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 resoldering copper fittings
Author: lc60631 (IL)

When I disasemble copper piping to reconfigure it, I have trouble resoldering the new pipe to the old fitting. Whats best method to get water tight joint?

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: North Carolina Plumber (NC)

Using a new fitting would probably be best. Other than that just make sure the new pipe is properly cleaned, fluxed and heated. The old fitting is already tinned so it shouldn't be whats causing the problem.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: mrmike (NY)

I have good luck by cleaning the old fitting with steel wool while the old solder is still "hot" when taking it apart. If it is a female fitting, I swab it inside and out. Be careful & wear good gloves.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

As long as you can put the two pieces together, it should solder. Clean the pipe and the fitting with emery or steel wool. It is not necessary, or even desirable, to get down to bare copper. The tinning of the surface makes soldering easier. But must be clean, and of course well fluxed with a fresh flux application.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: e-plumber (NY)

There's only a few rare instances where copper sweat fittings would/should be reused.

e-plumber
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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: hj (AZ)

You are doing something wrong then, because soldering to ANYTHING which has been taken apart, and thus pretinned, is easier than making a new joint. However, you do have to do it just as if it were a new joint.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: hj (AZ)

One would be when you did not remove the fitting, just the tubing which went into the fitting, which is probably what this person is referring to, since he mentions "new copper tubing".

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: dlh (TX)

steel wool is not recommend for use in cleaning copper pipe or fittings

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: mrmike (NY)

Most of the time it is better to use new fittings, but there are instances where we do have to resolder onto old connections,etc. As I stated in another post here, I always swab the joint when I am taking it apart (hot) with steel wool. It does not take the tin off but smooths it out & cleans it for a nice new joint.
Who doesn't recommend steel wool? It is probably because of the filings getting into the system. I use a cleaning brush & steel wool & I always flush the system well before I leave.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: dlh (TX)

the copper organization. steel wool leaves particles on teh pipe and in the fittings and can cause a bad joint even though it may look good

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: hj (AZ)

IF the solder is hot a rag cleans them better than steel wool. Otherwise a fitting brush is also preferable to steel wool.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: mrmike (NY)

APPARENTLY NO-ONE HERE HAS EVER WORKED WITH ANY OLD TIME PLUMBERS WHO WERE SKILLED CRAFTSMAN. A rag for cleaning a hot joint?? Associations have their good points but aren't a rule of thumb. We learn thru experiance & filtering out the good ideas that work for us.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: redwood (CT)

:laugh:
Guess Mr. Mike told you HJ...
:laugh:

Yea a rag works great on hot fittings...
As long as it's not polyester...
Found a few of those in the last bale of rags we got at the shop.
I hate when that happens.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: hj (AZ)

YES, a rag, or cloth if you will, across a hot tinned copper tube or inside the fitting, removes all but the thinnest layer of solder, making it perfectly prepared for resoldering, AND the tubing usually inserts without binding. What is your problem with it?

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: hj (AZ)

He sure did. Now if I can just figure out WHAT he told me.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: PlumberManDan (IA)

It sounded like he was saying that it is easier to do it the hard way instead of the easy way. Personally I have found that the BLUE shop towels either on the roll or in a box work great. Funny thing my uncle also a OLD TIME Master plumber, used old cotton t-shirts, Not steel wool.

PlumbCat TM 2003


Plumbermandan

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: hj (AZ)

Never steel wool. Soapless Skotch Brite pads do clean the copper quite well, however.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: mrmike (NY)

HJ, no problem with the rag, if you noticed I had a question mark. I am open to it. I have always used a wet rag to cool down the joint I'm sweating & it makes a nice neat job. Seems like everyone is against steel wool, the hard way of doing it, but I have never had a problem with it. TIme for us old guys to move aside, as we must have did it wrong all these years.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: dlh (TX)

there are a great many plumbers that were taught bad habbits or just plain wrong

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: hj (AZ)

Age and treachery will win out over youth and enthusiasm every time.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

Teach him to relieve back pressure be for attempting to make a reconfigured joint.Good Luck.

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: hj (AZ)

And how is that different from relieving back pressure with a NEW joint?

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 Re: resoldering copper fittings
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

Just trying to get to the problem with remaking it.Many times this point is overlooked.Good Luck.

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