Soldering in a brass ball valve.

I need to tap in on the main water supply lines for a new bathroom and decided to install two brass ball valves (leading to the new bathroom) to make appliance installations easier. My 3/4" ball valves are r858 150 WSP 600 WOG made by Mueller Industries B&K. My question is about the inner parts that may be damaged by a propane torch. I've seen plumbers who do not remove the inner parts of a ball valve, but I've read somewhere that the stem should be removed before soldering to prevent any heat damage.
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wrote:

Make sure there is no moisture in the pipes, and use a MAPP torch, which burns a bit hotter than a propane torch. You don't need to remove anything, just don't heat it longer than needed to flow solder in the joints. If the pipes are dry, that will not be a problem.
ps. Don't try using a MAPP gas cylinder on a propane torch that was not designed for the higher temps of MAPP.
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On Nov 20, 10:51 am, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I'll agree on the MAPP gas suggestion, but I'll ask this question:
If this type of plumbing is a one-off project and you really won't need a MAPP-rated torch, is it cost effective to purchase a tool that may never get used again as opposed to removing a couple of stems and not having to worry about damaging them?
This goes double if you aren't as comfortable sweating the fittings as a professional might be. A few extra minutes of work for the peace of mind of knowing you won't damage the fittings might be worth it.
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On Thu, 20 Nov 2008 08:13:12 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

If you are too clumsy to do it with the parts in, you may ruin the casting anyway by heating it to the point where it distorts. I'm also not at all sure that you can remove and replace all the vulnerable seals without creating leaks.
A new torch that will work with MAPP is not a major expense in the scheme of things. When compared to the cost of having someone else do this job, it's downright trivial, even if you never use it again. I'm betting any homeowner will use it more than once in their lifetime. We are talking about what... $30?
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snipped-for-privacy@eznet.net (DerbyDad03) writes: | On Nov 20, 10:51 am, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:
| > wrote: | > | > >I need to tap in on the main water supply lines for a new bathroom and | > >decided to install two brass ball valves (leading to the new bathroom) | > >to make appliance installations easier.   My 3/4" ball valves are | > >r858 150 WSP 600 WOG made by Mueller Industries B&K.  My question is | > >about the inner parts that may be damaged by a propane torch.    I'v| e | > >seen plumbers who do not remove the inner parts of a ball valve, but | > >I've read somewhere that the stem should be removed before soldering | > >to prevent any heat damage. | > | > Make sure there is no moisture in the pipes, and use a MAPP torch, | > which burns a bit hotter than a propane torch. You don't need to | > remove anything, just don't heat it longer than needed to flow solder | > in the joints. If the pipes are dry, that will not be a problem. | > | > ps. Don't try using a MAPP gas cylinder on a propane torch that was | > not designed for the higher temps of MAPP. | | I'll agree on the MAPP gas suggestion, but I'll ask this question: | | If this type of plumbing is a one-off project and you really won't | need a MAPP-rated torch, is it cost effective to purchase a tool that | may never get used again as opposed to removing a couple of stems and | not having to worry about damaging them?
Many (most?) ball valves cannot be disassembled, nor can they later be repaired. You might want to look at the Apollo/Conbraco Pipe Master product which effectively has a union at each end and uses adapters to connect to most popular pipe systems. Not only do you not have to heat the valve but you can later replace the whole body if necessary.
I've had a lot of licensed-plumber-installed ball valves fail. I don't know whether they were damaged by heat or the seals were scored by the horrible debris that comes when they flush our ancient street pipes, but either way this product seems like a win.
One thing to watch: although both the 3/4" and 1/2" versions claim to be full-flow, the 1/2" version looks a bit smaller than a typical full- flow ball valve. The 3/4" version is fine.
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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If I were doing this job, I would use a valve with female threads and 2 male adapters. I'd sweat one m/a to one of the pipes, install the valve, sweat a piece of pipe about a foot or so, if space permits, to the other m/a, then screw it to the valve, and lastly hook that piece of copper to the rest of the system. That way there is no chance of messing up the valve. Of course the main reason I would do it that way is that I only use silver solder. Besides not liking / trusting soft solder, after more years than I'd like to admit in the a/c /ref trade using silver solder and almost no experience with soft solder, I always have the stuff handy to SS. But regardless of which solder it usually seems easier to me to sweat copper-copper than copper-brass. YMMV Good luck Larry
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On Nov 20, 8:28 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Lp1331 1p1331) wrote:

