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  • Checking Soldered Joints

    I am doing a bathroom remodel. I needed to move the copper supply lines over so that they would match up in the new cabinets I ordered.

    I soldered all the joints (using the sweat method). I put temporary caps on the ends so that I can drywall and install the cabinets. And have turned the water supply back on (on Saturday).

    Here is my delema... I am not sure if I have a solid seal. There is air still in the line from when I opened the lines and so water is not on all the joints.

    I am assuming that I have good joints as I think that the air molecules are smaller than water molecules, so if I had a leak, the air would have seaped out and then the water would also be leaking.

    I have asked at the local Home Improvement store if my theory is correct and I am not sure they really understand my question.

    Can you please tell me if my theory is correct or if I should remove the caps and put valves on and run the complete test.

    Thanks in advance for your response.
    Regards,<br /><br />Rommy

  • #2
    rommy,

    If you have a leak the air would have leaked out in the area you soldered and you would have water on the floor.

    It is not unusual to have air trapped in the line but copper which leaks will leak air as easily as water. You could try and open all of your tub valves and fixtures to bleed air.

    Chance are if you still have air in the lines and no visible water on the floor your pipes are not leaking.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you very much for your quick response. I really appreciate it. I feel that I can coverup the walls (drywall) and feel secure that there is no leak.
      Regards,<br /><br />Rommy

      Comment


      • #4
        If it's on for a couple of days, like you indicated you are alright. But if this was a "turn it on and drywall" I would be concerned.

        A couple of hundred years ago, when I was an apprentice, we used to turn the water on and check for leaks. If none showed in half and hour it was good.

        With the fluxes we are forced to use know, I have seen leaks three months later.

        Just the truth.

        the dog
        the dog

        Comment


        • #5
          dog, bring back the "nokorode" flux. with the proper cleaning of excess flux from a compleated joint, i've never had an issue.

          this whole water safe flux started when the fire sprinkler fitters tried to install copper sprinkler systems. they didn't and couldn't properly flush out the lines. therefore as the flux leached into the sprinkler heads, they eventually started to leak.
          i havn't seen a copper sprinkler system installed for years. now they use that salmon colored plastic instead.

          lead free solder was 1 thing, but this flux sucks.
          especially for service work with water in the lines. makes you want to go out and buy a propress. (i had to throw that in.)

          rick.

          Comment


          • #6
            Rick,

            You guys have plastic fire sprinkler lines out there?

            I hope there is more to it than your post indicates.

            Agreed about the water soluble flux, plus if you flux a joint in humid weather it has to be soldered within minutes or the fitting needs recleaned. It takes away the old school method of fitting for 6 hours and soldering and going home.
            Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by plumber:
              Rick,

              You guys have plastic fire sprinkler lines out there?

              I hope there is more to it than your post indicates.

              Agreed about the water soluble flux, plus if you flux a joint in humid weather it has to be soldered within minutes or the fitting needs recleaned. It takes away the old school method of fitting for 6 hours and soldering and going home.
              Plumber,

              I've never seen plastic sprinkler lines. But, I work exclusivly in commercial construction.

              Out here fire protection and plumbing are seperate. What I see all the time is Sch. 10 iron pipe with Victolic couplings. I, personally have never seen plastic fire lines. But, as I said, I don't work in residential.

              the dog
              the dog

              Comment


              • #8
                Out here in Los Angeles we had a ordinance named the Dorthy Mae Ordinance which required all older apartment buildings to add Fire Sprinklers. During that period CPVC Fire Spinklers were approved with certain restrictions as to the location of the piping (Fire Rated Soffits). I'm not sure whether they are still using CPVC or not.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                Comment


                • #9
                  not sure what type of plastic the sprinklers are run in. it's a samon color pipe that comes in a cardbord box. probably 10' lenghts? it has all the ratings on it including the "fm" approvals. i don't believe it's cpvc.
                  think about the labor savings on installation. especially on retrofit jobs. most local cities are requiring fire sprinkles in new construction of private homes now.
                  since i don't do fire sprinkler i will have to find out what this newer material is called. it has been around a couple of years as far as i can remember.

                  rick.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rick,

                    The salmon colored pipe is CPVC piping listed for Fire Sprinklers.

                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am not sure of the specific technical name for the pipe, but here in Alaska the plastic "salmon colored" and other colored pipes are run for fire sprinkler systems in both commercial and residential now. Matter of fact, it's getting hard to see any new construction with anything but anymore.

                      Far as the flux, I believe it actually started after tests were done showing that, in improperly "flushed" systems prior to service, residues of fluxes such as No-Korode can come out in the potable water and, as such, possibly be even drank by end users, and this theoretically has been shown to cause everything from dental problems to actual poisoning.

                      Of course, everybody I know hates the stuff, and yes, on many jobs I've seen it used, by very competent plumbers who KNEW how to sweat copper, using high quality fittings and solder, leaks would occur shortly after. The stuff is great for washing off your hands but horrid for sweating pipe. And as I hate to admit it, alot of guys resort to the old trick of buying a tub of water-soluable, emptying it, and re-filling it with No-Korode to "trick" the inspectors.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Far as the flux, I believe it actually started after tests were done showing that, in improperly "flushed" systems prior to service, residues of fluxes such as No-Korode can come out in the potable water and, as such, possibly be even drank by end users, and this theoretically has been shown to cause everything from dental problems to actual poisoning."

                        I had heard these tales too, but to date have no evidence to back them up. Not saying it is not possible, this has always been a concern of mine with regard to potable water systems and solder flux.

                        Here's a link to Rectorseal's website with MSDS information on their products. I'm not singling out Rectorseal here as the bad guy, their products are popular in the trade and as such are used by many. No doubt other manufacturers have similar information on the web or at the least it should be available for the asking from your supplier.

                        http://www.rectorseal.com/webcatindex.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The water soluble flux is required here as well. Unfortunately many inspectors turn a blind eye towards the use of the "old good stuff".

                          So, has someone invented a cpvc that will not melt during a hot building fire? If the supply pipe melts how is that going to allow water to get out to the heads in order to keep the fire from spreading?
                          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nice Link. Thanks Bob D..
                            Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              plumber,

                              As far as I am concerned it is a bad systme but it has been in use for 20-years without anyone calling to put an end to it. Generally the jobs I have seen the pipes are installed in a fire rated soffit with I believe a 1-hour rating.

                              We looked at it once on a building which was a retro-fit but decided the cost of the soffits made it more expensive than steel.

                              Mark
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                              Comment

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