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  • B813

    CDA performed a blind
    test using five different mechanics of
    varying soldering ability and experience.
    The mechanics were asked to
    make soldered joints on 2”x2”x1” copper
    tees using the three different solder
    alloys shown in Table 1, and nine different
    fluxes (six meeting ASTM B 813 and
    three old-style fluxes) The mechanics
    had no way of knowing which flux and
    solder combination they were using on
    any given joint.
    Overall, 800-plus joints were made,
    sectioned and peeled for examination of
    the joint surfaces. The results were surprising.
    Regardless of which mechanic
    made the joints and which solder alloy
    was used, three of the six B 813 fluxes
    used clearly resulted in better joints (less
    trapped flux pockets, better solder coverage
    and fill) than the three old-style fluxes
    used. The joints made using the
    remaining three were virtually indistinguishable
    from the old-style fluxes.
    sigpic

  • #2
    Not one of those 800 'tests' were in the field dealing with dirty pipe and dripping water.

    And if trapped flux pockets and poor solder coverage was found then they should have used better plumbers. Quite simply all 800 joints should be rejected as test comparisons because there's no excuse for poor solder coverage. A square cut, deburred, sanded, fluxed pipe and a properly cleaned and fluxed fitting will not have flux pockets or poor coverage.

    David

    Comment


    • #3
      shoot man, i can make an awesome joint with water, crappy dirty pipe, angled cuts, and burrs. sanding is still a necessity. flux, lead-free water soluble or not, is an aid to soldering. it is not designed to hide the problems of the goof wielding the torch.
      ~~

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

      Comment


      • #4
        So can I which proves my point. Assuming a controlled environment how could there be 'flux pockets' and 'poor solder' coverage in this test unless they were plumbers with poor soldering ability. Therefore the test is defective.

        David

        Comment


        • #5
          I'll link the whole article for you tomorrow. There's more too it than that short blurb.
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Regardless of which mechanic
            made the joints and which solder alloy
            was used, three of the six B 813 fluxes
            used clearly resulted in better joints
            so the other 50% of the old "crappy" fluxes made better joints. not looking good for the B 813s
            ~~

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

            Comment


            • #7
              david. my point exactly. as an apprentice we too soldered a 2'' tee in class and it was scored on appearance and penetration once we peeled it apart. we had to solder it in a vertical up, down and horizontal position. of course back in 1981 it was 50/ 50 solder and nokorode flux. we also repeated it in 95/ 5 and again in silver.

              a jobsite with wet and dirty pipes, water soluble flux will not work if any moisture or steam is present. also the joints have to be soldered almost immediately. back when i was doing large scale new construction, we would fit and assemble pipe and solder either towards the end of the day or even the following day with no issues. water soluble flux requires almost immediate soldering.

              of course the test was on copper. wait till they repeat it on lead free brass and publish the results.

              my buddy was having issues with the new lead free nibco ball valves. nibco sent him a box of valve tailpieces and some flux to try out. he was suppose to experiment with the different fluxes and cut open the tailpieces and check his results.

              back in the early 90's when water soluble flux started out, nokorode sent me a few samples to test and even paid me for my time to test and report back to them. i wasn't happy with any of their new samples. they all but disappeared at that time. everflux from europe came in and conquered our market.

              rick.



              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll link the article tomorrow before you fellas get in too deep.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • PLUMBER RICK
                  PLUMBER RICK commented
                  Editing a comment
                  is this a new test or does it date back to the early 90's when i was a guinea pig using flux that others to this date are still not using?

                  rick.

                • NHMaster3015
                  NHMaster3015 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It is fairly recent yes. The article makes the case for proper technique as opposed to blaming fluxes and solders

                • PLUMBER RICK
                  PLUMBER RICK commented
                  Editing a comment
                  once again a laboratory clean room environment is nowhere the same as a real world plumbing environment, especially a repair job in not so ideal conditions.

                  rick.

