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Old 07-21-2012, 09:16 PM   #16
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


Code has called for air chambers for about 50 years---However plumbing in homes is often done by homeowners--who may or may not know the best practices--

Compression fitting should not be buried behind a wall---I don't know if code prohibits its use--

But at 10 times the cost and 10 times the work to install---I will never know---

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Old 07-21-2012, 09:20 PM   #17
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


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Code has called for air chambers for about 50 years---However plumbing in homes is often done by homeowners--who may or may not know the best practices--

Compression fitting should not be buried behind a wall---I don't know if code prohibits its use--

But at 10 times the cost and 10 times the work to install---I will never know---
Say no more. I'm staying with soldering. So I'm a little behind the times when it comes to plumbing codes Where exactly do I install the air chambers at?

I am installing new shutoff valves while I'm at it. I want a lever instead of a wheel (plus one started leaking). Anything in particular you would suggest about that? I am new to all this, so I appreciate your help so much.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:57 AM   #18
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


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I am going to redo the whole setup with less flux and hopefully cleaner soldering too. I want this to be a nice job.
Regarding soldering. If you don't have the proper size wire cleaning brushes for the fittings, buy them. Trying to sand the inside of fittings is a pain. Use emery cloth to clean the male pipes. All solder surfaces must be perfectly clean.

Don't worry about using too much flux. Just apply a nice coat on the male and female surfaces so 100% of both surfaces are covered.

The key to soldering is to apply the heat to the fitting and not the pipe. A properly cleaned and fluxed joint will transfer the heat from the fitting to the pipe so there's no need to heat the pipe. (Though one technique is to initially heat the pipe for a second and then move the heat to the fitting for the rest of the soldering job) While heating the fitting, tap the solder against the joint until the solder starts melting. Then rim the joint with the solder. (You should form a hook at the end of the solder prior to starting the soldering to make it easier to rim the joint.) The solder should be drawn into the joint by capillary action since you applied heat to the fitting and not the pipe.

Have a cotton rag handy to wipe excess solder off the joint for a neat looking job.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 07-22-2012 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:54 AM   #19
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


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Regarding soldering. If you don't have the proper size wire cleaning brushes for the fittings, buy them. Trying to sand the inside of fittings is a pain. Use emery cloth to clean the male pipes. All solder surfaces must be perfectly clean.

Don't worry about using too much flux. Just apply a nice coat on the male and female surfaces so 100% of both surfaces are covered.

The key to soldering is to apply the heat to the fitting and not the pipe. A properly cleaned and fluxed joint will transfer the heat from the fitting to the pipe so there's no need to heat the pipe. (Though one technique is to initially heat the pipe for a second and then move the heat to the fitting for the rest of the soldering job) While heating the fitting, tap the solder against the joint until the solder starts melting. Then rim the joint with the solder. (You should form a hook at the end of the solder prior to starting the soldering to make it easier to rim the joint.) The solder should be drawn into the joint by capillary action since you applied heat to the fitting and not the pipe.

Have a cotton rag handy to wipe excess solder off the joint for a neat looking job.

HRG
perfectly put. Thank you. Fortunately, I am meticulous about cleaning and fluxing so that will not be my downfall. I will take pics of the new job later today and post them for you all to see. Wish me luck!
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:53 PM   #20
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


Ok I bought all the plumbing supplies to give it another (and hopefully the last) go around. I also bought an on/off ball valve w/ waste. Dumb question I'm sure, but what is the purpose of the waste?
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:22 PM   #21
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


Waste petcocks are used with piping that needs draining --usually an outside hose bib that might freeze--
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #22
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


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Well, after I replaced the valve and tested it, the solder joints didn't leak, but as I turned the valve only a tiny bit of water trickled out. That is my first of two issues. I'm wondering, is it the brand new valve that's the problem or could it be something else?
When you tested it did you have both supply lines turned on? These are presure balancing valves and need even water pressure on both the hot and cold sides to function.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:16 PM   #23
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


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When you tested it did you have both supply lines turned on? These are presure balancing valves and need even water pressure on both the hot and cold sides to function.
O. My. Gosh. I feel embarrassed to even say this, but that was the problem. I never turned BOTH valves on. I only tested the cold, when that didn't work I tried the hot, but never both at the same time. Wow what a simple fix eh? Thank you for telling me that! The water works great, but I think I should still redo the setup so I can put in the new valves and do an overall cleaner job...why the hell not...

