Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe

 
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:14 PM   #1
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Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


There is a valve about 9" away from where I want to solder, using a propane torch. I figure the water upstream of the valve will prevent the valve parts from being damaged, but maybe 9" is too close to this valve and to water to be soldering?

If so I can drain the system and remove the valve parts.
Thanks, folks. . .
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


I would drain it down being that close. You would want that valve open so your steam and air pressure has a place to go vs blowing out of the joint your trying to sweat.

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Old 04-27-2011, 07:24 PM   #3
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


IMO, a valve 9-inches away on 1/2-inch copper pipe would likely be safe. Iíll sweat fittings much closer than that sometimes in those situations. If youíre nervous, you can relieve the water pressure in the line and wrap a wet rag around the valve body for extra protection from the heat.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


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If youíre nervous, you can relieve the water pressure in the line and wrap a wet rag around the valve body for extra protection from the heat.
Most of the valves I deal with are sweat-on, so you have no choice but to heat the valve body anyway. Never had a problem with it, but I do make sure the valve is open first.

9" is plenty far away to not be affected by the water.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:37 PM   #5
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


I'd be more concerned about getting a good sweat joint than damaging the valve.

The valve got where it is with more heat than you will subject it to.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


Wrap the valve with a wet cloth. Allow the cloth to wrap around the pipe in the direction of the heat to keep the heat at bay.

Then just sweat the joint as usual. You might want to heat the area up for a short while to let the water turn to steam and evaporate before starting the sweating operation.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #7
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


I am definately no plumber but last weekend I was putting some new airlines in my shop and I used MAPP gas to sweat the joints. The quick/high heat of the flame seemed to keep the temeperature more localized to the area I was working on. Either that or the feelng has completely left my hands from too much cabinet sanding and I was getting burned and didn't realize it
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:15 PM   #8
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


It's the sanding.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:18 PM   #9
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


Ah just sweat it up. Too much thinking and not enough action.

Apply heat, melt solder, wipe joint...have a beer!

Just Git-R-done soldier

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Old 04-28-2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


This job [adding an outside faucet on the west side of the house and feeding it from a faucet on the north side of the house] is a can of worms.

First, the propane torch couldn't melt the soldered ell joint, either because of the closeness of the water-filled valve or because the horizontal pipe section and ell wasn't empty.
So I drained the system by opening every valve and flushing every toilet and took apart the valve.
I tried again but steam kept coming out of the valve opening, so I cut the ell into pieces and after 20 minutes the dripping stopped but then a gush came out because a toilet was again flushed. Very strange. Of course it threw water all over the sawdust on the floor and everything else close by.

The valve is reassembled and closed, the water is back on and tomorrow I'll solder the whole assembly of pipes, elbows, couplers and tees and test the system. For sure there is no water in the pipes now so I can again test the 9" distance.
I give the system 70-30 that it doesn't have a leak somewhere.

I'm going to look into MAPP or acetylene. They don't seem to mind some water in the pipes.
Thanks for your posts!

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Old 04-29-2011, 08:19 AM   #11
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


If water drip is an issue, you might be able to use a Plumberís Bread type expanding pipe plug in the line to stop it. They can even fit through the valve body itself and stop the flow ahead of it, as long as itís a full-port valve.
Usually, that one lousy drop of water is all it takes to ruin an otherwise perfect solder joint.
BTW, shouldnít the faucet have its own branch?

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Old 04-29-2011, 09:06 AM   #12
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


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Old 04-29-2011, 10:57 AM   #13
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


You can use air (from a compressor) to push water away from where you're trying to work.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:12 PM   #14
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


Have now two leaks out of 7 joints, that I know of.

Drilled the lowest end cap to let out the water, will disassemble and redo these joints.

No problem with the valve being that close and getting too hot.

The Plumbing Parts Plus guy gave me a compression fitting with removable cap to replace the soldered end cap so I can drain without too much fuss.

I have to be more careful with the sandpaper, the emory cloth, the flux and the cleanliness.

At least now I don't have to cut off the water to the whole house.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:58 PM   #15
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


Sounds to me like your just Gettingby.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:43 PM   #16
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


You're probably not holding your mouth right.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:47 PM   #17
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


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You're probably not holding your mouth right.
Either that or the tongue is in the wrong position.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:55 PM   #18
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


Getting by is my life's story - it's my personal version of Purgatory.

I cudda' been
-an action hero movie star
-a famous inventor
-some dude who is universally admired
-Bruce Lee's stand-in
-?
if only I had different parents.

My usual joint-soldering error rate is half this high. Personally, I think I am the blameless victim of a voodoo curse.

Fer' sure I will learn to make good joints on this job, or else I will call my plumber.

I don't have these problems when I tell electrons which way to go. They all say, "Yessir!" and off they go.

Last edited by GettingBy; 04-29-2011 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:19 AM   #19
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


You can still be all those things and your parents can't stop you

So what are you waiting for? Of course, Bruce Lee's stand in will be tough to accomplish.
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:08 AM   #20
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Re: Soldering Half-inch Copper Pipe


I like how there were 8 responses all by non plumbers, only on CT. How many plumbers would chime in to answer a question about framing?

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