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gail synsteby 10-26-2004 08:50 PM

Soldering copper pipe
 
Am a 68 year old woman who has never used a propane torch before. It's time to solder the pipes for the new vanity I built. Am comfortable with the steps for soldering. Someone please tell me the right way to use the propane torch. I know this sounds dumb, but it is something I have never watched anyone do, so need advice. Thank you.

Hammertime 10-29-2004 08:41 AM

Are you just sweating(soldering) new pipes or just the valves?


no offense to you because I would tell this to anyone that has never used a torch before. If you're going to learn you'd better learn from somebody teaching you or a video. Too many things can go wrong. Leaks can occur causing damages to other area of your house. A fire can occur because it's very easy with a torch. And you can easily get burned. And on and on...

But, if you must sweat some piping and fittings what I suggest you do is practice with a few pieces on the side before you even bother installing.

Mike Swearingen 03-15-2005 07:20 AM

Gail,
Here is an illustrated guide to soldering copper pipes:
(url)http://www.easy2.com/cm/easy/diy_ht_...ge_id=35694426(/url)
You can do it. Just make sure that there is no wood real close to the torch flame. You can use a small piece of metal or a wet rag for backup, if necessary, behind where you're soldering. Heat the fitting, not the pipe. The most common mistake of DIYers is overheating.
However, you have an easier alternative you know, without sweating anything if you're just connecting shut-off valves to the faucet.
They make compression fitting shut-off valves (1/2" to 3/8") that go onto 1/2" copper supply pipes under a sink.
Clean the end of the copper pipe with a piece of sandpaper, slide the compression end onto it, and tighten it on, using a backup wrench on the fitting.
The brass ring (aka ferrule) is what actually seals it, not the threads of the compression fitting.
You can get 3/8" stainless steel flex connectors in varying lengths to connect between the shut-off valves and the faucet lines. They have built-in rubber seals, so you don't even need any teflon tape on any threads.
You can find these at any plumbing supply store.
Good Luck!
Mike

housedocs 03-15-2005 05:30 PM

I've pretty much quit sweating copper pipe. A while back I was sent a sample of a product called copper bond from a sales rep for The Noble Company. Directions on package says it will chemically bond copper pipe. Well I got a call not long after that from a regular client that owns several rentals. He had a water leak under a house with like a 12" crawlspace, that's just flooding the yard, tenant is up in arms & it's an emergency!! So I go check it out, the plumber had capped a line when the house was remodeled and a bathroom relocated. Joint had failed and there laid the cap on the ground, I could see this from sticking my head in the access panel with a light. But it's 25'-30' in there, crawling in water & muck and then trying to fire up a torch under there. So I was getting my coveralls on & digging out the necessary tools and I happened to see the copper bond. I crawled under with the tube of stuff, a small wire brush, a clean rag, a new cap for the pipe and a flashlight, after turning off the water at the main.

I dried out the end of the pipe, roughed up the end of it with the brush, already had prepped the cap outside, mixed up a bit of the Copper Bond and applied a film on the cap & the pipe. Let that set 20 mins, and turned on the water. 35 mins on the job and I was done, leak fixed, tools put up and on my way home. Client called the next day & asked me where I found the shut off for that pipe, he couldn't believe I had crawled under there and sweated that pipe together & been finished in so short a time & had assumed I had simply located & closed a valve to shut off the leak, as the folks were just moving into the house and only learned of the problem when the city turned the water back on after owner had remodeled and they began moving in. I told him I didn't sweat the pipe but had permanently bonded it with a "secret" ingredient. Then he was all over me wanting to know what I used and would it hold up, I assured him it was permanently fixed and if the repair failed I'd come back & sweat the pipe for free. That was over two years ago, same family lives there & he still owns the building. I've been back there to replace a broken window caused by a kid's baseball, but the water service has never given them another problem.

