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How to un-solder copper joints

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  • How to un-solder copper joints

    would someone be able to advise me on how to un-solder copper joints....I have had trouble doing this all my life(old).soldering for me is not a problem to get it to flow but if I have a place that I cant cut it off and need all the pipe I can get I need just to take the old piece off and that is my problem all the time...what is the trick if any...thank you

  • #2
    Re: How to un-solder copper joints

    heat the joint up till you see the solder is liquid then pull and twist the pipe from the fitting. When you re-install a new piece of pipe heat the fitting to re-soften the solder, flux pipe to be inserted and push it back in as you heat the fitting and re-apply a bead of solder.
    ________
    Acid Reflux Forums
    Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 03:59 PM.
    Mike

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    • #3
      Re: How to un-solder copper joints

      also what helps is after you get old fitting of reapply heat flux and wipe with glove, let cool sand and flux and off you go. be careful not to burn joint flux can only take you so far.

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      • #4
        Re: How to un-solder copper joints

        You are going to have better luck with propper equipment and material.

        For under 1-1/2" I use a turbo-torch stk-9 with mapp gas.

        Keep the torch off the pipe outside of the socket as it will expand prematurely and make it all the tougher to get out.A torch with a low temperature flame will heat socket and pipe and again pipe is expanded.Too high temperature and you critical moment is too brief.

        Couple of tricks...Cool the pipe outside the socket with a wet rag or squirt bottle with water in it.This will get it to contract and you can apply heat and try again.

        If and when you get it out,flick the solder out of the socket and off the pipe with a flux brush and flux.We use "Everflux" brand out here.With excess solder removed it's easier to get down to tolerances to reinsert pipe into socket fully.Also makes it easier to get polutants off the pipe where the old solder joint terminated outside the socket.

        A few weeks ago I used my acetylene and big tip to take off some 4" fittings on about 10' of type "K" pipe.With the thinner type "L" pipe being $40.00 a foot you better beleive I'm pulling fittings to re-use pipe.

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        • #5
          Re: How to un-solder copper joints

          For me it is usually a residual water issue, however my MAPP torch has helped. Drill a hole in the nearest (lowest) elbow to allow any water to drain. In most house applications you are spending less than a $ and saving much frustration. Not an expert, just sounded like a problem I used to have

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          • #6
            Re: How to un-solder copper joints

            overheating will cause it to weld (sort of) itself to the pipe.

            adding some flux and even some solder if necessary will help it from sticking.

            controlling the heat is key along with making sure there is no water or steam to screw up the process.

            watch the solder start to pop and have a channellock or a hammer to help ease the fitting off. you're not trying to salvage the fitting, correct

            i like to wipe the joint with a rag when it off to remove any excess solder. then re-sand just enough to clean and flux.

            pretty common to do in repair work. especially with a valve too close to the fitting.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              Re: How to un-solder copper joints

              I want to thank everyone for the great information .....I am going to give it a go in the morning...thanks again

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              • #8
                Re: How to un-solder copper joints

                Beat them, twist them, beat them some more, swear at them, crush them, turn them black, some will come off, some will not. It's all up to the plumbing fairy.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: How to un-solder copper joints

                  Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                  Beat them, twist them, beat them some more, swear at them, crush them, turn them black, some will come off, some will not. It's all up to the plumbing fairy.
                  True. Its all depends on how those fittings were hammered together, the rest thats coming off will be tapped together anyway. This time with the heat, unless roto-zip could help.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How to un-solder copper joints

                    Only thing to add is that I don't reflux a copper pipe once the fitting has been pulled. Flux prevents oxidation and since the pipe is covered in solder, no oxidation can occur. To each his own.
                    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to un-solder copper joints

                      Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                      Only thing to add is that I don't reflux a copper pipe once the fitting has been pulled. Flux prevents oxidation and since the pipe is covered in solder, no oxidation can occur. To each his own.
                      And look at the money you save
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Re: How to un-solder copper joints

                        Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                        And look at the money you save
                        Every little bit helps. After not fluxing approximately 5,362 3/4" joints, that's almost enough for a cup of coffee.
                        Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How to un-solder copper joints

                          Every once in a while they just laugh at me as I fry the crap out of them. Usually it comes down to water in the line. A length of small diameter flexible plastic tubing can be handy (I have some from an oxygen respirator thingie I picked out of the trash that works well) to shove well into the pipe in question, then blow air into to force the water out, or suck the water out.
                          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How to un-solder copper joints

                            90% of the time you can get them apart. It's that d%#$# 10% that get ya.
                            Sometimes when they're put together, the pipe gets cut with a ridge around the end of the pipe that doesn't get cleaned, then pounded into the fitting. When they go together hard, stands to reason they'ld come apart hard.

                            That's why apprentices should carry files, cause they don't know when to replace their cutting wheels.
                            sigpic3:00, I mean 5:00, and work is done. Time to crack a cold one.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How to un-solder copper joints

                              I have no problem unsweating up to 11/4.

                              Now, yesterday I tried to unsweat a 2 x 3/4 tee, not a good idea without a vise

                              Long story short, it never happened.
                              sigpic

                              Robert

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