When you put a new pipe into a new fitting and apply solder, how can you be
sure that the solder is bonded properly? You can make sure it looks good on
the outside, but that's no guarantee the inside looks just as good. There
could be a bare spot inside, making it a weak joint.
Would it be better to apply solder to the pipe and fitting separately, then
put them together? I don't think many people do it this way though.
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First parts to be soldered should be CLEAN, and you apply flux, the
solder flows by capillary action when heated.
Applying solder on each part and put them together? Why don't you try
it? I can tell, it's impossible, LOL. Sounds like you never did soldering.
Yes, tinning the joint can assure better contact, but it is not necessary.
There are probably tens of billions of joints done by sweating and they have
not failed. You just have to practice. Why add another step after all these
years of good copper plumbing?
Go to HD and get some of their EZ-Sweat fittings. The solder is
already inside the fitting forming a perfect ring. Just add flux to
your pipe, insert, and heat. Everyone I have used creates a perfect
joint every time and it's a lot easier than doing the solder yourself
(especially in tight spaces).
Funny thing. My dad is a plumber and we just sweated a bunch of joints in
remodeling our bathrooms. We were were talking about how the fitting with
solder in them dont work. When at our local HD, they had all the EZ Sweat
fitting marked down for clearance.
Guess that says they sell a lot of them.
I have used them also, found they are not bad especially for difficult
locations, but I still add some of my own solder because there just doesn't
seem to be enough in the fitting to do the job properly and reliably.
Ditto.. Glad I had a roll of solder around when I used the ones I had.
On the flip side, I had to ask my wife to bring home a couple 1/2 T's
without the pre-solder to do a partial assembly of pipe. She grabbed a
couple and a spare out of the bin at HD and proceeded home. Good thing she
grabbed a spare. One of the T's was malformed and you could 'just' see
some daylight through the back of the T. That wouldn't have been a pretty
sight. Went back to HD a couple days later and found a couple more bad
ones in the bin. QC must have been taking a nap on that shift.
The flux I have has a small amount of solder in it, so in effect it does
exactly that. You still have to apply more solder, but it gets the
Cleaning both fittings, and fluxing is key to a good joint. Any failures
I've had have traced back to bad cleaning.
Silly sig to prevent isp ad
I learned to sweat pipe 35 years ago and cna count the bad joints I ve done
on 1 hand. All were due to not cleaning and/or proper fluxing of the joint.
Invest in a few pieces of pipe and a few joints and get a little practice.
Its not hard.
Make sure you clean the joints good with solder. If you are doing a lot of
fittings, invest in a fitting brush. It will make cleaning the inside
joints easier. Get a good flux and solder. If using a DIY torch, get the
MAPP torches and make sure you get the joints hot before applying the
If you haven't, do some searches on sweating joints. They will have better
instructions that I can give.
Good luck getting them to fit. I used to save old parts that had solder on
them, but it just isn't worth the aggravation.
A soldered joint is many times stronger than it has to be, so a bare spot
inside won't matter as long as it doesn't leak.
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