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  • What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

    I'm installing a water powered sump pump, and it needs to have a water supply line plumbed in. I have 1/2" copper running directly overhead, and planned to solder in a tee, solder in a male threaded adapter, install a threaded quarter turn ball valve, and screw in another male threaded adapter with a 1/2" copper stub that will convert to PEX and go down to the sump pump.

    What's the best way to solder in the tee?

    If I solder in the tee first, the opening will be pointing down, and I'll have to solder "up" to get the male adapter in. I'm concerned that the solder will not wick up far enough and around, despite good sanding of both parts and a generous amount of flux.

    If I bench solder the adapter in first, and then try to solder both tee ends into my supply line, I'm afraid the male adapter will fall out, then I'll have a heck of a time trying to get it back in.

    Advice?

  • #2
    Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

    having the solder "wick" up is no issue. as you mentioned good cleaning and flux is required. but so is proper heat.

    i always solder my vertical up joints first.

    i would be more concerned with residual water in the line and 1/2'' pex feeding your pump. verify the minimum flows and pressures required for your application.

    you could always use a sharkbite tee if you're worried about solder.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

      Yes, as Rick said, I would not use the 1/2 pex as it has a smaller inside diameter than 1/2 copper pipe, and with one of those sumps, you want plenty of flow to run the pump.
      If you have soldered before, you can solder this tee in. Rick eluded to the water in the line that you are cutting in to. That will be the worst part of the job, getting all the water out. If the tee is hot enough to solder the top two on the fitting, then it will surely take solder on the bottom and suck it right up into it.

      You don't want the fitting so hot that the solder starts to boil either.

      Either that, or use the shark bite tee. But don't give in on the soldering! It's easy, and the right way!
      Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

        when soldering a fitting heat the fitting not the pipe, solder will flow to wards the heat and will flow up into a fitting if it is in a vertical position, I would clean flux and fit all the pipe and the fitting together and if concerned about the bottom pipe dropping out have some with with a tool hold up on the pipe so it does not drop out, heat the Tee and wait until the solder will melt and flow then apply solder as needed to the joints the solder will suck up into the space between the pipe and the fitting if done right, It is the heat and the capillary action, of the melted solder and the tinning process and the flux, (if the pipe is not clean, bright and shiny you will most likely have problems even with good flux, do not for get to clean the inside of the fitting,) also it must be dry, if your getting drips or steam comming from the pipe your working with you will most likely have problems as well, How to Solder Copper Pipes | Video | Plumbing | This Old House
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        • #5
          Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

          All you have to do is squeeze the fitting with your pliers a little then turn the pipe a quarter turn, it won't fall out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            having the solder "wick" up is no issue. as you mentioned good cleaning and flux is required. but so is proper heat.

            i always solder my vertical up joints first.

            i would be more concerned with residual water in the line and 1/2'' pex feeding your pump. verify the minimum flows and pressures required for your application.

            you could always use a sharkbite tee if you're worried about solder.

            rick.
            Agree with Rick except for the SharkBite. Man up and learn to solder. ;-)

            That joint is the least of your worries. You'd want to start with the lowest joint anyway because the heat is only going to rise which will preheat the joints in the run of the tee. If you soldered the run first, when you dropped down to the bull of the tee you'd probably end up losing at least one of the first two joints depending on how you direct the heat. Try and control it by not heating the lower joint fully ans you'll end up with a leaker.

            Get rid of any residual water in the line overhead, and be sure it will not run back to your joint while fitting it all up and soldering, the rest should be easy.
            And put a slight squeeze (to make it slightly out of round) on your adapter so it doesn't fall out when you heat it up.
            ---------------
            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
            ---------------
            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
            ---------
            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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            • #7
              Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

              Originally posted by ironranger;352811 [B
              All you have to do is squeeze the fitting with your pliers a little then turn the pipe a quarter turn, it won't fall out.
              Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
              Agree with Rick except for the SharkBite. Man up and learn to solder. ;-)

              That joint is the least of your worries. You'd want to start with the lowest joint anyway because the heat is only going to rise which will preheat the joints in the run of the tee. If you soldered the run first, when you dropped down to the bull of the tee you'd probably end up losing at least one of the first two joints depending on how you direct the heat. Try and control it by not heating the lower joint fully ans you'll end up with a leaker.

