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  • Old Bronze Valves

    I was working on a kitchen faucet where, in the cabinet below, the supply stops were old gate valves. They are about 40 years old. One valve, the cold side, leaked very badly from where the gate shaft entered its packing nut.

    The valve was constructed as such:

    body < top half < gate shaft packer < main packer < handle

    I figured a little tightening would do it but found out that the threads were corroded out. Of course, adjustment made it worse and there wasn't time for replacement. (will be done next week) I figured cleaning it and a little silver braze would stop the leak....sooooo....

    Cleaned it up all nice and bright. No matter how hot I heated the damn thing, even cherry red, the silver wouldn't stick. It would ball up and run off.

    Is this common with bronze valves? Brass is normally easy to braze.

    I did stop it eventually by pulling the handle, stem, and both packers, then filling the remaining threaded hole with a 'silver plug'.
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

  • #2
    Re: Old Bronze Valves

    I would have soldered it over braze. brass usually requires brazing flux. copper doesn't.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Old Bronze Valves

      Unless there was something special about the valve if the valve was 40 years old why not replace it?

      Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
      I was working on a kitchen faucet where, in the cabinet below, the supply stops were old gate valves. They are about 40 years old. One valve, the cold side, leaked very badly from where the gate shaft entered its packing nut.

      The valve was constructed as such:

      body < top half < gate shaft packer < main packer < handle

      I figured a little tightening would do it but found out that the threads were corroded out. Of course, adjustment made it worse and there wasn't time for replacement. (will be done next week) I figured cleaning it and a little silver braze would stop the leak....sooooo....

      Cleaned it up all nice and bright. No matter how hot I heated the damn thing, even cherry red, the silver wouldn't stick. It would ball up and run off.

      Is this common with bronze valves? Brass is normally easy to braze.

      I did stop it eventually by pulling the handle, stem, and both packers, then filling the remaining threaded hole with a 'silver plug'.
      Time flies like an arrow.

      Fruit flies like a banana.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Old Bronze Valves

        Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
        Unless there was something special about the valve if the valve was 40 years old why not replace it?
        I would have probably replaced it too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Old Bronze Valves

          Both valves are getting replaced. There just wasnt time then.
          ~~

          ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Old Bronze Valves

            punky i'm *** uming you had the water off, and the valves cleared of any moisture? as you know you cant heat water filled valves or get them to take solder when water filled.
            did you clean the brass really well? I've soldered brass many times and with the right temp and clen fitting it can be done.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Old Bronze Valves

              The water was off, the parts being brazed were outside and sitting on a concrete curb. The metal was polished and there was no corrosion anywhere. There was another type of brass I couldnt braze too. That was on a frost free spigot.
              ~~

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Old Bronze Valves

                Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                The water was off, the parts being brazed were outside and sitting on a concrete curb. The metal was polished and there was no corrosion anywhere. There was another type of brass I couldnt braze too. That was on a frost free spigot.
                Probably yellow brass, not much copper in it, cheaper than red brass.
                ---------------
                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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                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Old Bronze Valves

                  Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                  Both valves are getting replaced. There just wasnt time then.
                  Ice cream container underneath and lots of towels. Yeah good move to swap out for new.

                  Comment

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