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Thread: plumbing/soldering help !

  1. #21
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    Feb 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    That's all I've ever needed for doing copper pipe and many other soldering jobs. So it's not the torch.
    No, it still might be the torch. "screws onto a tank" can cover a lot of bases, and the model he listed appears to be the small pencil flame. A larger torch head makes a huge difference, get the biggest one Bernzomatic makes. I struggled with this kind of thing with a small pencil flame propane torch for years before finally breaking down and buying a bigger model; it still attaches to the same propane bottle but makes plenty of heat for this kind of work and heat treating tool steel parts I make.

  2. #22
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    Jan 2008
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    I talked to the plumber that put all this piping together 26 years ago ( a new boiler to heat house) he suggested a couple of things (mapp gas,dab of solder to see melt point) but if that doesn't work, he will be able to fix it for me , in a few weeks. ( he is working out of the area, for a steady customer,keeps him busy 99.9% of his time)

  3. #23
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    Nov 2006
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    Pity you cant take a pic. Its not easy to desolder a pipe. I often do it but often because we use thin wall tube that corrodes it just breaks off .It helps alot to use a fluxed paint brush to help the old solder flow. I personally use the wire solder dipped into flux as i never seem to have a paintbrush. As soon as the pipe is hot enough the solder will melt and I know then its ready to rock the pipe to and fro as well as pull it out the fitting. I also immediately insert the new fluxed pipe in at the same time.

  4. #24
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    Oct 2013
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    USA MD 21030
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    Yes, a picture would be most helpful. I have found it difficult to unsolder and re-use copper fittings -they seem to require a lot of careful cleaning, and the pipe (tube) often becomes damaged if you have to use pliers or a lot of force to separate the pieces. If there is at least about 2" of copper tube between the tee and the valve, you could cut it with a tubing cutter or hacksaw, and then use a slip fitting to rejoin the cut pieces. A Shark-Bite fitting may be even better if you have enough room, and that will avoid overheating the existing joints and causing solder depletion and leaks.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...HD12/100345672



    https://www.homedepot.com/p/SharkBit...8LFA/202270492


    You might also consider cleaning and repairing the existing regulator:

    https://homeguides.sfgate.com/clean-...tor-60896.html

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-4-in-W...70XL/203374785

  5. #25
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    Oct 2005
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    British Columbia
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmw625 View Post
    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 ?
    That large T going into the 1" line is a very good heat sink. Whatever you can do to maximize the heat from your existing torch will go a long way to get you up to the required temp (about 450F).

    Make sure you are using the tip of the inner cone of the flame in order to get all the you can from your torch. Also if you can build a small enclosure around the fitting this will help with retaining the heat you already have. Sheet metal works, small ceramic BBQ fire bricks are better, but it is an amazing difference when all of the torch's heat is able to be utilized. Unaided a surprising amount of heat is wasted. Not a big deal with a large torch but on a marginally sized torch it will make a difference to not squander the available BTU's.

    Also be sure the joint that you are trying to undo is free to move, even a slight misalignment and it will tend to bind. Soldered copper joints are very prone to binding if the direction of pull is not exactly straight. That also means plumbing downstream of the joint must be rigidly secured in order to facilitate easier removal.


    Last edited by Willy; 08-02-2019 at 04:55 PM.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
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  6. #26
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    Oct 2013
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    I have a stainless steel wrap-around shield that clips on my propane torch nozzle and effectively wraps the flame around the pipe as it blocks it from impinging on studs and other things that might burn or otherwise be affected. I think I paid only about $5 for mine, but that was around 1978.

    https://torchtips.com/products/ghs-1...ip-heat-shield



    You can also get a jumbo flame (1-1/4") torch tip:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Bernzoma...T680/100011120

  7. #27
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    Dec 2015
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    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yondering View Post
    No, it still might be the torch. "screws onto a tank" can cover a lot of bases, and the model he listed appears to be the small pencil flame. A larger torch head makes a huge difference, get the biggest one Bernzomatic makes. I struggled with this kind of thing with a small pencil flame propane torch for years before finally breaking down and buying a bigger model; it still attaches to the same propane bottle but makes plenty of heat for this kind of work and heat treating tool steel parts I make.
    To be fair you're right. I shouldn't assume.

    But I also never found that I needed a big torch for doing copper plumbing even up to 3/4". The torch I use for such work is the basic pencil tip like THIS ONE. Not quite the same since mine are old and the valve body is a bit different. But the same sort of tip on it.

    For bigger copper joints than 3/4" then yeah, I'd want a bigger/hotter torch. But for up to 3/4" the one shown in the link has proven to be just fine for my tastes.

    If turned up to about 3/4's of max I find that even T joints are up to soldering temperature in a bit under a minute.

    I'd also like to draw attention to Willy's post with the picture showing the point of the inner blue flame and how that is the part which should just be touching the copper. You're not doing the speed of soldering any favors by thinking that closer is better. The point of the inner flame is the hottest point. Or near enough.

    Also that shroud in Paul's post is killer. If you can find one of those buy one. If not then make something similar. It should be from "tin can gauge" stainless ideally.
    Last edited by BCRider; 08-03-2019 at 01:17 AM.

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