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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time soldering copper.
I used new water soluble flux and lead free solder, and a regular coleman propane tank.


Like the fist picture in the link that person posted is similar to what I have for one joint, not as bad of a gap but similar. The rest of my joints are all good.

http://ww.homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=54797

Someone replied to him that they were a pro plumber and said to 'repair' it, he can add flux to just that spot and resolder just that spot.

Thant's what I'm hoping to do only because I have so many other fittings so close to this spot. the heat needed to pop this fitting out to re-do the whole fitting with new sanding and new flux might un-do the surrounding joints. the joint is on a T and about 3 inches to the other side is a slip coupling joint.

I am still researching, but key words to find exactly what I'm trying to do is getting a bit hard to find exactly what I'm looking to do.

One tutorial said if this happens, I can't even re-use the same fitting? I reused other fittings and they look fine.
The waterline with this joint in question has been under pressure for 2 hours and still bone dry. I almost want to just leave it.
Do not recommend shark push fittings. I tried those first and do not like them.
In retrospect, I should have just bought ~$20 in pex and crimps and a ~$75 crimper and returned it after about 10 joints but I did it all with solder.
 

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Looks like a cold soldered joint to me.
Good luck with the idea of just reheating and adding more solder.
Unless the joint is compleatly clean on the inside the solders not going to stick.
 

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If the joint is holding then leave it alone. You don't need to have solder outside of the fitting cup for it to hold- that is cosmetic only.

If it will make you rest easier- dump the pressure, re-heat the area, brush with flux- more heat- then apply a bit of solder. It should flow and fill completely.
It's not a recommended practice, but every plumber has done it....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If there's flux in the fitting and thus it wasn't originally over heated to where it burnt away, then I agree, it's not really different to just patch a small gap vs when doing it the first time. A trick to get the solder to melt faster without heating the joint so much that the rest of it drips out is to heat up the solder slightly so that it melts faster, not so much that it's in the flame as if this is welding and thus results in a cold joint, but it might help to have the solder tip near the heat.
I ended up re-doing the whole T, and then that was the third time the same Tee was used and I think that's why it failed that time. I did heat it up really hot and sand it all out but it was still silvery, I didn't dremel it down like some people do to reuse fittings. Store was closed at that point but I got a new Tee today and it's all good for now. joints look perfect and I feel like I mastered it. Tight space Tees and everything, elbows and couplings are simple now even with just a coleman and a vintage torch tip and harder-to-work with water soluble and lead free solder.
It was probably fine how it was with the gap smaller than the photo. Pro plumber videos on youtube even show the gap sometimes.
I really don't trust soldering for some reason though. Like you said, the joint is inside the coupling and you can't inspect it. I like Pex, and it's so much faster, and can freeze to some degree with no harm. The actual soldering I like seeing the silver melt but the prep work and everything was a PITA. I had to realign a whole bunch of other lines leading to the main area I was working on.


How to solder a copper plumbing Tee
How to solder a T How to solder a Tee How to solder a copper T how to solder a copper Tee
I had trouble doing a T in a tight space. First two joints on it went good but flux on the 3rd must have burnt away before I got to it or it was just a dirty Tee reused for the 2nd or 3rd time. I do two joints at once, let it cool down gradually, I don't shock it with a cold rag like some recommend not to do. Then I apply flux to the third pipe and pop it in a do just that one and it doesn't overheat the other joints.
 

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Most important, the pipe must not be filled with water. Better yet if the pipes are empty of water for a few feet beyond on all branches and one branch is empty all the way over to an open faucet.

Many variables contribute to a successful (or unsuccessful) soldering job. If the flux boils away because you were too slow applying the solder or the torch did not heat up the joint fast enough then portions of the interiors of the joints won't seal properly.

Wrap wet cloth strips around nearby joints prior to heating to keep them from melting.

I think that the best results for soldering T fittings is to get all there pipes in position and then heat and solder them all at the same time.
 
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Solder will flow in any direction toward a properly heated joint. Keep moving the torch so as not to burn out the flux by over heating. Be sure to apply heat on the fitting cup and move back and forth on the tubing that is inserted into the cup. As long as you have clean and preferably sanded surfaces inside the fitting and on the ends of your tubing, and both surfaces are fluxed, as you heat the joint you will see smoke from the flux when it is properly heated, then apply the solder. On smaller tubing, say 3/4" and below, you can solder all joints merely by moving the heat to the joint you want to solder. The solder flows when the temperature is correct. Don't over heat the joint, if you do you have to stop and let it cool and re apply flux, because you burned it out of the fitting.. On larger pipe (tubing) you concentrate on one joint at a time.
 
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