Amateur Sweating DWV fittings

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Philip in Connecticut, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Philip in Connecticut

    Philip in Connecticut New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I've had pretty good luck (as an amateur) sweating 1/2", 3/4" and occasionally even 1" copper for various DIY projects around my house. Recently, I attempted to sweat an 1 1/2" trap adapter to a double ell (?) DWV fitting, both (I believe) made of cast brass. I cleaned all surfaces very well and cleaned/fluxed with Oatey product that contains tin. I use mapp for heat. The joint was horizontal, so I applied heat to bottom of joint, and touched solder to top of joint. It seemed to take forever for the solder to melt/run, by which time the entire fitting was black, and the resulting joint looked awful (no way I would trust integrity of joint inside wall of our new bathroom). At first it seemed that I was not getting the assembly hot enough, but in the end, I am guessing that I eventually got it way too hot. What went wrong?
  2. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    My guess would be: You were relying on the heat to travel at the same rate around the entire joint without moving the torch tip to the opposite side of the joint. If space allows, The heat should be distributed evenly around the entire fitting/joint before solder is applied.
    1 1/2" takes a little longer to heat up
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Phillip, It sounds to me like there may have been some water in the pipe.
  4. Philip in Connecticut

    Philip in Connecticut New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Connecticut
    That is precisely what I did: I usually keep the torch stationary on one side of the joint and apply the solder from the opposite side, and it has always worked for 1/2" and 3/4" fittings, obviously these fittings have much less mass, and even heating has not been an issue. Thanks for the input.
  5. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Post a pic. Does it have to be sweated¿ If there is water in the pipe thats an easy fix as you say this is a trap adapter. If it was domestic water that would be a different story.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,272
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    solder

    If you were applying the solder properly, you would never have reached the point where the joint was "overheated" because the solder would have flowed long before you reached that point. There must be something wrong with your technique, since DWV is usually the easiest joint to solder.
  7. Philip in Connecticut

    Philip in Connecticut New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Connecticut
    No Doubt, It Was Technique (or lack thereof)

    Yes, no doubt it was technique. As krow stated above, moving the source of heat around the fitting to ensure even heating makes sense, but I never found the need to do that with the small copper fittings I have used in the past. Given the relative mass of the 1 1/2" brass/bronze double ell and trap adapter (as compared to, for example, a small 1/2" copper elbow), it makes sense that uneven heating was the cause of my problem.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,332
    Location:
    New England
    Large pipe and fittings are not only a big heat sink but also a big radiator...to get things evenly heated up, you need to move the torch around, once it's hot, keep the solder out of the flame and apply.
  9. msgale

    msgale New Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Ohio
    i too have had difficulty graduating from 1/2 to larger...

    i found that with 1 1/2 and 2 inch copper, that mapp alone did not get enough heat, i needed mapp in a higher temperature "turbo torch". Also, sometimes , I needed a second hand to hold a second torch to get the joint hot enough.
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