That's what I use too; just an old cotton or linen rag. Even a paper
towel will work, but a nice soft cotton rag works best. You want cotton
because plastic fabrics like acrylic or polyester will just melt on the
hot pipe and make a mess.
And, for removing excess solder from a socket, I just take a piece of
copper pipe, sand and flux the end of it, heat the socket and insert the
pipe end. The molten solder inside the socket bonds to the pipe end so
that when I pull the pipe end out of the socket again, there's just a
nice tinning of the socket with no excess solder in it. (Then I just
flux that tinned socket, sand and flux the new pipe end, insert the two
together and solder normally.)
When torching near wood, it's OK to mix a drop or two
of dish soap in a spray bottle of water, and wet the
wood before you start heating.
A spray bottle of water NOW works better than a fire
hose in 15 minutes when the FD arrives.
There are trade offs. I'm replacing the faucet on a utility sink tomorrow.
I'm also moving/replacing the compression fit shutoffs for the washer. The
faucet is currently plumbed from under the sink with 3/8” copper risers
soldered to 1/2” pipe.
I'm cutting the risers off, popping a couple of SharkBites MNPT fittings
onto the 1/2” copper and using 1/2” to 1/2" braided supply lines to the
faucet. I should be on my back under the sink for about 10 minutes.
Sure, I spent an extra $10 on the 2 SharkBites, but it'll save me the
trouble of sweating fittings onto the pipe while lying on my back under the
sink. To me, it's worth it. Cut, Push, Tape, Wrench, Done.
For the washer shutoffs, which are all above the sink, I'll be sweating all
the fittings. Most of it I'll be able to do on the bench, then it's just a
couple of tee fittings to insert it into the system.There are a lot more
fittings for that job since I have to do the shutoffs, the fittings for the
hoses, and make a 90° turn. SharkBites for all that would certainly be
quicker and easier, but it would cost much more than I want to spend.
Like I said, trade offs.
Yes, but the QuickConnect fittings used for air have a long proven track
record of reliability. Basically, every autobody shop or mechanic's
garage that uses compressed air for their air tools is constantly making
and breaking QuickConnect connections to change out the tool at the end
of the air hose.
If I had to guess, I'd say that SharkBite fittings probably work on much
the same principle. But, they still don't have the track record of
reliability in actual use. The history of technology is full of
examples of things that people thought should work but didn't. When the
British company De Havilland started making the very first jet engine
powered commercial airliner, the "Comet", their first customer was BOAC.
And, not long after they went into service, these Comet airplanes
started falling apart in mid-flight. There were pieces of Comet
airlines falling out of the skies over Britain and over the Atlantic
Ocean between Britain and America. No one knew why. Eventually, they
found out that cracks were forming in the corners of the rectangular
windows that they were putting on those birds. They change the window
corners to a large radius curve to reduce the stress on the metal right
in the corner, and that solved the problem, but not until hundreds of
people had been killed in Comets with rectangular windows. We still
have large radius curves at the corner of the windows on all commercial
airliners now. A good track record proves it works and that counts more
than a theory that says it should work.
I just moved/replaced the shutoffs for my washer. When I was out buying the
sweat fittings I would need, I picked up a couple of SharkBite caps just in
case I got stuck. I figured I could always just pop a cap on, quit for the
day and get back to work tomorrow.
Well, low and behold, I had one Tee that was giving me trouble. I just
couldn't get the solder to flow. I had already done about 15 fittings and
this was the last one. 2 of the 3 openings on the tee flowed, the last one
just wouldn't. I decided to cut the pipe into that fitting about 3 feet
away to make sure the section I was working on was completely dry. I
cleaned the fitting and the pipe, applied the flux, re-heated the fitting
and the solder flowed perfectly. Since I had reheated the fitting I wanted
to make sure it (and the rest of the 15 fittings) were OK. I pop the
SharkBite cap on the open pipe and turned the water back on.
Everything was fine, so I slid the cap off and sweated on a repair
coupling. The caps will stay with my plumbing stuff in case I ever need a
temporary shutoff again.
Properly installed, the push fittings are good. Installed by an
idiot, not so good. The idiot that connected the water to the
coffee-maker at the office, tapping into the feed to the icemaker in
the refrigerator did not do such a good job, and less than a week
later we had a flood - over the weekend. When we got back on Monday
morning water was running out the back door, several hundred square
feet of engineered hardwood was warped and floating, and a LOT of wool
carpet was well soaked.
Oh well, that's what HIS liability insurance is for.
You are not making sense, at least not to me. Please explain with a little
Either you trust them for use inside a wall or you don't. First you say
you'd trust them (perhaps) inside a wall, but add that it depends on their
durability. "Perhaps" means you're not sure, doesn't it? What will it take
to eliminate the "depends" and "perhaps"?
This back and forth over Sharkbite fittings is pointless.
Suffice it to say that just like every new technology, Sharkbite will
have to prove itself.
I expect there was a time back in the 1950's that people were skeptical
about copper water supply piping too. After all, threaded iron pipe was
known to last 50 years or longer, and copper piping didn't have any
track record to go on at all. There were undoubtedly skeptics back then
that turned up their noses at copper piping.
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