
Thanks again for your reply.
--
Peder (Please reply to group only, email invalid)

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Sounds like you got a plan, but as far as the charge....... I cant give you a real accurate reply, not knowing where you live. I can only say that I have been retired for 6 years now, so prices have probably gone up. I was working in a metropolitan area in Wisconsin. My company was charging $40 per hour (non-emergency). There was a one hour minimum, and you were billed from the time we left the shop. If you were not within a five mile radius, there would be an additional travel charge, based on milage. (which was normally in the $10 to $20 range, unless you were out in the boonies). This did not include materials. If you furnised your own, then we used them IF they met code and were the correct parts.
So, based on that, the actual time to solder a few joints was generally less than an hour, and in some cases only minutes. But the travel can be slow in the cities, and that adds up quickly, plus either way you pay for at least one hour.
So, IF prices are similar in your area, figure at least one hour, but possibly more. Consider that some places may not use your materials, and consider if you have the proper parts and how much fitting you did yourself, and whether its correct. Plus some plumbers might charge you just to use their torch fuel. (we didn't).
I'll go out on a limb and tell you to find the current per hour rate in your area. Figure 2 hours total for the job, and DO NOT say it;s an emergency or it will double. Ask about travel charges and any other costs. Some plumbers I knew charged a minimum fee, no matter how long or short the job took. My company was pretty reasonable with our fees, and we had more work than we could handle most of the time.
Hope this gives you some idea.
Mark
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