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Old 10-28-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


I've been scratching my head over a couple of things lately and wanted to see if anyone could help me answer some questions I've had regarding plumbing. This is a long list, and I don't expect anyone to really answer them all, but was hoping someone could help me out with a few. Feel free to answer whatever questions you feel you know a bit about and even feel like answering Thanks so much for your time I do appreciate it.

1)If a shut off valve no longer properly stops the flow of water, and you need to repair it, without removing it is it possible to take it apart while it is attached to your 1/2 copper plumbing so that you can just swap the innards out with the innards of a new one? Or do you have to remove it completely? (PS, I know it isn't hard to solder a new one in, but was just wondering)

2)Is it safe to be soldering copper plumbing that is within 1 inch of your copper gas lines? Or is there potential for your torch to somehow heat the gas line too much, because it is so close to your copper plumbing, to possibly cause an explosion?

3)Why would this frost proof faucet crack in this location (picture below at end of post)? The crack was on the inside of the house where it was way too warm to freeze, so I would think it wasn't due to frozen pipes. Could it have been due to turbulence of water?

4)How can a frost proof sillcock leak through the handle ONLY and not through the faucet when shut off? I would think it is leaking through the handle obviously due to the packing nut/washer in the handle not sealing properly, but if it continues to leak there after being shut off for a while... there would have to be a leak with the washer that is the actual shut off washer that is inside the house too since that is the only source of new water coming into the faucet. If that is the case, shouldn't the water follow the normal path and just pour out through the normal faucet opening since that opening is closer to the flow of water than the handle? (kind of hard to understand what I'm asking since I didn't word this perfectly, but maybe someone understands what I mean, may need to draw a diagram)

5)When soldering, if you clean the outside of copper with sandpaper/emery cloth/wire brush, and then inside of with a wire brush, do you need to actually ream the copper or does the wire brush do enough to dull the edges of the inside of the copper?

6)Can you ream copper pipe by just sanding a bit to make the inside edges dull? Or do you need an actual reamer?

7)If you solder a copper joint and it leaks, obviously the best thing to do is to take it apart and start all over again. But if you did not do that, and you just added flux to the outside of the joint, reheated the joint once you drained it of water, and then added solder to the outside of the joint where it was leaking... and tested it again with no leaks... is that joint considered fine? Or is it highly unreliable over the years?

8)Is soft coiled type L copper approved for code in all areas of the US for potable household water? Or do some areas require copper plumbing to be rigid only?

9)Why would a garden hose left attached to a sillcock in winter cause your internal house plumbing to freeze and crack? I understand that the hose itself may have water in it and freeze, thus causing your hose to burst, but shouldn't your sillcock and internal plumbing be fine since the sillcock is off and will shut off any frozen water from going inside your house plumbing?

Once again, thanks so much for your time, I just wanted to see if anyone could help me out with these. Take care
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Last edited by amodoko; 10-28-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


For # 1, some can be repaired and the guts are available. For old exterior hose bibs, they are often embedded in stucco, gets to be a process.
While many of these valves will use the same guts, he carries a 1/2 dozen of them on his truck. Makes it a simple fix.

About the frost free valve,
Only time I have seen this is when a garden hose is left connected to them with a sprayer left attached. Need to disconnect the hose so the valve can work as designed in cold weather.
I have seen it twice and both times hose was left connected.

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Old 10-28-2012, 12:42 PM   #3
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


Go here to copper.org and satisfy your soldering questions:

http://www.copper.org/applications/p...jts_intro.html
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


My answers in red

Quote:
Originally Posted by amodoko View Post
I've been scratching my head over a couple of things lately and wanted to see if anyone could help me answer some questions I've had regarding plumbing. This is a long list, and I don't expect anyone to really answer them all, but was hoping someone could help me out with a few. Feel free to answer whatever questions you feel you know a bit about and even feel like answering Thanks so much for your time I do appreciate it.

1)If a shut off valve no longer properly stops the flow of water, and you need to repair it, without removing it is it possible to take it apart while it is attached to your 1/2 copper plumbing so that you can just swap the innards out with the innards of a new one? Or do you have to remove it completely? (PS, I know it isn't hard to solder a new one in, but was just wondering)

Don't waste your time or money trying to repair a globe valve.....cut it out and sweat in a quality ball valve.

2)Is it safe to be soldering copper plumbing that is within 1 inch of your copper gas lines? Or is there potential for your torch to somehow heat the gas line too much, because it is so close to your copper plumbing, to possibly cause an explosion?

Unless you get everything so hot so that the solder on the other pipe melts and causes a leak, no, it can't explode (no Oxygen in the gas). But I keep a small sheet of metal around so that I can solder next to wood....works the same for pipes.

3)Why would this frost proof faucet crack in this location (picture below at end of post)? The crack was on the inside of the house where it was way too warm to freeze, so I would think it wasn't due to frozen pipes. Could it have been due to turbulence of water?

