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soldering bronze fittings

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  • soldering bronze fittings

    has anyone had problems soldering bronze fittings to copper? I was installing a softening system from water techniques and the bronze yoke wont take solder. I tried tinning it, but no go. the fitting turns a little pinkish, then a darker color - solder wont stick. would "lead free" make a difference. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks

    Lennox solder / hercules paste flux

  • #2
    Re: soldering bronze fittings

    did you get a good wire brushing of the bronze? i've seen a layer of clear lacquer on assemblies before.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: soldering bronze fittings

      thanks rick, yes i did. i even took a file to the outside of the fitting and brought it down to shiny metal and solder wouldnt take. i just thought that soldering "lead free" fittings might require a different flux or technique. today i'lltry to soak it in muriatic acid and MEK to etch and dissolve any coatings that might have impregnated the surface, otherwise i'll get the supplier to send me a threaded yoke. thanks for the clear laquere tip, bryan

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      • #4
        Re: soldering bronze fittings

        You might try brazing it with silver solder.

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        • #5
          Re: soldering bronze fittings

          Forgive me, I'm not a plumber... an engineer.

          Bronze should soft solder to copper very nicely. If it's not wetting, it's usually due to not being clean (possible coating as Rick said). Is your flux fresh? Lead-free fitting shouldn't matter. Is it possible that your brush is contaminated?

          Turning a darker color usually means the surface is oxidizing. When that happens, it won't wet. The flux should prevent the oxidation, up until the point where you burn the flux - then it won't wet at all and may prove tough to clean.

          After muriatic soak, be sure to check carefully for pinholes.

          Please post back regarding how you solve this.
          Last edited by Andy_M; 11-10-2010, 02:04 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: soldering bronze fittings

            tried with same solder/flux on 2 drop ear 90"s & was fine, so took the yoke, dremeled till shiny, soaked the yoke in MEK, then muriatic, then MEK again, light sanding, then tinned. it took with some difficultly, like soldering dirty/oily lead (we make flashings too), but it took. went and completed install - no problems i guess there was a coating on it.

            I know i'm not a regular here but thank you all for your advice.(no handshake?)

            bryan

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            • #7
              Re: soldering bronze fittings

              bryan, sorry to hear you got it fixed

              i was ready to jump on a plane to see if i could help

              don't you know i need a diaper break

              rick.
              phoebe it is

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              • #8
                Re: soldering bronze fittings

                As an aside, one thing I've noticed when soldering bronze fittings to copper (valves for example) is that the two materials have different heating characteristics. Bronze, as well as brass, takes longer to reach melting point than pure copper. I assume this is due to it's thermal conductivity.
                http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/th...als-d_858.html
                Whatever is the cause, and all things being equal, I've experienced as many leaks on valve to copper as I have on much more numerous copper to copper joints.

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