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sweating copper with water in the line

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  • sweating copper with water in the line

    I need to cut two supply lines (hot/cold) to replace a kitchen island in my home. I am very comfortable sweating copper, but have only done it in situations where the whole system was dry.

    After I shut off the water and open the lowest point of the system, there will still be water trapped in the pipe I will be working on (only a few inches away).

    How far away does trapped water need to be to sweat a new joint without having to worry about it? Is a few inches to close for the bread trick?

    I supose I could stick a small diameter hose down the pipe a suck out some of the water to help make my life easier.
    Last edited by franklin pug; 11-27-2011, 08:43 PM.

  • #2
    Re: sweating copper with water in the line

    a few inches is fine as long as there is no seepage.

    think of the scenario of a ball valve with water pressure on 1 side and soldering the other side. the water is literally an inch or 2 away.

    the key is to prevent water seepage that turns into steam. bread should work fine. we have to use water soluble flux by law. seems like no one else is really obeying the law based on an old poll and the general consensus of threads read. with that said, using a regular paste flux that's not water soluble, will be your friend. nokorode paste flux was always my favorite.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: sweating copper with water in the line

      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
      a few inches is fine as long as there is no seepage.

      think of the scenario of a ball valve with water pressure on 1 side and soldering the other side. the water is literally an inch or 2 away.

      the key is to prevent water seepage that turns into steam. bread should work fine. we have to use water soluble flux by law. seems like no one else is really obeying the law based on an old poll and the general consensus of threads read. with that said, using a regular paste flux that's not water soluble, will be your friend. nokorode paste flux was always my favorite.

      rick.
      I bought an oatey product, no. 95 lead free tinning flux, and oatey lead free silver solder. Good products?

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      • #4
        Re: sweating copper with water in the line

        I've drawn water out of a pipe with some poly tubing before, and even opened a valve down low and blew into the open end I planned to work on... whatever gets the water to stop dripping from where I need to solder.

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        • #5
          Re: sweating copper with water in the line

          I have had the best luck using a compressor to blow all of the water out of the line on stuff that does not have a leaking valve anyplace. The sweating goes great till the last connection, and the heat for some reason causes the solder to blow out of the joint. I re-learned this the hardway (see my recent idiot general contractor thread) I don't have any sort of special equipment to stop water, the compressor and white bread are the two things that have worked for me in the past.
          We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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          • #6
            Re: sweating copper with water in the line

            Originally posted by masterbeavis View Post
            I have had the best luck using a compressor to blow all of the water out of the line on stuff that does not have a leaking valve anyplace. The sweating goes great till the last connection, and the heat for some reason causes the solder to blow out of the joint. I re-learned this the hardway (see my recent idiot general contractor thread) I don't have any sort of special equipment to stop water, the compressor and white bread are the two things that have worked for me in the past.
            Leave the valves/faucets/etc open...

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            • #7
              Re: sweating copper with water in the line

              On the job I posted the thread about, we did have EVERYTHING open, but there was water trapped someplace before a valve. We could not make the final fitting not leak until I told the boss I am going to blow the water out of the line. One I did that, we were done in minutes.
              We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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              • #8
                Re: sweating copper with water in the line

                We did. It was not till I got out the compressor and blew the main line out against the owners will that I got anyplace on this particular repair. Details in the below linked thread.

                https://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/t39626/#post365638
                We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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                • #9
                  Re: sweating copper with water in the line

                  Thanks for your help guys - I got the project done with no issues.

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                  • #10
                    Re: sweating copper with water in the line

                    Next time you run into this a shop vac hooked up to a nearby fixture will work wonders, especially if the upstream shut off valve seeps alittle.

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