sweat joints

i'm installing taps up and down. first set i put in i had to, of course, solder in an area that was cut and wet after i shut down the main water and let the water drain down the system before my fist cut. to allow for the solder to melt i had to dry the pipe and i stuffed some bread in there and it worked great (small amount of bread). this became a pain when i turned on the faucets and spent the next 1/2 hour getting the particles of bread out of the faucets to allow for the water to properly run. is there another way around this without using the bread for the next set of taps? there are no shut off valves in the old lines but being a good lad i'm putting them in on the new.
if for some reason i put too much bread in what is the proper amount?
appreciate any tips.
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You shouldn't have to go to such heroic measures unless your main valve leaks. Even then, unless the specific pipes you are working on are the lowest ones in the system, it shouldn't be necessary (just open the lowest valve to let the water drain off.) Maybe i am missing something here....
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Yep, most people stuff too much bread in there. It helps to know that it will get soggy in time and flush out easily. If you have the time, let it set a couple of hours and it should come right out. Exception: A friend of mine stuffed a half loaf up a half inch pipe. Took three days to get the bread out.
Bob

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I believe there was a comment about this practise in Fine Homebuilding several issues back.
For some reason the plumber's "helper" thought that the plumbing would appreciate _healthy_ bread. And used dark/heavy multigrain whole wheat.
They ended up having to rip out some of the faucets... ;-)
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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If you have an air compressor or air tank you can blow the water out before soldering.
Don Young

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I bought but never used some "capsules" made for that purpose.
They are gelatin capsules that look like the ones in Mrs. Grass's noodle soup for those who are over 50 and remember.
If you don't remember, picture a BIG vitamin E capsule. They are made in and 3/4 inch sizes.
Stuff it in the pipe and do the job. When done, heat that area with a torch and it dissolves.
If Depot or Lowes doesn't have it, go to plumbing supply.
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On 4 May 2004 16:48:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@nf.sympatico.ca (Fogbank) wrote:

Tell us more about your piping system. Is your house one story or two? Do you have a crawl space under it or is it on a slab? You definitely need to get the water out of the line you are trying to sweat a joint in! I learned the hard way that if water is in the line you will just burn that copper pipe up with your heat torch trying to sweat a joint. Can you get an air tank from someone and put some pressure on the line to blow the water out in the sink or the bathtub?
Go back down the line from the point where you want to sweat the joint and open it up to let the water drain out. Do you have well water or city water? Either go out to the water meter box or your well pump house and turn the water supply to the house off. If you have city water, you can cut the valve off and then disconnect the water meter and take it out, then all the water from the house will drain back out the line. I never could understand why a plumber doesn't put cut off valves in the water line where it goes into a house.
Bill
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You don't need to take the water meter out. Just loosen the connection to the house and the water will drain.
Why doesn't a plumber put in a cut-off valve? It might cost him $1.
RB
Bill wrote:

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