I've always used "regular" flux for sweating, but the wife brought home, by
accident, Oatey #95 *tinning flux*, which seems it might actually be a good
idea, perhaps helping solder flow into the joint by "pre-wetting" it a
I also have the Oatey #5 regular solder paste.
Any opinions on which would better facilitate a fairly lengthy plumbing job
I have ahead of me?
Any other tips? For example, is emery better than steel wool for cleaning
joints? Is one solder better than another? etc.
I'll be using a prestolyte-type setup w/ an acetylene B tank, doing mostly
1/2", but also some 3/4, 1", 1.25".
I tend to be liberal w/ threaded adapters, for things like valves, check
valves, and other stuff, as I'm more comfortable w/ the threaded versions of
those, and have actually screwed a few up in the sweating process.
Also, any opinions on joint compound for threaded joints? I don't know if
it's cheap fittings or just me getting old, but I've actually had to use
plumber's string and dope to get rid of stubborn leaks. Someone recommended
RectoSeal, which I bought but have not used yet. Pretty expensive.
formerly Droll Troll
I like the tinning flux...it flashes silver when the joint reaches
temperature so it helps me not overheat the joint. Other than that, I
don't notice much difference.
Personally, I prefer plumber's cloth to steel wool by far. And I
don't try to use a single piece for more than a few joints. It cuts
better when fresh, and it's cheap.
Other tips? Clean, clean, clean. After cleaning the pipe with
plumber's cloth or the fitting with an inside brush, I give it a quick
wipe with a clean rag to remove the grit and loosened grime. Then I
flux imediately. I don't like to leave cleaned pieces sitting around
for a long time before sweating them. I also like to clean the end of
the fitting. I think it helps the solder form a smooth fillet.
If you have a lot of fittings to clean, cut the handle off a fitting
brush and chuck it in a drill.
Take the time to remove the melted flux with a damp rag after the
joints cool. And a piece of scotchbrite pad cleans the joint up nice
after the wet rag.
Rectorseal's good stuff. Since I hate leaks, I use teflon tape AND
rectorseal on threaded joints. Tape first, then the dope. Haven't
had one leak in a very long time with that combo. But if you have a
big job, get over your tendency to go with threaded versions and
adaptors when sweat versions are available. It will save you a lot of
pieces and a lot of joints.
Good luck with your project.
Good advice. Will check out plumber's cloth today.
Esp. like the observation on cleaning the ends of fittings. I might get
real stupid and touch them on a belt sander!
Scotchbrite after sweating??? Beyond my psychological capacity! :)
I'll try to minimize adapters, to where I think I might change my mind about
something or other later--easier to undo a threaded cap than sweat, etc.
But indeed, straight sweating would save time.
I have put fitting brushes in a drill, but never used them on fittings!!
Another good idea.
Greatly appreciate the input.
formerly Droll Troll
I have bought some wire cleaning brushes with the hexagon screwdriver base
on them so they can fit the screwdriver fittings, etc. Better than trying to
chuck a twisted piece of wire from a cut off handle -- cheaper too.
I agree with Paul totally but he mentioned something you might not know
what he was talking about, I didnt' at first. They make copper
connectors with the solder already in them. Since I'm not a pro I had
much better luck with those type. I added a little bit more solder even
though you probably don't have to, but none of those leaked for me.
Paul Franklin wrote:
On Thu, 13 Apr 2006 23:41:56 +0000, Ralph Mowery wrote:
Oh, good idea. That way when you sell your house the PC police can force
you to replumb the entire house when you've been found to have
"non-conforming" plumbing. No, I don't think there is anything wrong with
Pb Plumbing, but it's simply not done anymore.
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