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Old 05-25-2010, 06:00 PM   #1
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


I have a propane set up. I'm going to need to do some solder work on 1/2" copper. Some straight lengths, a few elbows, a ball valve. Will my propane setup do or will I have to upgrade to MAP? Looks like the MAP setup runs about $40. Also, how do I solder an elbow, won't the first joint loosen up when I heat the fitting to make the second one?

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:56 PM   #2
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


Smata--It's O.K. to use MAP gas with a regular propane torch. Map may shorten the life of the torch a bit --but it doesn't sound like you use it a lot anyway.

I do suggest that you use MAP gas --it's so much faster and safer.

When soldering--never solder just one side of a fitting. Make up as much of the piping as you can--then start soldering from one fitting to the next and so on --the heat from the last joint will pre-heat the next one if they are close enough.

secure the pipe with straps before you start to solder--you don't want the hot joints moving as you work.


Use flux on the pipe as well as the fitting--DO NOT wipe the hot fittings --you will likely jiggle the pipe while the solder is still liquid--and spoil the bond. Wipe the pipes when they are cool enough to touch.

Oaty 'easy flow' is a good plumbing solder.

heat one side of a fitting and push the solder in from the opposite side.

When the 'cold' side will melt the solder you know that you have the pipe hot enough.

Good luck there--ask more questions if you have them---there are a few good pro plumbers who will chime in---(and correct me if I goofed up)----Mike---


Last edited by oh'mike; 05-25-2010 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:15 PM   #3
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


To start, its MAPP gas. With that being said, propane is fine and probably better for a DIY. MAPP gas burns hotter and can lead to overheating quicker.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:20 PM   #4
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


A valid point--burn flux is not so good!

(I never could spell!)
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:26 PM   #5
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


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A valid point--burn flux is not so good!

(I never could spell!)
Thought someone would appreciate a joke.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:35 PM   #6
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


Darn Midwesterners--Goofy flat land jokes!!!
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


Good tips. I'm feeling a bit more confident now. I did solder some pipes about 12 years to connect tub fixtures and they are pretty much the only pipe work I have done in this house that doesn't need to be redone. I was worried that I might not be able to get enough heat onto the ball valve fittings, that a hotter gas might heat things up better and reduce the chances of damaging the teflon seat on the ball. Any tricks to prevent this from happening?
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:13 PM   #8
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


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Originally Posted by smata67 View Post
Good tips. I'm feeling a bit more confident now. I did solder some pipes about 12 years to connect tub fixtures and they are pretty much the only pipe work I have done in this house that doesn't need to be redone. I was worried that I might not be able to get enough heat onto the ball valve fittings, that a hotter gas might heat things up better and reduce the chances of damaging the teflon seat on the ball. Any tricks to prevent this from happening?
I like to wrap a damp towel around the side of the valve I'm not soldering on, but trust me, the valve can take the heat.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:08 PM   #9
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Map vs Propane for Soldering


Like o;Leaky said--the valve won't be damaged during installation. Sound like you are ready to start!

---Mike---

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