Is it possible to reheat sweat joints to fill a slight leak with solder?


Adding more solder almost never works, because the problem is almost never "not enough solder" - the problem is almost always poor pipe preparation, where some part of the pipe is not cleaned and fluxed (separate things - physically clean, then chemically clean via flux - flux can't cure macroscopic dirt.) Overheating one or both parts when soldering can also cause this, by burning away the flux and oxidizing the pipe.

A properly prepared joint will wick solder all around by capillary action. An improperly prepared joint will never wet where it's improperly prepared, so it has to be taken apart and both the pipe and the fitting need to be properly cleaned and refluxed before reassembly.

Excess solder (as you might add while trying to fix a leak improperly, on the theory that if some is good, more must be better) is not benign - I have personally hunted down a pipe that had pressure when there was no flow, but almost no pressure when the valve was open; having...

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I recently had to literally rebuild two walls of copper pipe that spit open in 7 places due to the boiler's thermostat being overridden by an electric heater placed too close to the thermostat, and in subzero weather all this copper burst. On my last sweat joint, I had some drops of water that must have come down the pipe, even though I had the pipes bent downward for quite some time...and this joint appeared to sweat just beautifully. Turned on the water to the boiler and one drip appeared every 5 minutes or so. (Start envisioning Yosemite Sam). I had to redo it. Water got in the bottom of the pipe. it sweated fine around 99% of the pipe, and the 1% problem was right at the bottom.

The other day I was under a mobile home redoing split piping under there. Because of an occasional drip of water coming down from the water heater closet above, in the vertical pipe, I did not dare sweat an elbow just below this. What I did was used a threaded coupling that enabled me to...

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Soft soldering leads to problems as the solder ages, and mixing different types of solder also can create odd alloys ( though most alloys tend to have a lower melting point, Woods metal being an extreme example of this) that can behave strangely. Most likely is that the pipe deformed, and wedged itself inside the fitting, either by the end turning up or by the fitting becoming deformed and creating a lock.

Overheating the solder also will cause the solder to dissolve copper from the pipe, and this makes an alloy that has both a higher melting point than solder, and welds the 2 pipes together.

I use compression fitting preferably on old pipe, as it is hard to ensure proper cleaning if the pipe is close to a wall, and the compression fitting can easily be undone in case of leaks. Solder fittings are good for new pipe that is clean and dry, though I do cheat at times and use a silver loaded rod that I use for airconditioning, as this works very well, and the joints are...

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Just heat the joint up with your torch, once the solder starts to melt use Channel locks to pull the fittings apart. Once the joint is apart, wipe as much old solder off as you can with a rag. Now you can start over. Clean, Flux, solder.

You should not be applying flux to joints you are not working on, take each joint one at a time. If the joints are all close to each other, try doing the joints out of order. Solder one joint, then move to a joint further away, then back to a joint near the first, etc. This should allow some of the heat to dissipate, and reduce the chances of overheating the joints.

Don't forget to wipe excess solder off the joint before it cools using a damp rag, nothings worse than an ugly joint (except maybe a leaky joint). And don't forget, soldering pipes is an art. And like most things, it takes lots of practice to get good at...

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Let's picture it, you have put a heating system in and filled it up cold, you fire up the boiler and the system is getting hot with rising pressure and temperature, a fitting starts leaking, The time it takes to drain the system down, is enough time to cause damage to the customer's home, you put a bowl under the pipe to catch the water only to find you can't get...

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The universal consensus is that the joint will not fail, but must be fixed eventually. (Hey, it hasn't failed in 4 days.)

So, my original question.... If I clean it up, add flux, and reheat it enough to get that blob of solder that is right next to the leak to flow. And if it then does not leak; is that a "proper repair", or is it proper to redo it completely. (It may not seal, in which case the question is academic; but it it might.)

I cannot leave it overnight with JB Weld on it like one person suggested; however, if reheating does stop the leak, then the JB Weld can harden with the water on. Will putting it on add a level of security to the joint, or is it not useful? (Heck, I can even throw on a layer of fiber glass cloth over the JB if that will help. I have fixed a few things that way, but they were not subject to 60PSI.)

Thanks again.

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Buy a self-lighting torch

Good torches work faster

A self-lighting torch eliminates the hassles of a striker or match.

After years of using a regular, inexpensive torch, I finally splurged on a fancy model with a built-in lighter. They cost more, but boy, what a difference. Just pull the trigger to light the flame. No more fumbling with a striker or match. And it's safer, too. I used to leave the torch burning just to avoid relighting it. Now I turn it off when I set it down to avoid accidentally igniting my blue jeans.

In addition to the self-lighting feature, look for one that burns MAPP gas. MAPP gas produces a hotter flame, which is better for soldering larger diameter pipes (1-in. and larger) and brass valves. Once you're comfortable with how much heat to apply for a good solder joint, you can switch to MAPP gas to speed up all of your soldering jobs.

