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Old 01-23-2008, 11:01 PM   #1
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compression fitting vs solder, block flame?


I have to repair some copper pipe in a wall. One one side the sheet rock has been removed and on the other it hasn't. I was worried about the torch flame while soldering scorching or even setting on fire the wood or paper on the back of the sheet rock.

Are compression fitting couplings as good as soldering. This is going to get closed up and I hope to never open it again to fix a leak. But also don't want to risk lighting a fire in this tight spot. I was thinking about putting some sheet metal behind the pipes so when I solder, the flame hits that. Anyone have any ideas?

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:14 PM   #2
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compression fitting vs solder, block flame?


nave,
Never enclose compression fittings inside of a wall or ceiling.
These connections should be soldered. You can get flame-proof shield material made for the purpose, or you can use damp rags, or any other thing that will keep direct flame and heat away from a flammable surface such as wood framing or drywall paper.
Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand when soldering.
Good luck!
Mike

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:39 PM   #3
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compression fitting vs solder, block flame?


Mike,
Thanks! I'll look for the shield at home depot and if they don't have it, the wet rags is a good idea.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:25 AM   #4
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Any decently thick piece of metal can work as a shield.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:59 AM   #5
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compression fitting vs solder, block flame?


I always have a couple different size pieces of sheet metal to place behind soldering areas. Easily bent to for most areas.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:09 PM   #6
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Sheetmetal will get the material behind it just as hot as not having it, you just won't be able to see the flames through it. Try a heat shield material and a non burn spray.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:41 PM   #7
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Perhaps I should have explained the sheet metal better. I don't place it against the wall. I bend it to a curve and place in in back of the joint. If necessary, I bend the bottom of it and hold it in place with vise-grips.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:16 AM   #8
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The paper thin sheet metal won't do anything but thicker metal, even a piece of flu pipe hammered flat will. I've soldered right up against finished walls many times with no damage to the paint thanks to a thin piece of metal.
If you hold the flame directly on it then yes it will get quite hot but the metal barrier coupled with a conscious effort to keep the flame away from it as much as possible will usually allow the metal to reflect and absorb enough of the heat to prevent damage to whatever is behind it.
Just exersize some judgment.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:24 AM   #9
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compression fitting vs solder, block flame?


For $10 at HD, I use the Oatey plumber's heat shield. It's a piece of thick heavy foil with a non-flammable, non-melting fibrous insulation backing. About 12" square but more than adequate.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by End Grain View Post
For $10 at HD, I use the Oatey plumber's heat shield. It's a piece of thick heavy foil with a non-flammable, non-melting fibrous insulation backing. About 12" square but more than adequate.
I.ve never seen one before but for ten bucks why not

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