Soldering part two & tiling question.

I've had a bit more practise at this soldering malarky. Ok on all the easy bits like the cleaning the parts, fluxing etc. but can't get the hang of how quick or long to heat the bits and when/where to apply the solder? Any pointers would be appreciated.
From what I've done I think the joints are ok just not very nice looking on the whole. Think the crappy burner might not be helping (Screwfixes cheapest one with the top/burner and throwaway cannister arrangement). Seems ok but not sure if it's a good enough flame.
I've connected the contraption I made up at random to a water supply and to my dismay it didn't leak at all...
http://uk.photos.yahoo.com/marknicesenior
Back at the bathroom tiling I've reached the doorway but can't remember where the door surround trim was having removed it all months ago. Does it go over the frame onto the wall or stop at the edge of the frame or is it personal choice. ie. I don't want to cut the tiles too long/short.
Mark S.
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not sure if it's a good enough flame.<
I use BernzOmatic ul100 solid brass torch kit fine for all 15mm + 22mm soldering work.
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wrote:

Your flame width should be roughly the same size as the joint you are soldering (for 15mm fittings anyhow). It needs to be a blue flame, not yellow, and you touch the inner bright blue part of the flame against the female part of the joint. It pays to play the flame around the joint just a little, rather than focus entirely on one spot.
Solder is applied at the joint where the male enters the female (oo-err-missus!). The solder will run wherever there is flux, so make sure you limit your flux to just be exposed from the joint. And flux should be applied sparingly!
The right temperature is reached when the end of your solder melts freely when dabbed against the joint. It should flow into and around the joint. There's no precise timing to this - experience will tell you when it's right. You don't put much solder on the joint - just enough to form a light silver collar around the joint - some will be sucked into the joint via the flux.
Once you have a solder ring around the joint take the flame away and let the joint cool down. Do NOT run water into the pipework until that has cooled down naturally - it will deform the joint. You can blow gently on the joint if you wish, though that wouldn't have much effect.

The burner isn't usually a big source of errors, unless it really does produce the wrong size or sort of flame. Generally speaking a crappy burner will work fine in the right hands (I'll probably get flamed for saying so - pun intended!).

That last photograph - pipe03---1: Run that water circuit past me again? I'm sure I'm missing something ;)

Your choice I should think.
PoP
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On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 22:17:44 +0100, PoP

I just soldered bits together until I got fed up, let it all cool down then connected it to the feed from my old water tank to check for leaks. ie. the big cold water tank in the loft I let fill up for test purposes then connected my test piece to it downstairs so it was under pressure.
Many thanks for the tips. Bit less flux smeared about I think might help me a lot, I'll have a practise tomorrow.
Mark S.
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Try taking the joints apart to see how effectively the solder has covered the surface, this will give you an idea how effective your preparation is.
Try not to do what I must have done - carefully prepare one tee, then pick up another and use it - leaky joint, on disembrangling solder was found almost nowhere.
I try to get the heat right by using the wire solder I use to top up the joint, even if there is no need for it.
I give the joint a blast, and try my wire solder on it, if it doesn't rum I give it a bit more, until it does.
Of course if you just watch the joint you should see the solder ring at the end, but it is sometimes a bit difficult. Overheating is a problem, oxidation will occur, prolly the flux will burn, so you're trying to get it hotenough fairly fast
mike r
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You seem to have got the hang of it judging by pipe03. In addition to others advice, here's a bit more...
Since the pipe has a much larger mass to heat than the fitting, you should heat the pipe first, and when up to temperature move the flame onto the coupling. It won't need much heat as conduction from the pipe will have it almost hot enough already. "Hot enough" is when you can melt the solder wire by touching it on the hot copper, but not actually in the flame. If the flame goes green, that is much too hot, and will probably make a bad joint.
To solder one end of a coupling to one pipe whilst keeping a free end of the coupling unsoldered, try this... Take a well oxidised pipe offcut with no flux on it, and don't clean or flux the end of the fitting you want to preserve. Put the offcut into the fitting as a cold sink, and solder up the other end only. If you can make a good joint one end and still remove the dummy pipe afterwards, your technique must be about right.
-- Phil Addison The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / Remove NOSPAM from address to reply
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