Do you need to (and can you) disassemble quarter turn ball valves in order to
safely solder them into the piping? I picked up a 1/2" valve at Home Depot.
Was told there that you don't need to disassemble them. Looking through the
ends it looks like there is a plastic seal that might be affected by
soldering. However, based on advice I soldered one into place. It does not
shut off properly with a small leak through it. I expect the heat of
soldering damaged the plastic seats.
Did I just pick up a real cheap valve that should not be soldered in? Are
there ball valves with seats of materials like bronze that can be soldered in
place? If I have to I think I can set up of the joint soldering sequence so
that the valve is disassembled, one end soldered to the fixed pipe, the other
end soldered to a length of copper, the valve assembled and threaded together,
then the far end of the copper pipe soldered safely away from the valve.
Yes, you can remove the valve stem.
I do that all the time, and not only the packing, but the
neoprene washer will be be protected from the heat.
Unseat the valve about 1/2 way (like you're turning on the water), then
unscrew the large hex cap until it's free of the body. The whole thing will
then unscrew out of the body.
When you put it back together, use just enough torque on the hex cap to stop
the water from leaking. Overtightening
will just make the packing wear out more quickly.
Thanks for the suggestion but I prefer the security of a good soldered
connection on permanent supply piping.
Thanks to you too. However, I think you are describing a globe valve (like
for your outdoor hose connector). You don't lift a ball valve off it's seat.
It pivots within the body. Yes, for a globe valve, removing the stem and the
sealing washer is standard procedure. It seems a bit trickier to disassemble
a ball valve.
Magic.....Or maybe they put in a small ball and fed it until it grew up.
Seriously, what you have to do is use a wet rag wrapped over most of the
valve, exposing just the part you need to heat to soldering temperature.
Use a large flame so you can heat the joint quickly, and as soon as the
solder looks like it's solidified, wrap another wet rag around the part
you just soldered. That'll do it.
Ditto what Jeff said. Wet rag and a hot flame. Angle the flame away from
the valve. I used MAPP for the first time a few weeks ago. Made quick
work of soldering valves and not one was damaged.
This is definitely a risk. Wrapping the center in soggy rags, and a quick
solder with a hot torch, are your best shot, if you absolutely can't
disassemble and reassemble the polymer components.
I wouldn't rely on technical advice from Home Depot aisle clerks.
I don't think you can do that, but have never tried.
HD sells a ball valve on which the ends come off to be soldered to the
pipes. Then you assemble the whole thing like a big union. I put one on my
main water pipe two years ago and it hasn't leaked yet! Not cheap, but
I can't even count how many Ball Valves I've Soldered. Now if you bought
the ones the body comes apart with four bolts you might want to take them
apart or better yet buy the solid ones. You can also buy threaded ones just
solider an MIP on the end of a piece copper. Then use couplings to install
Thanks all for the feedback. I had searched for this subject but maybe had
entered too many terms. Searched again and found the other thread. Between
that one and this I think I have determined what I did wrong.
1) No wet rag to absorb heat in the body of the valve.
2) I think the tank on my propane torch is going empty and my flame was weak.
3) Pipe was drained but I may have had some drops trickle towards the valve.
Need to use a little bread upstream to block and absorb any drips.
4) I had the valve in the closed position. This is the point where the handle
is most out of the way for soldering both ends, but being closed may have
So I'm off to buy another valve and a MAPP torch for a hotter flame. While
I'm at it a backing cloth. Used some heavy duty aluminumf foil last time
which worked OK. I think I can come up with the wet rag around here ;).
This time, I'll solder with the valve open and temporarily remove the handle
to keep it out of the way.
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