Per Larry's comments...silver solder is way better than soft solder but in 40+ years using soft solder, I've had a long term solder failure (even in buried locations, where SS is often required & "should" be used)
MAPP gas is way to go.....I have found it much faster than propane torch, so much that with practice & a deft touch, the valve "proper" will barely get hot. Wrap the center section of the valve with a moist rag & go for it.
Larry's comment about copper-copper vs copper-brass has been my experience as well....the heat transfer coefficent of brass is only 25% that of copper, so brass fittings & valve bodies spread the heat more slowly.
cheers Bob
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I forgot on my last post, to remind the guy with the valve to wrap the valve in a wet rag before heating. Helps keep the innerds from cooking too badly.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I use something called Cool Gel. You spray it on the valves and it protects them from the heat.
http://www.laco.com/products141.aspx
TDD
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BobK207 wrote:

I was in one of the HVAC supply houses a few days ago when something caught my eye. I picked up a bottle of copper glue. The instructions on the bottle indicated that it is used in much the same way you would use PVC cement but it's for copper. I thought it might be an April Fools joke but it was for real. I haven't tried it yet but I suppose I'll have to.
http://www.justforcopper.com/JFCPro.htm
TDD
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On Fri, 21 Nov 2008 01:36:31 -0600, The Daring Dufas

It's one thing if a pipe develops a small leak, it's quite another if a joint FAILS. Soldering penetrates the porous surface of the copper and locks it together. A good solder joint will outlast the pipes it connects. How long will "glue" last under pressure? Not in my house!
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

The price of 15% silver solder which is what I use the most for HVAC and refrigeration work has doubled in price. I wish there was a glue I could trust as much as PVC cement but for copper. It would save me a lot of time and time is money.
TDD
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On Fri, 21 Nov 2008 12:21:28 -0600, The Daring Dufas

PVC cement is really a solvent that partially melts the pvc and then allows it to harden again after the melted plastic co-mingles and it fuses. It is not a "glue" or adhesive in the ordinary sense.
If ti9me is money, evaluate how much"money" it will cost your business to fix failed joints for free, and also repair your reputation. A bad reputation will reduce the amount of money your time is really worth dramatically.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

"I wish there was a glue I could trust...."
GEEZ!
TDD
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My former boss loves Sterling Taramet solder. Works a lot like Stabrite, and seems to make water tight fittings. The one time my lead in pipe leaked, under the trailer. Half inch soft copper. I did try compression fittings. Learned not to sandscreen the tubing before apply compressio fittings. Sigh. Ended up using couplers from Johnstone, and stick braze it all together. You do what works, eh?
--
Christopher A. Young
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I'm with you on this one.
I had to put in a 3/4-inch stop-and-waste ball valve just after the water meter on a house I bought because the old valve before the water meter couldn't be shut off completely. So, I needed a reliable shut-off so I could do work in other parts of the house. I guess I did almost everything wrong that a person could do. I did disconnect the water meter so the area I was working on was completely dry. I started with a regular propane torch but that took forever and the solder melted but it kept looking like a cold solder. Got done, connected it up, and of course it leaked. Did the whole thing again using MAPP gas but didn't know I needed a different type of nozzle on the MAPP gas. This time, I heard a huge POW! while heating the pipe. It was some kind of rubber gasket in the ball valve that blew out. Did the whole thing again with a new ball valve and -- thinking I was smart -- I cut the copper pipe off above the valve, took the whole assembly to a place where I could solder everything with the pipe horizontal, then connected everything back up and used a union to solder the pipe back in place where I had cut it off. That, by some miracle, worked.
Then, after all of that, it dawned on me that all I needed to do was do what you had suggested -- just use a ball valve with female threads, cut a section of pipe out, solder male threaded adapters to the pipe, screw the male adapters into the female threads in the valve, then solder the ends of the pipe back in place using two unions. That would have meant no heat on the valve at all, and no trying to solder copper to brass. DUH.

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Phisherman wrote:

If you use a propane torch it will take too long to get the valve hot enough to flow solder and you may damage the valve. Leave the valve open, make sure that it is dry, and get in and out quickly. I prefer an acetylene torch.
Boden
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although a common misconception, the valve should be left closed for soldering..........

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news wrote:

I used to think that this was the best way too. I reasoned that if the polymer seals were to flow I'd rather have them do so into the closed configuration. You may be correct, but lately I've had better luck with open valves than closed valves but my "experiments" are not well designed scientific experiments. Experience however has shown that the most important thing by far is to use a hot enough, and big enough torch (acetylene) to do the job quickly.
Boden

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