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Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

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  • Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

    When I learned to solder, I was taught to use about 1/4" of solder for a 1/2" fitting (roughly half the diameter). Really, I just solder until the fitting is done.

    Someone was teaching another guy to use a length of solder equal to the diameter.

    What's the rule of thumb? Does it hold true for 2",3" and 4"?

    Todd

  • #2
    Re: Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

    1/2" for 1/2" pipe, and so on up till 1 1/4" then it takes a bit more. Truthfully though it always takes what it takes so it does not leak.
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    • #3
      Re: Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

      I never heard of this. A proficient solderer will know when the joint is full of solder. That is when it is enough.
      Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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      • #4
        Re: Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

        Recently I started a thread about soldering a 2 1/2" valve and in my quest for info I asked this same question and was told on 2 1/2" at least 1 1/2 times the size of the pipe. I used a more than that on my project but nice to have a reference. No leaks

        wookie

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        • #5
          Re: Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

          Thanks for the input all.

          Todd

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          • #6
            Re: Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

            NHMaster Is right, 1/2 for 1/2, 3/4 for 3/4 and up to 1 1/4. Bottom line it comes down to the situation, i.e. water in the pipes, type of flux, how clean the fittings and pipe are. Then there is that HARD to REACH fitting. sometimes you gotta use what ya gotta use. I Make it a point to inspect each and every fitting, with a flash light and mirror if need be. Nothing worse than trying to fix a leak with water in the line. If it take an extra inch of solder its worth the time saved. MOST importantly you WILL have leaks everyone does. Except for Liers and people who don't do any real work. GOOD LUCK!

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            • #7
              Re: Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

              NHMaster Is right, 1/2 for 1/2, 3/4 for 3/4 and up to 1 1/4. Bottom line it comes down to the situation, i.e. water in the pipes, type of flux, how clean the fittings and pipe are. Then there is that HARD to REACH fitting. sometimes you gotta use what ya gotta use. I Make it a point to inspect each and every fitting, with a flash light and mirror if need be. Nothing worse than trying to fix a leak with water in the line. If it take an extra inch of solder its worth the time saved. MOST importantly you WILL have leaks everyone does. Except for Liers and people who don't do any real work. GOOD LUCK!

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              • #8
                Re: Rule of thumb for amount of solder?

                When I learned to solder, I was taught to use about 1/4" of solder for a 1/2" fitting (roughly half the diameter). Really, I just solder until the fitting is done.

                i've heard of this before. i've never used that rule because it takes what it takes to fill the joint.

                i use the one drip method myself usually. i say usually because sometimes you need to make a really clean joint. ie; exposed pipe. also i can't always see the bottom of the joint that i'm soldering. so when i hear that one or two drops hit my drip pan, i know the joint is full.

                just make sure your joints are clean. a flux brush bristle can cause a leak.

                i don't slop the flux on. it's a waste and can in fact ruin a union, valve, checkvalve, etc. wipe off any excess for a really clean joint. too much flux makes for a messy joint and is a waste of solder. i've seen guys use over a foot of solder for one 3/4" joint because they didn't follow the basic rules of soldering. impatience being their biggest mistake.

                is it possible that this rule of thumb might be used when costing out big jobs?

                ie; how many rolls of solder for the job

                Vince

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