How to solder pipes with water running?

I have to solder 1/2-inch copper to the shower mixer/manifold. The street
shut-off valve won't turn off the water completely, so there is always some
small amount of water filling the pipes (they are oriented vertically).
How do I overcome this situation of water in the pipes where I need to
solder? Surely one can't boil the water in the pipes with a little propane
I thought about turning on some water valve in the house that is lower, but
even the bib in the garden is taller than these pipes.
I've heard if you've got standing water in the pipes that you can wick it out
with rope, or such, so you can solder, but I haven't heard any such trick for
running water.
What's the trick?
Reply to
So what are you going to do when a real leak occurs , fix the main, its the citys $ not your and put in a whole house shutoff. Sure maybe an oxy acetylene torch may get it hot maybe not. And put in some dam individual shut offs in that hack house. gees
Reply to
m Ransley
You can't solder pipes with water in them, even with an acetylene torch. You can buy gelatin capsules (I think that's what they are) to plug up dripping pipes so you can solder them, then the capsule dissolves. I've done the same thing with bread before. *Maybe* if you open the bib in the garden and even a few other faucets to keep the pressure from building up, you can plug up the pipe good enough with one of those dissolving plugs to solder it. It's worth a try. You also might look for a flare or compression coupling that will work and avoid soldering all together.
Or hire a plumber to replace the leaking street valve.
Best regards, Bob
Reply to
Although they get frowned upon, the compression fittings may be a good choice in this situation.
Another possibility, depending on the service configuration, is to loosen the union fitting at the water meter enough to keep pressure relieved.
Reply to
Speedy Jim
In article ,
There is no trick, you can't solder in water. You could by a ProPress but they are a little pricey. But if I were you, I'd start with a shovel and dig out the meter box. There should be a union on the house side of the meter and with two pipe wrenches I'd disconnect it and allow the water to drain back from the house.
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Also, this all-brass Delta manifold has 4 male pipe-thread fittings (water supply; shower head out; tub spigot out). I guess I have to teflon-tape all those and tighten on the copper fittings, then solder on the 1/2-inch pipe? That's a lot of soldering to do at one time.
Am I missing something? Or is this the way to solder on such a manifold?
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You do not have another valve at your house for a water shut off? I have never seen a home with out the street valve and one at the home for control of the water system. If you do not have one cut one in when the street valve is replaced.
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Open whatever faucets and drains you can to relieve the pressure. Stuff some bread up the pipe you want to solder. When finished, close faucets and drains, turn water fully on and the bread will dissolve and flush out. Don't overstuff or it could take a couple days for the bread to dissolve.
Reply to
Sometimes those valves will accomodate your 1/2" pipe inside the threaded part. See if it will fit.
Reply to
As everyone else has told you, you can't solder them with water running through the joints.
I'm suprised no one else has mentioned this yet, but if you really can't or don't want to fix the shutoff, then since you asked, here's the "trick".
Go out and rent a pipe freezer, that's what they're made for. They come in CO2 and electric versions. Here's a CO2 one now:
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Good luck,
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
I've heard of freezing the pipe with dry ice. Never tried it. I know they sell "pipe freezers" for just this type of thing. Never tried one of those, either.
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
Hook up a wet vac to suck out the water. Leave it running while you solder. Wear goggles. Setup the right way this will work for a fact. Did two cottage renovations this way where four cottages were all connected with one leaky shut-off. You must be certain that none of this plumbing is connected to waste lines or it could lead to an explosion. That is unlikely but sucking sewer gas through a motor is a bad thing.
----------------------- All lower case to respond by mail. If you give a little they give a lot
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Reply to
mixer/manifold. The street
is always some
I need to
little propane
I am a pro in that sort of business... its not possible. If there is pressure or water in the pipe at the joint forget it... water boils at 212F your solder melts at 500F + depending.
that is lower, but
you can wick it out
any such trick for
Go to the hardware store and buy a water service shut off T handle wrench.. and some liquid wrench penetrant. Soak the valve in the penetrant for an hour. then apply the wrench (thats the cock valve at the water meter, out by your front side walk most likely)... put a short piece of pipe on the handles if necessary... but not longer than 15"... the valve should close... if not use the small mini sledge hammer to tap it gently... these get full of scale sometimes and take a little persuasion.
Drain all water from the line you are going to solder, open other valves in the house... follow directions to solder the joint.
Hint: do not overheat it... just get it hot enough that the solder flows freely.. practice on some copper scrap first.
Phil Scott
Reply to
Phil Scott
Fix the shutoff valve thats broken... Also, you should have a shutoff someplace in the house as well.
Reply to
If you don't have another shut off valve to your house, call the damn water company and tell them to come fis their valve.
Reply to
Curt Martin
You can add a compression valve in the main water line which uses compression fittings , then, youll be able to shut off the water to the house so you can solder. If the water is only dripping out a bit at a time, you can take some bread and cram it in until the dripping stops , then do your soldering. Then simply turn the water back on and the bread will emulsify in the pipes and not clog up your faucets -- my plumber friend taught me this trick.
Have you hugged your A/C Tech today ?
Reply to
HVAC fella
I think the way to go about your problem is to install a valve inside your house where the service entrance is. This would make sense even if you did not have the problem you asked about. If one of your pipes broke because it froze, or athrophied because it was galvanized, or a quake erupted, whatever.. you'll be glad you didn't have to dig up the street to turn off a valve that barely worked. A little water goes a long way: don't find out the hard way.
Here's what I did years ago and I swear it worked. As another poster suggested, I put dry ice on the pipe and aimed a housefan at it.In no time, the water inside the pipe froze and I acutally had a surprising lot of time to change the valve. Of course it is not a time to daudle and it does take balls to do it, but, for what my personal archives are worth, that's what I did, successfully. In fact, I rank it as my trival life's greatest victory, just after giving up smoking.
n article , says...
Reply to
I just have to chuckle. There is no limit to human ingenuity. But why would anyone go such distance on a residential application is beyond me. I'd rather install block valve to save future trouble. Or make the city do it.
But again, the original poster maybe just a troll.
Reply to
i wonder if siphoning from the hose bib might also help? the can/reservoir at the ohter end of the siphon would have to be elevated at certain height.
*Maybe* if you open the bib
be sure you can buy a replacement union washer. (rubber)
why doen'st teh water utilty fix theri meter/shutoffs?
Reply to
You kidding?
get it fixed out at the curb. can't do that or are is some kind of rush?
cut the supply line near the meter. install a shut off valve use a compression fitting. then get it fixed at curb, replace all shut offs with ball valves, remove the compression shut off.
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