Ok, I've sweated my share of copper before but have a question. I recently
worked on repairing a water line (3/4" Cu) and all but two of the fittings
are water tight. The two fittings that seem to be weeping ever so
slightly, were where I tied into existing lines. These lines had been
buried so it took a while to get them all cleaned up. They looked pretty
darned shiny to me when I soldered them but I suppose there was pit or dirt
in there somewhere. Anyway, my question is this, can I re-solder the
existing fittings? Can I simply heat them up (no water in the lines) and
flow more solder in or do I need to cut them out and put new in. I suspect
I know the answer but thought I'd ask anyway.
Actually it's fairly significant. To cut out and redo, I have to dig out
more of the dirt around the pipes, clean them (which is where I think I had
problems the first time), and then solder them. To re-solder, it's simply
a matter of heating and flowing more solder. But as the saying goes, it
takes time to do things right!
You know better what you did and didn't do, and what the consequences
are if you take the quick fix and are wrong.
Still, given what you said I might be tempted to try the quick fix, if
I'm reading you right. The quick fix works and you're well ahead of the
game. It doesn't, and you're not much further behind. Play the odds...
My $0.02, and remember that free advice is worth what you pay for it.
Life. Nature\'s way of keeping meat fresh. -- Dr. Who
No. The leak is not due to lack of solder, it is due to the solder not
wetting the capillary area, which is almost always due to less than perfect
cleaning and/or fluxing. The only sound solution is to tear it out and
redo it. You might gob solder on outside edge and get it to hold now, but
it will spring a leak later. If you have a leak now, you have a void along
the entire collar.
buried copper lines. You can use map gas on 3/4" line get it red hot feed
the rod in . The solder on the fittings won't hurt anything and you don't
need flux. If you never brazed copper it might be a little scary you can
melt the fitting. If your solder did not flow I would suspect water or
missed a spot with flux. Just the smallest amount of water in a line can
cause a leak.
On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 04:47:54 GMT, "Sacramento Dave"
First, it's Mapp (not map).
Also, I don't care about witch code. :-)
And yes, you can use something like Zero_Sil (Phosphobronze) on the
joints, with 1300-1500 deg F temperatures. It works well. I use it
often in refrigeration. I also use 40% silver rod, with borax, on
But cherry red is way too damned hot for soft solder. 600-800 deg F,
then the paste flux peters out (boils).
Brazing (silver soldering) is code for buried copper in Sacto?
Sounds like the 2 remaining leaks are in a tight places. There are
several great solderless solutions for copper pipe joining and leaks I
Joining copper pipe, I use, Just For Copper
Fixing small leaks - instaclamp or silicone self fusing tape
If you can't get it the regular way, you may try one of these for
=========================================================================James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:
I'm sure I have less experience than the other posters, but is it
possible that the existing lines were slightly out of round? It is
obviously striking that the two leaks are the two couplings to the old
Good idea but no, they seemed pretty round. Fittings went on nice and
tight when I put them together. The biggest trouble was cleaning the old
pipe. I couldn't see the underside of the pipes and just went over them a
bunch with emery cloth/wire brush the best I could. The exposed part of the
pipe I could see appeared nice and clean but I've no idea if the underside
was as nice. I'm pretty sure that's my problem.
Lots of good advice in other posts. A "good tight fit" can actually make it
harder for the solder to flow into the joint. I have used air to pressurize
the line and check for leaks as it is easy to find leaks with soapy water
and if you do have a leak you do not have to dry out the pipe again to fix
On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 17:42:55 -0600, "James \\"Cubby\\" Culbertson"
And always use your wife's favorite makeup mirror, being sure to get
mud all over it. We all need to give our wives some real thing to
bitch about, or else they tend to create their own reasons. I always
prefer that their bitching has some valid substance, or else I am left
confused as to the reasons for their bitching.
Yeah, I agree, and get yourself a dreml tool with a small wire brush
tip and wire brush the piss out of the pipe.
You could probably coat the outside of the fitting with JB Weld too,
but it would still have to be very clean and all flux removed, and no
water in or on the pipe. I have successfully used JB Weld as a quick
fix, and in many cases never did redo the connection since it stayed
dry. Of course these were on exposed pipes.
I've done way more than my share and my opinion is heat the bloody pipes
nice and hot. add some solder acid paste and then some acid free solder. Let
cool. IF after a few tried this doesn't work cut the bad section out.
I've sweated MORE than my share of copper before,but
nowadays I use Copper-Bond. A 2-part epoxy product
approved by NSF and NFPA.
After a project in which I had Styrofoam nearby and
needed an alternative to the torch, I'm a believer in
Just thought I'd mention that.
James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:
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