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Old 07-22-2008, 02:03 PM   #1
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repeated copper fitting heating


so the other night i had had a long day and was trying to fit a tee where there obviously was water. kept heating and re-fluxing like 3-4 times hoping i was gonna steam the water out. of course, it did not happen. since it was a long day, i forgot to vent the system by opening a faucet valve on another end. that took care of properly draining the system. idiot ...

once drained, i did not disassemble the tee to re-flux, i just applied on the outside. once i soldered and charged the system, i was quite surprised the joint was sealed right. no leak.

due to my stupidity and repeated reheating, the tee turned almost completely black.

Q: is this a high risk tee to break one day because of this tug-of-war inelegant soldering situation ?

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:15 PM   #2
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repeated copper fitting heating


I would shut off the water to that pipe at the nearest upstream shut off valve, grab onto that tee with a pair of ViceGrips (not hard), and try to twist it in different directions (without applying excessive force).

Since there will still be full pressure in the piping while you're doing this, the joint is equally likely to leak as before. Closing the shut off valve simply ensures that if the joint does let go, the amount of water spilled will be minimal.

If you don't get a shower doing that, then I'd trust that it's a good joint.

However, if this tee is going to be buried inside a wall so that you wouldn't be able to find the source of the leak or replace that tee without doing a lot of damage to the wall, then I'd probably replace it now, just to be on the super safe side.

If you do decide to replace the tee, then you'll only need to sand and flux the ID's of the sockets of the new tee. The solder on the pipe ends will prevent any oxide from forming there. Just wipe the old solder off the pipe ends so that they'll fit into the sanded and fluxed sockets of the new tee, and solder normally.


Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 07-22-2008 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:39 AM   #3
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repeated copper fitting heating


In the future you can avoid all that frustration with steam and water when soldering by inserting wads of white bread (smashed into dough) into the pipe where the water is coming from. It will hold the steam and water back while you work. Jam it in there a couple inches. The bread will dissolve and will come out when you open the faucet later on.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:51 AM   #4
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can it be Wonder Bread ? that's my favorite.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:29 PM   #5
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repeated copper fitting heating


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can it be Wonder Bread ? that's my favorite.
No, it has to be special plumbing bread.

Just kidding. Wonder's the brand I use. I just pull the crust off and don't use it for plumbing doughballs.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:54 AM   #6
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repeated copper fitting heating


Just make certain that the screens are off the facuets before you flush the lines.....
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:16 PM   #7
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Not a bad idea, but it comes out in a liquidy form. Just don't use bread with grain in it that won't dissolve!
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:05 PM   #8
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repeated copper fitting heating


I have found that it is always best to go ahead and take a bad joint apart than to try to re-solder it in place. This applies to old or new work, but especially repairs. I'd go ahead and redo it. If it does leak it will almost surely be when you have had an even longer day.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
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No, it has to be special plumbing bread.

Just kidding. Wonder's the brand I use. I just pull the crust off and don't use it for plumbing doughballs.
dude, this trick totally rocks ... i used it on like three joints that previously just wouldn't stop dripping.

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Old 07-29-2008, 06:39 AM   #10
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repeated copper fitting heating


An old timer told me about that one. I thought he was drunk when he said it. But it worked, and it worked great. He further went on to say that most plumbers would have old bread in their toolbox just for that purpose...
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
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dude, this trick totally rocks ... i used it on like three joints that previously just wouldn't stop dripping.

Whenever I'm plumbing something for someone with copper lines (usually friends or relatives), I always call first and ask if they have some white bread at the house. They inevitably offer to cook me dinner.

Glad it worked for you.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:31 AM   #12
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repeated copper fitting heating


Used to do a lot of bigger copper 2-4" always used hot dog bun on a leak

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