soldering a ball valve

Absolutely right. If you solder them with the valve open, they won't seal tight when closed.
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I've soldered thousands of them open and closed never use a wet rag around them unless I'm brazing "close" to them The biggest problem I've encountered is lose packing nuts causing a drip. One time the quality of the valves was so bad we tightened all the packing before installing them.
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"

I have to agree with you, as I have soldered hundreds both closed and open, and without a wet rag..... I just thought I'd pass on what the valve company says about the closed part....if a person has done a lot of plumbing, they know how to get it done quickly, as a less experienced person may tend to keep the torch on for 5 minutes, and really warp things badly

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wrote:

I've found the torch used is the biggest factor. Air Acelylene is best (pro plumber's torch) but a BernzoMatic HiSwirl "turbo torch" on MAPP is an awful close second. Don't even attempt it with a straight mixer torch on propane. (not enough heat - takes too long)
Just did the 3/4 inch entrance shut-off in 10 minutes (old one off, new one on) yesterday when the city came to change the meter.
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I know for a fact my brazing/soldering skills SUCK.
When I wanted to insert a shut off valve I just got one with 3/4" compression fittings.
Another handy tool is a shut off wrench that can cut your water off at the water meter. Our county water department doesn't have a problem with customers shutting off thier own water.
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On Fri, 13 Feb 2009 15:30:24 -0500, "John Gilmer"

Except the water shutoff is at the street -an undeground "hydrant" valve which belongs to the city - everything from there in belongs to the homeowner - and if that 1/4 turn valve braks when YOU turn it - YOU pay the city workers to fix it. If they break it, they fix it.
As for the compression fittings, I don't like them. They always seam to seep, and you get white/green corrosion at the joints over time. (but they are definitely better than a bad solder job).
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I soldered several of them with the valve open. None have leaked, but I did use a wet rag, propane torch.
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