Solder vs. epoxy for copper pipes?


Hi all: I recently noticed that Home Depot is selling a copper bonding
expoxy product in the plumbing dept. that's billed as being as good as
solder. Seems like it might be a useful alternative to use on joints in
tight, enclosed areas where heating the parts with an open flame is
difficult/dangerous. Would appreciate any informed opinions regarding
whether or not the product referenced above might be an acceptable
substitute for solder in the circumstances mentioned. Thanks for your
replies!!
Reply to
PE
I've never had a solder joint fail. I'm not going to change and hope that the epoxy will still be there in five or ten years.
Reply to
Edwin Pawlowski
Someone just told me it works great if you can't get all the water out of the line to solider. I know they make some epoxies that dry underwater. The only thing is this is all new stuff so it hasn't had the test of time.
Reply to
Sacramento Dave
Another product made for incoherent people who are too stupid or lazy to solder the pipes together. Besides possibly being a product that will fail after a few years, I wonder how many hours or days one has to wait for the stuff to dry? Solder hardens in seconds, and has been used forever. I'll stick to solder. (There are no places where pipes can not be soldered, they make asbestos pads to prevent burning wood, and a little water sprayed on charred wood always helps). OK, now go ahead and post lots of flames about using asbestos pads, and how dangerous asbestos is........
Reply to
Gerry Atrick
I hate the words "should" and "maybe."
When one considers that usually once you solder a joint, you cover it up with other stuff, and if there's a problem, there's a major problem ripping it out and doing it again, plus the water damage, why would anyone even consider doing it any other way but solder?
Yes, soldering is dangerous. But they make all sorts of shields and blankets, and lots of times, the joints are out where there is very little danger. Some pieces can be made in trees, and never come in contact with anything dangerous or flammable.
Soldering isn't rocket surgery. I believe I could teach a monkey to do it in a day, and a twentysomething lip pierced moron in two days. Get a clean joint, use flux, don't overheat, learn how to flow solder, and bingo.
I have repaired some amazing things with JB Weld and other epoxies. But, when you consider thermal expansion, water hammer, rollercoaster temperatures, and other things, I'll stick with solder, even if epoxy is proven to be adequate for copper pipe. You can still get your mix wrong with epoxies, have surface contaminants, incorrect cleaning, and other things that will cause ultimate failure.
And when there is a failure, you will be ripping and tearing, repairing sodden materials, and most probably be dealing with mold down the line.
IIRC, years ago, they came up with this new water piping system that used crimps and swages that was going to revolutionize the water pipe systems in housing. All it turned into was ruined houses and class action suits.
If you can't at least solder, or learn how to do so in a day, you shouldn't be messing with copper. It's that important.
Just my two pennies.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
On getting the water out, Use Bread, white as it dissolves better, in the pipe to block the water. They also make dissolving ball, kinda like the bath scent balls.
Scott
Reply to
Scott Townsend
I used it once several years ago. The joints are still leak free. That doesn't prove anything, but is encouraging. However, I went to use it last year and it had gone bad. Way too expensive for two joints!
Reply to
Toller
Hi all: I recently noticed that Home Depot is selling a copper bonding
I'd think so, without any personal experience. But you'll never get it apart again if it leaks.
You can always put some sheet metal and a wet rag, if it will fit, between the joint and any flammable material. You can get a baking pan at Goodwill for a quarter and cut it to fit. There's really nothing wrong with scorching the snot out of surrounding wood, sometimes it can't be avoided.
Bust into your shower connection and you'll likely find burnt wood. It ain't no biggie. Just be careful. -----
- gpsman
Reply to
gpsman
They might even have tested it for a few years in some small to middle-sized application, in Denver or Mongolia, but I would like 100 year test. How long has soldered copper been used? There are probably plenty of pipes around from the first decade of its use. I don't think the rest of my house will last as long, but I think the solder joints will last 200 years.
Reply to
mm
Actually, Gerry, I'm both stupid AND lazy but, even so, I've managed to become reasonably adept with flux, solder and torch. However I don't enjoy doing it in confined spaces and was just wondering if there might be an alternative that's worthy of consideration, although the consensus seems to be to the contrary. Thanks for your insightful observations; they were greatly appreciated, as was the glowing compliment!
Reply to
PE
In article ,
I'd guess less, I had to take apart some epoxied aluminum fittings on a boat and heat softened the epoxy easily. Usually about 300 deg F does it. Committees of Correspondence Web page:- tinyurl.com/y7th2c
Reply to
Nick Hull
Believe it or not sometimes bread residue will clog a fixture. Sometimes I use a shop vac to suck water out or a compressor blow back threw the system and then they do make gelatin plugs to jamb up the pipe. Yes I have used bread more than once.
Reply to
Sacramento Dave
I soldered water pipes for the first time last weekend. I thought it was easy enough to do, but I have had lots of experience with electrical soldering so that helped. I didn't even bother practicing first. The hardest part was that afer I adjusted the flame I had to deal with gusts of wind coming in through a crawl space and changing the size of my flame on me. I can say that if you have a lot of patience and prep everything properly, use enough flux, and heat up the pipes enough, then it should work. I had some vertical pipes with water in them that I drained by sticking a straw in them and sucking out the water as far as I could and that was enough to make it easy to solder.
Reply to
scott21230
There is a fundamental problem with conventional epoxy cements for metals, namely, a huge difference in coefficient of thermal expansion. By using copper powder as a filler. the situation is somewhat improved, but such a bond in a hot water system would be subjected to hundreds of cooling-heating cycles each of which will stress the joint. It therefore makes sense to use adhesives where they can be monitored and where an inadvertant leak will not cause a major ,problem. Also, the integrity of the bond is even more dependent on clean surfaces than soldering. As always, let the process and the materials be dictated by the needed results. HTH
Joe
Reply to
Joe
Geez, am I getting old or what?
I see people today who are twenty years old and:
they can't make change for a $20 without a cash register......
they don't know the difference between your and you're .......
like, kewl, and dude are their vocabulary .............
they want $20 an hour for menial work .............
they have a devil tattooed on their forehead and a laundry sized safety pin though their nose and wonder why they can't get hired even as a waiter ............
need I go on?
Steve
Reply to
Steve B

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