Some local codes may not accept this practice, but I imagine Noble Company is working to have that changed. Here's a link to their site.
Copper Bond

toolbag 03-17-2005 09:52 PM

Holy smokes, a 68 year old lady with a propane torch! I'm proud and at the same time very scared. Gail, just make sure your insurance is paid up before you start. But seriously, some things are best left to the professionals.

Teetorbilt 03-17-2005 11:31 PM

toolbag, my mother is almost 80 and can sweat pipe with the best of them. She also remembers much about old time construction, I call her frequently for info. She also has hands on experience with wood flooring, back when the screws were driven by hand, then plugged and sanded.
Be nice or I'm gonna have to report you to AARP. LOL

LJD 03-18-2005 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teetorbilt
toolbag, my mother is almost 80 and can sweat pipe with the best of them. She also remembers much about old time construction, I call her frequently for info. She also has hands on experience with wood flooring, back when the screws were driven by hand, then plugged and sanded.
Be nice or I'm gonna have to report you to AARP. LOL

Teetor, your mom sounds awesome! You should get her to join the forum! I think we could use a little more of that "wisdom that comes with age."

Teetorbilt 03-18-2005 08:11 PM

LJD, She is going out with no knowledge of computers. I dare you to convince her to do otherwise. Any experience with rocksalt and a 12ga.? She shot me when I was 10, kept the pattern off to the left though, I only caught a few, which was exactly what she intended. She still packs a Mod. 13 S&W w/ .38+P's, getting a litle too old for the .357's.

LJD 03-18-2005 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teetorbilt
LJD, She is going out with no knowledge of computers. I dare you to convince her to do otherwise. Any experience with rocksalt and a 12ga.? She shot me when I was 10, kept the pattern off to the left though, I only caught a few, which was exactly what she intended. She still packs a Mod. 13 S&W w/ .38+P's, getting a litle too old for the .357's.

Ack!!! WHAT is this world coming to?? Little old ladies with shotguns and propane torches1!! http://kebawe.com/smellies/smellie_boom.gif

Ummmmm.....did she get the left side of your head, or your.....??

toolbag 03-18-2005 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teetorbilt
LJD, She is going out with no knowledge of computers. I dare you to convince her to do otherwise. Any experience with rocksalt and a 12ga.? She shot me when I was 10, kept the pattern off to the left though, I only caught a few, which was exactly what she intended. She still packs a Mod. 13 S&W w/ .38+P's, getting a litle too old for the .357's.

Sounds like a fiesty little lady, does she have any little sisters that are looking for an old beer drinkin geezer like me?

Tomm 03-20-2005 12:48 AM

Gail, you can't keep us in suspense like this...Did you do it? How did it go? Please, the suspense is killing me!

Teetorbilt 03-20-2005 01:19 AM

I'm curious too.

The rock salt caught me in the left leg, from the back, I thought that I was haulin' A. Tough to outrun a shotgun blast. I only got about a half a dozen in the thigh and 3 in the calf, stung pretty good though.

housedocs 03-20-2005 09:59 AM

:eek: I hear ya Teetor, had a similiar experience when I was a young lad from a neighbor down the road from the old home place. My cousin & I were helping ourselves to a few fresh strawberries on evening just about dark and the old guy got us both right in the keister with rock salt. We learned real quick that just because he was old and wore coke-bottle glasses he was still on top of the game. Worse yet from our howls of pain, he figured out who we were and by the time we got back home he'd already called and talked to my Dad and boy was he pissed! Absolutely no sympathy and he made us go pay old man Robb for the berries. Learned a valuable lesson that's stuck with me ever since.

Sure hope Gail didn't blow herself up or burn down her house.

Mr. Baughman 03-22-2008 12:36 AM

I would say go for it, but practice on a few pieces. Could get expensive. One tip i have so you don't put to much solder in, is to bend the solder the diameter of the pipe. I am assuming the fittings are 1/2". Ed the plumber showed me that one.

Knucklez 03-22-2008 01:08 PM

housedocs,

if that happened today the old man would spend the rest of his days in jail.. or your dad would have went over there and beat him with a stick.

world has changed


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