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Old 12-14-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
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Soldering 3" copper


We have a hole, about 1/4" diameter, rotted in the bottom of a 3" copper waste line, and I have it patched for now, but obviously need to repair it. My question is whether, after cutting out the damaged section, I can solder 3" joints with a conventional torch. I know it is conceivable that I may need to replace all of it at some point in my lifetime, so one option is to replace this section with PVC, and I do have some plumber buddies who I could ask this same question, but they would just show up and do it, taking away all of my fun, so, since I happen to have a long enough piece of new 3" copper in my shop anyway, I thought that it might be a bit of an interesting project, asuming that I could actually be achieved, and not merely waste a can of propane or map. I also have an oxygen and acetylene set up if that is the trick. I'm sure that I have seen it done before, but not recent to recall how they went about it. Thank you.

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Old 12-14-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Soldering 3" copper


whats it draining?

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Old 12-14-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
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Soldering 3" copper


Your just going to be playing wack a mole with this. If it's leaking in one spots there's other areas that are paper thin just waiting to fail.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #4
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Soldering 3" copper


yes you should be able to solder it with a regular torch.
don't try to heat the whole thing like you would with a smaller pipe.

start at the bottom and work up one side, then go back and do the other side from bottom to top
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #5
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Soldering 3" copper


You could do it with 2 map torches or a turbo tip on your acetylene.
You'll also want 3" copper DWV coupling- their cups are much shorter.
Is the hole from a puncture or is it from the pipe rotting away? If it's rot you're better off using plastic.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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Soldering 3" copper


It's draining the washing machine, kitchen, and one bathroom, and no physical damage, so yeah, I'm sure it's rot, and, as I was trying to cover in my original post, I know that someone will have to replace it at some point, whether me now, me later, or someone else after I'm gone. But, I happen to have a piece a couple feet longer than the section that is currently bad, so was thinking what the heck, I've sweat plenty of smaller pipes so may as well try something a bit more challenging, and can just toss it on my bucket list to replace all of it with PVC down the road. Anyway, you guys gave me the insight I was looking for, and I appreciate that. Either way, I'll definitely gather up the pieces that I will need to replace it with plastic, so I have them on hand, then see how I feel, and maybe take a shot at sweating it, or may just replace that section and be done with it. Thank you.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #7
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Soldering 3" copper


My guess? When you see the price of 3" fittings --you will decide to go with plastic---

Sweating the big fittings is fun and not all that difficult---but paying for the fittings? Oh,that hurts so much.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #8
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Soldering 3" copper


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My guess? When you see the price of 3" fittings --you will decide to go with plastic---

Sweating the big fittings is fun and not all that difficult---but paying for the fittings? Oh,that hurts so much.
Yeah, no doubt that the cost of fittings would take any fun out of it, but the damage, so far, knock on wood, is confined to a section about 5' long, with a wye on one end and an elbow on the other, and it looks like once I cut the pipe and loosen two hangers on the side leading into the elbow I should be able to unsolder the ends, slip the pipe in, and reconnect it. I know, a pipe dream, LOL, but might make for an interesting afternoon one of those days when it's too cold and snowy to have fun outdoors. We have a Ferguson's not too far away, so I'll make sure to have all of the pieces for plan B ready to go. Our roof vents are already copper, so if I don't use it here I will probably end up taking the piece that I have to the scrapper one of these days, and they won't care if it has been used or not, so nothing to lose.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:29 PM   #9
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Soldering 3" copper


ok funs over..take sawzall cut pipe above hole install mission cuppling and a section of 3"abs,pvc plastic along with cleanout.....your job is done right..1/2 hr ,,ben sr
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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Soldering 3" copper


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ok funs over..take sawzall cut pipe above hole install mission cuppling and a section of 3"abs,pvc plastic along with cleanout.....your job is done right..1/2 hr ,,ben sr
C'mon man. The man wants to solder! Plastic's the easy way out
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:20 PM   #11
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Soldering 3" copper


Turbo Torch Extreme!
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:05 AM   #12
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Soldering 3" copper


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ok funs over..
Yup, thought about it a bit over dinner last night, and decided that I have had a realtively fun and exciting life so far, and am sure that there are more than enough surprises yet to come along, so it makes a lot more sense to take a proactive tack than to do something just for the fun of it, knowing that it won't be that long before the next hole shows up. I have a few other projects to get out of the way first, but will start making a list, and, as long as I am replacing the section that I know is bad, am going to replace all of it. Thank you gentlemen. I'm off to do some repairs for a lady, so have a good day.

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