Turbulence? NO....I suspect a defect in your pipe or it was somehow damaged....Do you have an expansion tank installed?

4)How can a frost proof sillcock leak through the handle ONLY and not through the faucet when shut off? I would think it is leaking through the handle obviously due to the packing nut/washer in the handle not sealing properly, but if it continues to leak there after being shut off for a while... there would have to be a leak with the washer that is the actual shut off washer that is inside the house too since that is the only source of new water coming into the faucet. If that is the case, shouldn't the water follow the normal path and just pour out through the normal faucet opening since that opening is closer to the flow of water than the handle? (kind of hard to understand what I'm asking since I didn't word this perfectly, but maybe someone understands what I mean, may need to draw a diagram)

If it's not tight, then water can leak in around the stem....it happens....also a good reason to change to the 1/4 turn sillcocks.


5)When soldering, if you clean the outside of copper with sandpaper/emery cloth/wire brush, and then inside of with a wire brush, do you need to actually ream the copper or does the wire brush do enough to dull the edges of the inside of the copper?

You want to debur the inside edge of the pipe....this does two things....reduces turbulance for improved flow.....and really cuts down on the noise. I would only use sandpaper when the copper is really dirty....otherwise, the plumbing brush is fine.

6)Can you ream copper pipe by just sanding a bit to make the inside edges dull? Or do you need an actual reamer?

They sell a deburing tool at HD...costs about $4. Yellow handle....or, if you have a unibit, those work great.

7)If you solder a copper joint and it leaks, obviously the best thing to do is to take it apart and start all over again. But if you did not do that, and you just added flux to the outside of the joint, reheated the joint once you drained it of water, and then added solder to the outside of the joint where it was leaking... and tested it again with no leaks... is that joint considered fine? Or is it highly unreliable over the years?

I have had 'some' luck with that. But in most cases, I just take it apart and start over. Just because it doesn't leak now does not mean it won't leak after a few days with temp changes and mechanical shaking.

8)Is soft coiled type L copper approved for code in all areas of the US for potable household water? Or do some areas require copper plumbing to be rigid only?

That I do not know the answer to.

9)Why would a garden hose left attached to a sillcock in winter cause your internal house plumbing to freeze and crack? I understand that the hose itself may have water in it and freeze, thus causing your hose to burst, but shouldn't your sillcock and internal plumbing be fine since the sillcock is off and will shut off any frozen water from going inside your house plumbing?

Depends on the hose....I would expect the hose to exand as the water freezes.

Once again, thanks so much for your time, I just wanted to see if anyone could help me out with these. Take care
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


1. Depends on the style of valve and if you can find the part.
2. You're OK
3. Looks like a frozen pipe split probably caused from wind blowing through a crack
4. Water follows the path of least resistance which appears to be the handle
5/6. You need to clean the outside of the pipe and inside the fitting. A reamer or file is needed to deburr. Reaming is needed to reduce turbulence.
7. A leak should be taken apart and redone but it really is a judgment call in the end. If the joint was bumped before it set and leaks then you can reheat it.
8. I can use soft copper only below slab or outside.
9. Don't trust a hose bib. If water seeps by the bib washer it will freeze and act like an icicle, continually growing until the pipe ruptures.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


Oh wow, thanks so much for your guys' very informative replies. I learned a lot so quickly. I really appreciate it. To answer ddawg's question, I don't know if I have an expansion tank, that frost proof faucet came from my parent's home and I have to go to their house to check to see if they have one. But after reading the replies from everyone, I think the crack could have been caused by the fact that that faucet was leveled incorrectly and residual water pooled at the back when it was shut off in combination with the fact that there was a draft due to the hole in the house not being properly shut, which would make sense as how it could freeze I guess but I didn't know a draft could cause it to freeze but that would make the most sense.

I really do appreciate your guys' time, it helped me out a ton.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:42 AM   #7
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


One trick on those really cold nights....open the cabinet doors so that it gets warmer under the sink....
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


wait, ddawg, you know I mean a frost proof sillcock (I used the word faucet a few times in my earlier posts but meant sillcock, my fault) right? There are no cabinets, it just goes through a hole in the side of the house. Or maybe you mean that warming pipes under sinks by opening cabinets will help keep more of the water fluid throughout the house.

Last edited by amodoko; 10-29-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amodoko View Post
wait, ddawg, you know I mean a frost proof sillcock (I used the word faucet a few times in my earlier posts but meant sillcock, my fault) right? There are no cabinets, it just goes through a hole in the side of the house. Or maybe you mean that warming pipes under sinks by opening cabinets will help keep more of the water fluid throughout the house.

Oh.....ok....I was thinking it was under the sink....next to an exterior wall....

What your calling a sillcock I would call a hose bib.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:09 PM   #10
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


Got it, makes sense now
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:13 PM   #11
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


But it doesn't mean I'm right......

Just like, what some people call dinner....I call supper....
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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Bunch of random quick questions about soldering, faucets, etc


Hahaha, well at least we understand each other now

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