Tips For Soldering "up"? - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-18-2007, 11:17 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 467
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


Well the galvanized to copper change has been going excellent, I'm thinking of just leaving the walls open since the shiny new copper looks so dang nice (kidding). I have a couple of spots along the lines where soldering before putting the pipe into place was not an option and I need to solder up, or, against gravity. One place in particular, I have to solder an elbow onto a piece that comes up through the floor only about 4 inches. I have the kevlar blanket to protect the area around it but getting the solder to creep up into the void worries me. Any tips?

Advertisement

moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2007, 11:59 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 190
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


Use emery tape to thoroughly clean the pipe and a wire brush for the fitting. Don't touch clean copper with bare hands. Make sure to apply flux all around. I prefer the 'tinning' flux (green cans in HD). Now, I prefer a MAPP torch, it heats things faster than propane, especially when working with pipes like 1" type L.

The biggest mistake most beginners do is heat the spot 'in where the solder goes'. That is, they point flame at the gap between pipe and fitting, usually heating just the pipe. What you have to do is heat the fitting - in particular, the portion containing the pipe. Even better is to assemble and solder all fitting outlets at once, in order to avoid reheating an existing joint.

Once you heat the fitting enough, and touch solder to the gap, it will be drawn in by capillary action towards heat. Gravity has nothing to do with it, hence direction not important. In fact, as soon as solder stops being 'sucked in' and starts forming a 'bulge', remove the solder. The smaller the'bulge' , the better. Repeat with other outlets, then wipe down with a wet rag. It usually takes less than a second to apply enough solder when the fitting is heated well enough.

When soldering valves, or any other components that might have non-metallic gaskets, either remove non-metallic parts or tie a wet rag around the valve to absorb excess heat. This is one of reasons I prefer MAPP - shorter heating time gives heat less time to spread.

Advertisement

scorrpio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 07:17 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 467
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


That's pretty much what I figured; thought there may have been a 'trick' to it though. Thanks.
moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 05:42 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 467
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


Either you're a good teacher or I'm a good student (or both) but we did 2 joints like this and success! Have a great weekend!
moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2007, 10:46 AM   #5
Member
 
RippySkippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 1,233
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


Not that you'll need this now....but if someone is searching and runs across this later...

Another little trick, that helps when soldering is to take a hammer and lightly tap either the fittings or pipe, the goal to make them "slightly" out of round, so when they are connected they will stay connected. I have had tight fitting connections fall completely apart when heated due to the heat expanding the fitting. BTW don't try to catch a falling, heated fitting...you'll probably catch it!
RippySkippy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2007, 10:31 AM   #6
sz8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


I don't think being "up" or "down" will not make too much difference since
the solder is kind of sucked in. Gravity does not play too much role here.

However, I found that when soldering "up" fittings, if you put too much
solder, extra solder will drip down more easily making it look ugly. It is also
bit harder to see if the solder melted is enough to fill the gap. Fortunately,
extra solder does not hurt execpt for looking.
sz8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2007, 01:17 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,670
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


The solder goes to where the heat is. As long as the pipe and fittings are cleaned and fluxed, gravity will have no bearing (as stated). If I have joints that may move while soldering, I give them a squeeze with my channel-locks once in place. I always wipe the joints after soldering. Makes it look more professional.
__________________
If you have never made a mistake, you haven't done much.
majakdragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2007, 04:04 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 190
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


Actually, dripping solder is very bad. Consider following: take a piece of glass, tilt it about 45 degrees, and deposit a small drop of water - likely, it will 'adhere' to glass and stay put, forming a thin dome. But put a large drop, and it will skate off, leaving very little on the glass, since surface tension is stronger than water-glass bond. Same with solder. When you have just enough to fill the gap, it sits there. But if a large droplet forms, you essentially have a 'surface tension sack' filled with nolten solder, tugging at what is inside the gap. This droplet has a potential to pull solder out, resulting in a weak joint. This is why one should immediately stop adding solder as soon as the droplet starts to form.
In this sense, sweating 'up' or 'sideways' is better as you immediately see the droplet forming. Whereas sweating 'down', you might keep adding solder without realizing that you have it dripping inside the pipe. In fact, you might have seen this effect: solder first appears to fill the gap, but then, if you add more, it seems to get 'sucked down'. That's a droplet inside the pipe pulling it. Right thing to do it to stop adding solder as soon as gap fills.
scorrpio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2007, 04:32 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 467
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


All good info.

Now a different question which I pondered: what is the purpose of flux?
moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2007, 05:51 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,670
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


Flux cleans the pipe and fitting and helps the solder to adhere.
__________________
If you have never made a mistake, you haven't done much.
majakdragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2007, 08:35 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 190
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Tips for Soldering "up"?


Flux 'eats' away impurities left on metal that might interfere with solder adhesion. It also protects the surface from oxydizing when you apply heat.

Advertisement

scorrpio is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
need tips on cracked plaster maxshockerflo Painting 2 07-10-2007 10:48 AM
Paint Tips? toolman14 Painting 3 05-07-2007 09:51 PM
Seeking pre-installation tips (AH + HP) hennyh HVAC 1 02-18-2007 01:21 AM
Tips on Laying Carpet? JustaFramer Flooring 10 12-02-2006 10:37 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts