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Old 04-12-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Unsoldering a copper fitting


i am trying to remove one pipe out of a tee and replace it with another. the joint is in the basement, close and above the water heater.

i tried to unsolder it but didn't get
anywhere, the solder was just too stubborn. i think
the problem was that the piping, as it is a heat
conductor, was distributing the heat from the torch so
the spot was never getting very hot - even after i wa
just done heating it for 2-3 min, i could touch it
with my bare hand and not get burnt.

i did drain the entire house, including the water
heater (through the spout it has). then i waited 1-2
hours to make sure that the pipes are free of water.
do you think it would help if i sawed the pipe that
goes into the hole in the tee that i want to unsolder
so the distribution of heat becomes limited ? there
would still have to be the other side that is not cut
off.

PLEASE HELP ...
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:42 AM   #2
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Unsoldering a copper fitting


You heat the fitting, not the pipe, to solder or "unsolder" copper. The most usual problem with soldering or unsoldering copper is water in the line.
Cut the line, and make certain that it is completely drained.
Good lucK!
Mike
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:48 AM   #3
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Unsoldering a copper fitting


are you recommending that i first cut the pipe a few inches away from the joint that i am trying to take apart ?
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:32 PM   #4
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Unsoldering a copper fitting


Leave enough room to get some pliers in it.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:45 PM   #5
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Unsoldering a copper fitting


Your water heater may have backflow preventers built into the inlet and outlet. This would cause water to lay in the pipes. As Mike said, cut the line a couple of inches away from the fitting and then unsweat the remaining piece of pipe. Wipe out the solder from the tee while it is still hot so you can get the new pipe into the cup.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:53 PM   #6
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Unsoldering a copper fitting


i will try tonight and report how it went tomorrow.
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