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  • sweating copper pipe

    as an DIYer who knows how to sweat copper, i've wonedered, over the years, if there is a general correlation between the diameter of a pipe and the amount (length) of solder that should normally be fed into the joint, once the pipe reaches the melting temperature of the solder and it begins to run into the joint. any pros care to comment?
    there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

  • #2
    Re: sweating copper pipe

    Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
    as an DIYer who knows how to sweat copper, i've wonedered, over the years, if there is a general correlation between the diameter of a pipe and the amount (length) of solder that should normally be fed into the joint, once the pipe reaches the melting temperature of the solder and it begins to run into the joint. any pros care to comment?
    not a pro but they sure make it look easy

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: sweating copper pipe

      Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
      as an DIYer who knows how to sweat copper, i've wonedered, over the years, if there is a general correlation between the diameter of a pipe and the amount (length) of solder that should normally be fed into the joint, once the pipe reaches the melting temperature of the solder and it begins to run into the joint. any pros care to comment?
      I think that it has been asked before and the consensus was that "it takes what it takes..."

      You could say 1" for 1/2" or whatever but it would seem impossible to hold to any rule like that in the field.

      So, for me, it takes what it takes.

      J.C.

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      • #4
        Re: sweating copper pipe

        That's why were pro's Propane or Mapp gas. Amount of flux. Where to apply flame all makes a big difference on time and amount.
        Last edited by UnClogNH; 01-06-2010, 08:19 PM.
        Rod
        MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
        Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
        http://unclognh.com
        http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

        Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: sweating copper pipe

          I was taught the minimum amount of solder is equal to the diameter of the pipe.

          I don't have to do much soldering in my line of work so haven't bothered with map gas. I use propane for everything. I'm very proficient in soldering and my joints never leak and always look neat but the plumbers can always get the same results in less time.

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          • #6
            Re: sweating copper pipe

            Never measured but there are stories...
            I use enough.No blobs (Or rarely..)
            But I have worked with journeyman who will
            put 7-10 inches of solder into a joint and have a HUGE mess of "solder splash"
            on the floor/area around them.
            Schooling-wise there is no taught method in terms of length of
            solder as it is more by watching your joint.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: sweating copper pipe

              I heat the fitting then wipe off excess flux running out of joint with rag then I fill till it drips once on horizontal and then use that same amount on the vertical joints. It is about the same legnth in solder as the pipe dia. your sweating, 1/2" for 1/2" fitting, 3/4" for 3/4" fitting and so on till you hit the larger size fittings above 1 1/4" then I fill it till it starts to run and then I put in some more.
              ________
              Highland park plant
              Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 06:29 PM.
              Mike

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              • #8
                Re: sweating copper pipe

                Originally posted by TOPDAWG View Post
                I heat the fitting then wipe off excess flux running out of joint with rag then I fill till it drips once on horizontal and then use that same amount on the vertical joints. It is about the same legnth in solder as the pipe dia. your sweating, 1/2" for 1/2" fitting, 3/4" for 3/4" fitting and so on till you hit the larger size fittings above 1 1/4" then I fill it till it starts to run and then I put in some more.
                Were all glad you avatar has his shirt tucked in.
                My avatar needs hers 'untucked'.

                Solder-wise...seems about right or reeeeal close.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: sweating copper pipe

                  I'm not a plumber but I've been sodering and welding all sorts of things for about 20 years... here's my take.

                  I did an experiment years ago when first learning to sweat copper, just using some couplings and scraps of pipe. When you see a silver ring that goes all the way around on the INSIDE of the joint, you're done. If you get this, you will usually see a nice neat fillet on the outside. A little extra is ok, but adding a lot of additional solder doesn't help. If the fitting is a little loose (some are tighter, some are looser) and you pump in a lot of solder, it drips and makes a mess but also it could be making a big blob or drip inside the fitting.

                  Try the experiment yourself. You'll quickly get a feel for how much solder you need. It doesn't really take much.

                  I used to use propane but it was painfully slow on 1" and larger. I tried a big soft flame on my oxy-acetylene welding rig, and the extra heat really sped things up, but my welding bottles are too large. So I got a MAPP torch and now that's all I use, even on little 1/2 risers and such. I think if I did a lot of 1-1/2 or larger I would get one of those multi-head MAPP or small air-acetylene rigs, but for up to 1" the single head MAPP works well.

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                  • #10
                    Re: sweating copper pipe

                    Too much solder can also cause drips inside the pipe. This is worse than the drips on the outside. The ones on the outside can be wiped off.
                    Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

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                    • #11
                      Re: sweating copper pipe

                      TOPDAWG...thank you for the information.
                      there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: sweating copper pipe

                        here's richard of this old house soldering and other alternative techniques.
                        http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/vi...e-191690/view/

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                        • #13
                          Re: sweating copper pipe

                          I heat the pipe up, until it starts to take solder, then when it drips off the bottom, I go ahead and wipe the solder all teh way around to be sure everything took. Then inspect, if there is a black spot, I will hit it again.

                          But regardless of what is the correct amount, if you are feeding it solder, and it is dripping off the bottom, then even if you have not put the "required amount" in, does not matter. It won't take anymore.

                          If it is a tricky repair, I will feed it alot more solder and wipe it around a few times. REALLY REALLY sucks to have to re-solder after you put pressure on the system...

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