Sweating Shut-Off Valve

I am having a problem sweating a quarter turn shut-off valve for a bathroom sink. It seems that since the valve is such a large chunk of brass it takes a lot of heat to get it hot enough to melt the solder. The valve gets damaged from the heat and then leaks. Since this is a ball valve there is nothing I can take apart before I heat it. Thanks for any advice you can give me. Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Normally you unscrew the valve assembly (and pull it out) BEFORE you sweat the valve on - then replace when it cools. The assembly unscrews at the base of the screw.
best mjb920 wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not with a ball valve. Wtih those, you want to make sure the valve is OPEN before sweating.
-Tim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mjb920 wrote:

That is why I use compression fittings on shutoff valves. Easy to install, years of service, and when they finally fail, you can just loosen the nut and screw another valve onto it.
But, to your question. Get a small towel soaking wet, open the ball valve and then wrap the part of the valve that is away from the solder socket with the wet towel. Make sure you use Mapp gas for soldering and apply heat to just the end of the socket (where the tubing enters).
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

to act as a heat sink.
Of course, you can always glue it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Or whenever possible solder on a screw connection and use a screw on type valve of it's at an endpoint like your sink in question.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for all the advice - Mapp, wet rag, heat sink. I e-mailed the valve manufacturer and they said to use nothing but propane and to heat the pipe and not the fitting. That didn't sound right.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mjb920 wrote:

Mapp gas is not that different from propane other than it burns hotter, allowing you to heat up the valve faster. They mean that you should not use an oxygen acetylene torch. As for heating the pipe, I started to mention that before, but didn't want you to get the wrong idea. Usually I will heat only the valve and let the transferred heat warm up the pipe, since the copper will heat up faster. In this case, I do heat the pipe, but only in addition to the valve. I point my torch at the point where the pipe and valve intersect in an attempt to get both pipe and valve heated quickly. The pipe being heated will transfer the heat to the inside surface of the valve socket (copper being a great conductor of heat). Apply the solder and remove the heat as fast as possible. This is where experience really comes into play. Heat it up just enough for the solder to flow, but not enough to damage the valve. It is tricky.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It works, though. That's what I do, warm the fitting, and then heat the pipe. YOu can't spend a lot of time screwing around with it once you start, though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Slightly off-topic, and maybe stupid, but is it possible to overheat the copper pipe itself with either propane or MAPP? It seems to discolor with prolonged heating.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

except lack of cleanliness. For successful soldering: clean both surfaces thoroughly, flux, heat rapidly just until solder melts thoroughly, apply solder, cool. A torch flame can easily overheat part of the joint without the rest being hot enough and practice helps a lot. A good job is usually a quick job.
Don Young
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mjb920 wrote:

The discoloration is harmless oxidation. The colors result not from actual color change to the metal, but from light being bent within the thickness of the oxide layer.
To avoid burning metal when soldering, speed is of the essence. Use the hottest flame practicable -- here, meaning your trusty MAPP torch -- on CLEAN metal. I've used these to silver solder (jeweler's 50/50 silver/copper) bottle bosses onto heavy gauge Schwinn-quality steel bike frames. Takes about a minute to heat the joint glowing red hot, hot enough to make the silver flow.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
OP should PRACTICE sweating a ball valve to the pipe a couple times before doing it in place. add couplers if you want for garden hose test.
a little practice helps immensely
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Practice is the whole secret.
Crack a valve somewhere along the line to vent expanding hot air somewhere _other_ than the joint at hand. Make sure the pipe end being sweated is drained, or you'll never get the joint above 212F.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
OP should PRACTICE sweating a ball valve to the pipe a couple times before doing it in place. add couplers if you want for garden hose test.
a little practice helps immensely
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.