              • #9
                I'm just responding to what my memory is of water based flux, that being from the mid 90's. I haven't used it since. I see comments on the everflux but haven't tried it.

                I say put these 800 test joints down in a muddy hole on a rainy day soldering on 60 yr old soft copper and let's see who wins. Heck, why not increase it to icy rain, 30 degrees temperature and make it night time.

                David

                Comment


                • #10
                  Just a thought. Back in the 80s I was welding tons of 3Ft' I beams in S.F. Every weld was tested by UT. Ultrasonic testing . In 2 Years I only failed one weld. It was Hydrogen Embrittlement. Da , We were welding in rain ! Be fun to Ut some copper !
                  I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Here is the link

                    http://www.copper.org/publications/p.../pdf/a4068.pdf
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I believe as tradesmen we have changer the way we solder with the lead free and water soluble producis. At the same time, the lead free and water soluble products have gotten much better.

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

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

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        perfect solder joints, while
                        nice, are not necessary. Generally, a solder
                        joint that has 70% to 80% solder fill,
                        with no voids extending more than
                        20% to 30% of the length from front to
                        back of the joint, should handle all system
                        stresses and provide a lifetime of
                        service.
                        This is what I love about copper.org. they hammer on the principles of doing it right and then say, "well, maybe not."

                        This one is about direct burial and protection from copper-eating chemicals.

                        http://www.copper.org/applications/p...be_buried.html

                        They say, too, that it's OK to direct bury copper in concrete. We all know the outcome of that one... Here's how to 'properly' seal a copper sleeve:



                        Thumb-gum
                        Last edited by Plumber Punky; 05-29-2014, 08:33 AM.
                        ~~

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

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          That article was reprinted from the reeves magazine in sep 2004. Just a couple of years after water soluble flux came out. any true plumber who can't tell the difference between water soluble flux and regular flux is not a true plumber with any real experiance. Back in 04 there were very few fluxes out there that met astm b 813. Today there are a lot more choices. But not 1 of them will work with any moisture or steam present. Not 1. With old flux, I could still solder with water trickling and steam being generated.

                          the test they performed 10 years ago did not address the challenges we face in the real world of service work. Yes new construction with dry lines, clean pipe and fittings is worlds apart from older pipe, fittings and wet lines and now lead free brass.

                          so as the 10 year article mentioned, astm b 813 is a required standard for the entire country. So why are there still plumbers not using this flux? If it's suppose to be just as good and even better than regular flux, what seems to be the issue why plumbers are not using the approved flux? My supply houses don't even stock non approved flux anymore. It's long gone.

                          once again, pro press has taken off since the Introduction of water soluble flux. Why? Because the new flux is not a true replacement for the real enviroment we work in.

                          Rick.
                          phoebe it is

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            I can't speak for the rest of you but if there's water present, even soldering with the old stuff often doesn't work because the steam generated drives the flux from the joint but I like to think that as "master" plumbers, most of us are aware of the challenges that water presents to the soldering process and know how to effectively deal with it without having to spend several thousand dollars on a piece of equipment that essentially squeezes an O ring around the pipe. I don't see Pro-Press taking off around here. In fact I hardly ever run into work that has been pressed but maybe that's a regional thing. As I've stated many times in the past, most of the supply houses in this area don't stock Jack for fittings. I think there is a stark contrast to how plumbing is done in the east compared to the west but then, we've been at it longer. I have never had a single property owner or commercial manager or owner ask me about Pro-Press or for that matter any pipe joining method. They leave those details to the professional they hire to do the job. I have also never lost a job because someone else bid it using Pro-press. I have never had to turn down a job because I didn't think we could get it done in time either. If we were to follow the current line of thought, copper is well on its way out and it won't be long before some palms get enough grease and they begin approving PEX and plastics for all use both domestic and commercial and if that does happen, copper and Pro-press become a side note in the history of plumbing. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a plumber that switched to Press solely because of B813 flux either.
                            Last edited by NHMaster3015; 05-29-2014, 09:42 AM.
                            sigpic

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