Use a good-quality tubing cutter

Make clean, burr-free cuts

A tube cutter...

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Is it possible to slow light down?
Asked by: William Miller


The short answer is No. Einstein's theory of special relativity is based on the idea that the speed of light is always constant. However, we CAN make it take longer for light to travel a set distance. In fact, we say that light travels more slowly in optically dense media. That statement is somewhat misleading. We need to look into the physics of the phenomenon.

When light enters a material, photons are absorbed by the atoms in that material, increasing the energy of the atom. The atom will then lose energy after some tiny fraction of time, emitting a photon in the process. This photon, which is identical to the first, travels at the speed of light until it is absorbed by another atom and the process repeats. The delay between the time that the atom absorbs the photon and the excited atom releases as photon causes it to appear that light is slowing down.
Answered by: ...

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Applying plumber

Connections are made between sections of iron pipe using threaded fittings. The walls of copper pipe, however, are too thin and soft to be threaded, so a different sort of fitting is used, called a sweat fitting. It’s called that because the process of joining the various elements using solder involves heating them with a propane torch until they seem to sweat.

There’s no particular magic required to solder a sweat fitting, though the very presence of a propane torch makes it a procedure that must be done carefully. Making a tight, leak-free joint is more a matter of careful preparation of the parts than of skill or experience.

Polishing the tubing and fittings. The individual lengths of tubing that link the elements of the plumbing system are connected at fittings. The fittings come in a variety of configurations, including elbows, Ts, forty-fives, couplings, and others. No matter what fitting you are sweating, however, the first step to the...

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First of all, let's get some facts strait here. There is a big difference between SAE, NPT, JIC, and SI standards.

Determine which one/ones you are using.

SAE fittings, will have a 45deg tapered sealing surface. If you are using copper, brass, or automotive fittings, this is probably what you have. Do not use teflon tape or sealing compound on any fitting with a tapered sealing surface! Instead, make sure the smooth tapered surface is free of any scarring that could prevent the mated surfaces from sealing. Do not over tighten! (80ftlbf)

JIC and SI fittings are similar to SAE and should be treated in the same manner. JIC uses a 37deg bevel while SI uses a metric thread. JIC and SAE, in many instances, can be intermingled but not all so be careful.

Some SAE fittings, used in the automotive industry, utilize an inverted flare sealing design. Also, Compression type fittings are very comonly used in the copper variety. If these types are used,...

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As a mechanical contractor, I sweat a lot of copper pipe, yet people don't believe me when I say the preparation is more important than the torch work. Even the experienced tend to rush the job — maybe a 3650 F flame is just more fun to handle than a wire brush.

Solder, which melts at low temperatures, wicks into a joint by capillary action and bonds with copper at the molecular level. But first, the joint must be cleaned, abraded to remove oxidized copper, and shielded against heat-induced oxidation by flux, an acidic, water-soluble paste. Prepare the surfaces well and you'll create a watertight joint. Don't, and the joint will leak.

Step 1: Cut

To begin, cut the pipe to length by tightening on a tubing cutter and turning.

Steps 2 and 3: Ream and Clean

Ream the cut end to remove burrs and clean the joint's mating parts with a combination brush. Wipe off grit with a clean rag.

Step 4:...

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And avoid paying for repairs or replacements

Picture the situation where something works just fine one minute, and then the next minute it doesn’t. Or maybe a situation where the item in question was working fine when you put it away and then the next time you go to use it, you get nothing? Sound familiar?

It’s possible you have dry solder joints (don’t worry they don’t hurt…)

Dry solder joints are a very common problem with all electronics. Especially any that lead a hard life; for example, devices that create lots of heat, or ones that vibrate or even stuff you plug things into (and out off) repeatedly. All this heat, movement and action weakens the delicate solder joints holding all the gubbins onto the printed circuit board (PCB’s). Especially any joints that were not too good in the first place, most of our stuff is mass-produced by the lowest bidder don’t forget!

A dry solder joint is where the solder connecting the component pin or leg to the...

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My 200 pesos

I solder often. Here is my experience and what works for me.


1) Clean, new fittings are important. Solder is very thin and doesn't cover large gaps very well. If you have large gaps, or older fittings that don't fit well then brazing is preferred.

2) I strongly prefer sandpaper, and the "screen" kind is best. It comes in rolls about 1 1/4 wide. (its looks a little like window screen)

3) I sand the male fitting only, and only the female fitting if its older or been bouncing around in my bucket for a long time.

4) For the same reasons I usually flux only the male fitting, although for the reasons above I sometimes flux the female. Clean, new fittings get sanding/flux on the male only.

4) I prefer mapp gas, although I don't see a huge difference vs propane. Both will work fine.

5) My solder of choice is Stay- Brite 8. ( My favorite flux is Stay...

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