              Get rid of any residual water in the line overhead, and be sure it will not run back to your joint while fitting it all up and soldering, the rest should be easy.
              And put a slight squeeze (to make it slightly out of round) on your adapter so it doesn't fall out when you heat it up.
              guys, not to school you, but squeezing the pipe and fitting is going to cause the clearances of the pipe to socket to be off. some spots will be several thousandths and some will be nothing. not the way it should be done.

              the proper way that doesn't affect the clearances is to nick the leading edge of the tubing with your channel locks and this will create a slight burr on the od of the pipe. this will only affect a minute section and not change the tolerances of the tubing and socket. still providing the tight fit keeping the tubing from falling out

              plus try squeezing 6'' copper with your channelocks 1 day

              rick.
              Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 07-25-2011, 08:38 PM.
              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                guys, not to school you, but squeezing the pipe and fitting is going to cause the clearances of the pipe to socket to be off. some spots will be several thousandths and some will be nothing. not the way it should be done.

                the proper way that doesn't affect the clearances is to nick the leading edge of the tubing with your channel locks and this will create a slight burr on the od of the pipe. this will only affect a minute section and not change the tolerances of the tubing and socket. still providing the tight fit keeping the tubing from falling out

                plus try squeezing 6'' copper with your channelocks 1 day

                rick.
                Of course it won't work on 6", we're not talking large bore copper in this case. Most times you don't need it for anything over 3", at least I haven't ans I've done plenty of 3,4,6, and 8" copper. I'm not talking about distorting the fitting or pipe that much either. A good mechanic knows you only need the slightest squeeze to get it to work, and usually I do the ding on the end of the pipe but this is male adapter into a tee IIRC.

                And reading between the lines I take it you don't have a pair of channelocks big enough for 6". How 'bout that. A tool DOES exist that you don't have.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

                  my channelock 460's go 4'' no problem, but i doubt my hands will crimp a 6'' fitting.

                  but they will easily nick the edge of any size tubing.

                  distorting the entire fitting is not the way it was taught to us apprentices 30 years ago.

                  capillary action requires clearances . pipe and fittings squeezed will vary those clearance from nothing to well beyond the .002'' that's built into the fittings.

                  might as well hit them with a hammer and save the channelocks

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    my channelock 460's go 4'' no problem, but i doubt my hands will crimp a 6'' fitting.

                    but they will easily nick the edge of any size tubing. TRUE

                    distorting the entire fitting is not the way it was taught to us apprentices 30 years ago. ALSO TRUE.

                    capillary action requires clearances . pipe and fittings squeezed will vary those clearance from nothing to well beyond the .002'' that's built into the fittings. AGREE.

                    might as well hit them with a hammer and save the channelocks YUP.

                    rick.

                    I agree with all the above Rick... learned it the same place you did, but I'll still do it
                    the way I always have and not had a leak or a problem making a joint.
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

                      Good point about the smaller ID of the pex. I will have to re-think how to get supply water down to the backup pump. Having it hard plumbed with copper will make it really difficult to service the submersible (main) pump because the backup pump sits on its discharge line.

                      Not sure what the part is called, but I have a "disconnect" fitting that has 2 ends that come together with a large nut that holds them in place. That might fit the bill for being able to disconnect. Plus, if I put in 2, they will provide some degree of adjustment in case I have to replace the main pump and the distances/angles aren't exactly the same.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

                        the connection you're looking for is called a "union"

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What's the best way to solder this fitting in?

                          Rick, I will have to try the "nick" thing. I was taught the crimping way, and that is all I have ever done. I will be giving it a go.
                          That is why I come on here.
                          Thanks.

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