soldering pipes

When you put a new pipe into a new fitting and apply solder, how can you be sure that the solder is bonded properly? You can make sure it looks good on the outside, but that's no guarantee the inside looks just as good. There could be a bare spot inside, making it a weak joint.
Would it be better to apply solder to the pipe and fitting separately, then put them together? I don't think many people do it this way though.
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John wrote:

First parts to be soldered should be CLEAN, and you apply flux, the solder flows by capillary action when heated. Applying solder on each part and put them together? Why don't you try it? I can tell, it's impossible, LOL. Sounds like you never did soldering.
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Yes, tinning the joint can assure better contact, but it is not necessary. There are probably tens of billions of joints done by sweating and they have not failed. You just have to practice. Why add another step after all these years of good copper plumbing?
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Go to HD and get some of their EZ-Sweat fittings. The solder is already inside the fitting forming a perfect ring. Just add flux to your pipe, insert, and heat. Everyone I have used creates a perfect joint every time and it's a lot easier than doing the solder yourself (especially in tight spaces).
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Funny thing. My dad is a plumber and we just sweated a bunch of joints in remodeling our bathrooms. We were were talking about how the fitting with solder in them dont work. When at our local HD, they had all the EZ Sweat fitting marked down for clearance.
Guess that says they sell a lot of them.
Darrell
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I have used them also, found they are not bad especially for difficult locations, but I still add some of my own solder because there just doesn't seem to be enough in the fitting to do the job properly and reliably.

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Ditto.. Glad I had a roll of solder around when I used the ones I had.
On the flip side, I had to ask my wife to bring home a couple 1/2 T's without the pre-solder to do a partial assembly of pipe. She grabbed a couple and a spare out of the bin at HD and proceeded home. Good thing she grabbed a spare. One of the T's was malformed and you could 'just' see some daylight through the back of the T. That wouldn't have been a pretty sight. Went back to HD a couple days later and found a couple more bad ones in the bin. QC must have been taking a nap on that shift.
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The flux I have has a small amount of solder in it, so in effect it does exactly that. You still have to apply more solder, but it gets the process started.
Cleaning both fittings, and fluxing is key to a good joint. Any failures I've had have traced back to bad cleaning.
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wrote:

I learned to sweat pipe 35 years ago and cna count the bad joints I ve done on 1 hand. All were due to not cleaning and/or proper fluxing of the joint. Invest in a few pieces of pipe and a few joints and get a little practice. Its not hard.
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Make sure you clean the joints good with solder. If you are doing a lot of fittings, invest in a fitting brush. It will make cleaning the inside joints easier. Get a good flux and solder. If using a DIY torch, get the MAPP torches and make sure you get the joints hot before applying the solder.
If you haven't, do some searches on sweating joints. They will have better instructions that I can give.
Darrell

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them, but it just isn't worth the aggravation. A soldered joint is many times stronger than it has to be, so a bare spot inside won't matter as long as it doesn't leak.
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What's your point? Clean and flux, heat slowly, add solder. Check with a flash light and miror around the joint. I've not had any problems with fittings that were silver all around.
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Christopher A. Young
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