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Thread: plumbing/soldering help !

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default plumbing/soldering help !

    never soldered copper pipe before- I need to UNsolder a short piece of copper to remove a fitting- from a water pressure regulator, i can't un thread because it is too close to wall. it is 1/2 copper into a "T" the T in a 1 inch copper line. i heated with small propane torch, but could not seem to get the joint apart, how hot does it need to be to melt old solder to free the joint ?

  2. #2
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    Put a little blob of solder on the fitting. When it melts and runs, the fitting is hot enough for you to break the joint.
    Don't forget that the copper pipe is sucking heat away from the joint in all directions, if you can insulate it in some way (non combustible insulation of course) it will help.
    If the pipes are not properly drained and theres residual water in the fitting, you'll never get it hot enough to melt.
    'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

  3. #3
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    You are also going to have to open one end of that pipe somewhere because when you go to solder pressure will build and your joint may never seal. Any water in the pipe is going to have to be drained back a good distance from your solder joint or the end result when you heat things up is going to be steam.

    JL.....

  4. #4
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    Also be careful not to break loose any other solder joints. If they start to ooze little balls of solder its best to flux the whole tee and resolder the whole tee.Its maybe easier to cut the pipe if its long enough and just rejoin.Obviously I cant see what you up to.This is what I do for a living.The rest of the time I am a wanna be lousy machinest.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    the larger pipe is running horizontal, then makes a 90 to vertical, just below the 90 is a drain valve, which i drained water out before attempting , the 1/2in pipe runs vertical into T in the horizontal larger pipe. the vertical is only 2 in before making a 90 to horizontal into pressure regulator i need to replace. if it was a couple more inches from wall i could just unthread it

  6. #6
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    Any water filling the pipe near to the joint will cause trouble. You really need to have the closest water at least a couple of inches away from the joint you are working on. Copper conducts heat so well that it will easily send all the heat to the water if it's up to the bend in the elbow.

    Assuming the joint is empty for at least a couple of inches from the solder what are you using for a torch? "Small propane torch" covers a lot of options. From a hot flame lighter up to a proper size for plumbing. What you need is one that can throw a good flame. Then shield it from the wood with a good size piece of sheet metal and really blast it with a good hot flame. Again the copper will conduct any lesser heat inputs away from the joint and result in taking FAR longer to loosen the joint. Better to get on it hard and blaze away and get the job done in something like 20 to 30 seconds.

    This will cause the other side to come loose too. But that's OK as you can add a bit of flux and solder during the re-soldering.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2008
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    torch is the kind that screws onto tank the size of thermos bottle (maybe 12 in tall ?)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmw625 View Post
    torch is the kind that screws onto tank the size of thermos bottle (maybe 12 in tall ?)
    I have a regular old screw-on torch head that I used for many years (well, suffered through is a better description as it turns out). A couple of yeas ago I bought a Bernzomatic TS8000 and the difference between the two torch heads is night and day. The new one has a 'high intensity swirl flame' and wow, does it heat the pipe up faster, which is a big deal more often than not.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    I have a regular old screw-on torch head that I used for many years (well, suffered through is a better description as it turns out). A couple of yeas ago I bought a Bernzomatic TS8000 and the difference between the two torch heads is night and day. The new one has a 'high intensity swirl flame' and wow, does it heat the pipe up faster, which is a big deal more often than not.
    If you are using the Bernzomatic "MAP-Pro" fuel, you are getting a slightly hotter flame beyond what Propane provides.

  10. #10
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    Am just using propane. The newer Mapp gas offers little advantage, unlike the old Mapp that burned much hotter (as I am sure you are aware).
    Last edited by Joel; 08-01-2019 at 06:28 PM.

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