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Old 09-10-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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Brass to copper solder


I am plumbing a new shower assembly and I am having trouble soldering the brass flange to the copper pipe which will connect to the valve assembly. I managed to get the pipe hot enough to melt the solder but the flange didn't adhere to the pipe and i was able to slide the flange off the pipe. What am I doing wrong?

Also, should I be concerned about over heating a copper pipe when soldering on copper fittings like elbows? In my concern to insure I had the joint soldered, I heated it for quite a bit and it began smoking...burning the flux I guess.

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Old 09-10-2012, 09:31 PM   #2
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Brass to copper solder


Maybe you got oil and/or not enough heat to brass fitting?

I would sand both the inside of a brass fitting and outside of a copper pipe (open mesh sandpaper works best), apply flux to both, joined them together, then apply heat and solder.

Remember to apply heat to the brass fitting, not the copper pipe. When you have enough solder covering the entire joint, solder will start to drip out. Stop and wipe the fitting area with a dry rag (not wet).

I used to generate tons of recyclable metal fittings until I figured out the brass needing more heat part Just take a deep breath and take your time.

Good luck

PS. I usually wear a pair of latex gloves when sanding and applying flux to prevent hand oil from getting on those parts.


Last edited by allthumbsdiy; 09-10-2012 at 09:35 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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Brass to copper solder


soldering brass fittings is the same proceedure as copper but what are you calling a flange?
If you're working with a shower valve, be sure to remove the guts prior to applying heat. You can damage the o rings,etc.
Are you using flux? What kind? Perhaps you're not heating the brass enough. Heat the fitting and not the pipe.
And yes, you can overheat the fitting and ruin the flux but it will always smoke.
Take a few minutes and watch some youtube soldering videos
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:44 PM   #4
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Brass to copper solder


I think OP is talking about a drop ear elbow.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:02 PM   #5
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Brass to copper solder


Try some new flux. I struggled with a 2 year old can of Oatey's tinning flux. Bought a new can of the regular and it worked great.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:23 PM   #6
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Brass to copper solder


It was labelled a flange in the store but I think it might be something else. One end is a 1/2 inch pipe and the other end is a female thread that will thread onto the shower valve. I am replacing all of the pipe so, I have been assembling it so that I can attach the 'flange' to the pipe and thread it on to the valve and then complete the other solder joints...this way, I don't have to worry about ruining the valve rings, etc.

The brass fitting was looser on the pipe, prior to soldering, than the copper fittings were. I assume the joint should fill with solder even though it was looser.

I think I spent more time heating the copper than the brass to begin with, but I corrected this and the solder was entering the joint but not causing the two pieces to become one.

I will get new flux tomorrow and try again.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:30 PM   #7
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Brass to copper solder


I think you're describing male adapters. They are commonly available in copper and are easier to work with than brass ones
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:56 PM   #8
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http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/s...&storeId=10051

It took me awhile to find it but, I think it is a female adaptor from what I found on home depot. Hopefully, the link posts.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:32 AM   #9
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Brass to copper solder


First of all---the threaded fittings should be soldered to your pipe first--cooled well--then threaded onto the brass valve---

Use TFE paste and teflon tape---then protected from heat with a wet rag----

Exactly what flux are you using?
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:14 AM   #10
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Brass to copper solder


Are you heating the pipe or the fitting?

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Old 09-11-2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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Brass to copper solder


The flux I am using is Kester acid paste flux sp-30. I was heating the pipe but, after reading some advice, I started heating the fitting and I have been successful. Tomorrow I hope to hook the shower assembly into the line and see how it works. Crossing my fingers for no leaks.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:45 PM   #12
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Brass to copper solder


you may want to do a simple leak test before putting up durock.

when i worked on my bathrooms, I used something like this to plug into your threaded ends (use some white teflon tape for a tight seal) and test them individually.



I think Home Depot has it under "Watts 1/2 in. Brass Square-Head Pipe Plug". It is pricey at 5 bucks each but you will know that your soldered fittings are leak proof.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:51 PM   #13
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Brass to copper solder


I was thinking that I could solder the last two connections to finalize the install and then just turn the water on to check for leaks. Should I be doing something different? I am not sure how using a plug would be different.

With the assembly I have, I should be able to turn on the tap itself to see what happens. I would just be using the shower head to spray water in the drain. The cbu would go up after.

Last edited by wwkayaker; 09-11-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:40 AM   #14
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Brass to copper solder


You will be fine with your idea-----Most people add a capped 5 or 6 inch nipple---this helps when rocking and tiling-----
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:29 AM   #15
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Brass to copper solder


Quote:
Originally Posted by allthumbsdiy View Post
you may want to do a simple leak test before putting up durock.

when i worked on my bathrooms, I used something like this to plug into your threaded ends (use some white teflon tape for a tight seal) and test them individually.



I think Home Depot has it under "Watts 1/2 in. Brass Square-Head Pipe Plug". It is pricey at 5 bucks each but you will know that your soldered fittings are leak proof.
If you need a test plug (or a cap) for testing use PVC -- 10% of the price of brass.

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