I'll post pics tomorrow of the bathroom as it currently is. The backerboard is on the floor. All the joints will be taped and mortared. It is really starting to come together thanks to you guys' help. I am deeply grateful to you
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:35 PM   #24
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


Here is the finished product of my obvious first time soldering copper pipes. It may be ugly, but it doesn't leak. Thank you all for your guidance in assisting me to make sure it was done correctly. You can see I added two new on/off valves because the last ones had a leak. On to the tiling!
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The solder or the valve?  HELP!-d151.jpg   The solder or the valve?  HELP!-d152.jpg  
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:20 PM   #25
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Nice job---add stub outs to the shower and tub spouts--need to test those runs and need stub outs to make sure your tile holes are placed correctly.

I didn't look--are the tub spout and shower head well secured?
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:53 PM   #26
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Nice job---add stub outs to the shower and tub spouts--need to test those runs and need stub outs to make sure your tile holes are placed correctly.

I didn't look--are the tub spout and shower head well secured?
I haven't got around to the final install of the wall in the front of the shower, but I have done a bunch of rough ins to make sure the valve and the tub spout is in the proper place. So I know it is all in the right spot, I just need to put up the wall. Should be no problem.

The tub and shower head will be secured, I am ADD so I began tiling before I got around to that. When it is time to tile there, I will finish it up.

My first solder was a success but I still wasn't happy with the sloppiness and placement of the valve. The second attempt had a leak, plus I almost caught a 2x4 stud on fire. On top of that I had a scare that the torch hit the tub and may have weakened it. Thank God it never hit it, but it was a good wake up call. And who hasn't burned some wood as amateur solderers? Finally this morning I removed the leaky part, cleaned everything and reinstalled it and pressure tested. If I had another leak I was going to give up and call a plumber.

Point being, no leaks. I will keep you updated as I keep tiling. I'm so ready to finish this bathroom!
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:06 PM   #27
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No leaks are good!

I've blackened a few 2x4s myself---
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:14 PM   #28
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The solder or the valve? HELP!


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No leaks are good!

I've blackened a few 2x4s myself---
yea well I blackened 3 in one run. My soldering is improving. Props to the Lowes on/off valves for taking some extreme heat.

I cut off water to the house at two locations and STILL had a tiny bit of pressure. So I used a whole roll of paper towels, twisting them up and sticking them down the copper pipe to get it as dry as I could before soldering the valves on. What a hassle! I eventually got it, but the first time I tried I was wondering why the solder wouldn't melt, them all the sudden water shoots out of the pipes. That's when I knew I needed to get more water out of them. What a day...

Next time I'm going with map gas over propane. But overall, it was a good experience.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:21 PM   #29
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Two things for "next time"---When all else fails--open the union on the water meter and let the water run out there---I have also used a plastic water line like a straw and sucked out the water in a pipe--

Flat electrical box covers are cheap and make good stud protectors---
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #30
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I need a little advice on something that just came up. When I put pressure on the front of the tub it kind of pops. I know there are a few threads on this, but I feel like my situation is unique because I used thinset on the floor. The tub is acrylic and has a very hard, thick foam pad underneath it. Instead of pouring a pile of mortar on the floor, I spread it out like laying tile, leaving a very thin coating underneath the tub. I'm wondering, did I not use enough mortar which has left the tub unstable, or is that pop just the acrylic hitting the foam? HELP!!

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