I used to do that sort of thing. And did it well. Then, a few years
when I was doing a remod where the flame was an issue, I discovered
A two-part epoxy product that caused me to decide that technology had
caused the torch to no longer be necessary.
Do what you decide you need to do. But you have my suggestion. Only
change I make is to use Q-tip sticks without the cotton, instead of the
provided squarish sticks provided.
In addition to what every one else said about cleaning and fluxing there is
one very important item. You must remove as much water as possible from the
pipe system. Any water in the pipe , for 2 or 3 feet, will draw away the
heat and you will not be able to get the pipe hot enough to melt/flow the
I was soldering a connection one time and couldn't completely turn the water
supply off. I had to open every faucet in the house to divert water away.
Luckily there were other faucets that were lower.
A small pump such as a drill powered pump may work to evacuate the pipe.
I did practice as everybody suggested and failed again. I used a copper
pipe about a feet and had it cleaned, so did brass valve with wire
brush and both of them were shiny. I applied flux to both pipe and
valve. Then I heated it. I noticed that a smoke came off from the othe
end of pipe and the edge of joint turned black and I kept heating until
the solder melt, but still it did not flow into the joint. I have
removed the shut-off part of valve due to that there is rubber on it. I
am wondering whether the flux is no good since after failure, I remove
the joint, both surfaces of valve and pipe are black with some kind of
oxidized stuff. I believe that those black stuff may prevents solder
from working. But I just don't know why. The big problem for me is that
I don't know when to apply solder. When solder starts melting at the
edge of the joint, is it the right time or not? Since the smoke and
black thingy formed during the heating, I don't know what is going on
You don;t want the solder there when you start heating the joint. You
want the joint to get good and hot first, then apply the solder while
continuing the heat. The solder should melt readily when it contacts
the joint. If it doesn't, take the solder away and continuing heating,
it's not hot enough. The best place to apply the solder is on the side
or behing the joint, away from the flame. The heat of the joint
should melt the solder, not the torch. You should be holding the flame
mostly against the brass valve where it joins the copper pipe.
I've never seen flux go bad. Are you sure this is flux for solder
joints? It's normal for maybe a wisp of smoke to show up during
heating, but you shouldn't be seeing lots of it and the area inside the
joint coated with flux should not be turning black.
What size pipe is this and what kind of torch are you using? Does the
torch have a proper pencil point shape blue flame?
Not sure if this is you problem, but you should be using acid type flux for
plumbing. Do not use the rosin type flux which is for electronic circuits.
This may not be proper technique but this is what I do: I apply solder to
the joint when the metal joint is hot enough to melt the solder - not just
the torch flame.
That said, while heating, I am constantly testing every 2 or 3 seconds by
moving the flame away (flame on pipe but away from joint) for half a second
and touching the solder to the joint until I get to the point where the pipe
is melting the solder. At the point where the solder starts flowing I just
torch everything and feed solder until it looks like solder has flowed all
around and the joint is not taking any more - solder is dripping off the
pipe. I probably use more solder than is needed.
Thanks everybody for the help, finally I have succeeded and have
solered the brass valve for my garden hose. There were 3 things I did
1. I also polished the "diameter" edges of valve and copper pipe along
with joint surface
2. apply more flux than I did before
3. stop heating when solder starts melting
I think that step 3 is more important. Since I heard so many things
about "propane torch" is not hot enough, I guess that I overheated most
of times, and each time I noticed the black thingy. I guess that
overheating will prevent capillary action to suceed(my personal
Anyway, thanks so much for so many kind advices and now I consider
myself a "half" plumber now.
Heat the side of the fitting closest to you. Apply the solder from the
very first moment you start heating. When the fitting is just warm
enough, the solder will flow.
Sounds like you've overheated the fitting, and applied the solder too
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
Are both pieces perfectly dry as this will affect the solder joint heat
the fitting till the solder starts to sizzle then dab the solder to the
fitting and keep warm enough to melt the solder then let cool either in
air or with wet rag. firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
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