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Old 05-13-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


I've soldered my first couple of copper pipes, and I've noticed I have to move the solder fairly quickly once it start melting or it will run down outside the pipe like crazy.
I had assumed I would at least have to hold the solder for a couple of seconds in each spot to let the 'capillary' action draw the solder deep into the joint. But the joint seemed to fill up instantaneously and overflow. Is the capillary action that fast?
I hold the tip of the flame towards the back of the joint to draw the solder in.

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Old 05-13-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


Heat the fitting evenly, all the way around... with a 1/2" fitting you don't really need to move the flame around the fitting at all, 3/4 you might have to heat one side up and then hit the other side for just a couple seconds to get even heat in there.

You want to get the solder in there ASAP, because if you don't you can burn the flux, and then you will have a leak.

The solder should draw in pretty rapidly, but if it's overflowing you've used too much.

~ 1/2" of solder for a 1/2" joint, ~ 3/4" for a 3/4" joint... .so on and so forth.

It takes a lot of practice to get it not to overflow, but i'm assuming that you're thinking that its not getting all the way into the fitting?

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Old 05-14-2010, 05:56 AM   #3
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


You are just fine---It is a quick job.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:37 AM   #4
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


I don't think you have a problem. It only takes about 1/2" of solder to fill a 1/2" joint. You "may" have the joint a bit too hot.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:30 AM   #5
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


I cut one of my soldered joints diagonally. I can't find any gap between the pipe and the connector, if I look closely I can barely see a silvery line. So it seems that the solder is being drawn deep into the joint like it's supposed to.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:36 PM   #6
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


Most solering leaks are due to "cold soldering". The pipe and fitting are not hot enough and the solder doesn't fill in the joint. I took a test where we soldered a 2" coupling onto two pieces of copper pipe. One was horizontal and the other side was done vertically. The pipe and coupling were then cut in half longwise and the coupling was separated from the pipe using a hammer and chisel. The entire surface was required to show solder or the test was failed.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:18 PM   #7
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


Good idea. I think I'll take a hammer and chisel to the coupling and take it off the pipe, see how it looks.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that when the copper has reached the proper heat, the torch flame will take on an emerald green tinge.
When the flame turns green, hit the joint with the solder.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:46 PM   #9
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that when the copper has reached the proper heat, the torch flame will take on an emerald green tinge.
When the flame turns green, hit the joint with the solder.
Doesn't it depend on what kind of fuel you're using?
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:50 PM   #10
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


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Doesn't it depend on what kind of fuel you're using?
I don't think so! I have soldered with natural gas, propane etc and the copper gives off a property at a certain temperature, that gives the emerald color.

I used to be a camper and we used to have a piece of 2" copper pipe, with holes drilled into it. all over.
We would throw this into the camp fire and it would give off an emerald flame also!
In this case the heat came from combusting wood!
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:35 AM   #11
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


Thats pretty cool Wilde. I din't know you could do that. All these years I was filing copper scraps so the kids could toss the filings into the fire for the same effect. Sure gonna make life easier for me
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:01 PM   #12
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Soldering copper pipe too fast?


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Thats pretty cool Wilde. I din't know you could do that. All these years I was filing copper scraps so the kids could toss the filings into the fire for the same effect. Sure gonna make life easier for me

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