Bernzomatic JTH7 High Temperature Torch

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by ToolsRMe, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    I just bought the Bernzomatic JTH7 High Temperature Torch at Home Depot.

    I’ve been working in my cold garage (20 degrees Fahrenheit) sweating copper. The central blue flame on the “regular el cheapo†propane torch varied in length from ¾ of an inch to about 3 inches. I presume it’s because of the cold and the orientation of the propane bottle. I also had the flame go out on me several times (there's no wind in the garage) because I tried to heat joints by pointing the flame down.

    So I purchased the Bernzomatic JTH7 High Temperature Torch figuring that since the box said that it is “pressure regulated and can point in all directions†that I would give it a try.

    Well, I tried it. Stupidly, I tried it on a piece I was working on. Man, that (propane) flame was HOT. It turned the half-inch joint to toast.

    I’m pretty sure that I’m using the JTH7 incorrectly. Nonetheless, assuing the one I have isn’t defective, it works very differently than the “el cheapo†Bernzomatic that I’m used to. The flame is much more spread out and does not have a “point†on a center blue section the way I’m used to on a high school Bunsen burner or the “el cheapo†Berzomatic tip.

    Anyone use the JTH7? Do you like it?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,235
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    torch

    If it is the one I am thinking about, I returned it because it did not have a flame adjustment, but since Bernzomatic makes many torches, you may have a different model. Most high temperature torches have a brush flame to them.
  3. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    Try the JT680 propane tip

    I tried it with similar results. I concluded that it's really designed for MAPP. Copper sweating is more delicate than that thing allowed.

    If I were you, I'd just get a larger propane tip (Bernzomatic JT680). It won't burn hotter than the regular pencil tip, but it burns larger, so in a cold environment, you can heat an entire joint more effectively.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You now know that you cannot turn a bottle upside down. When you do, you get liquid out of the nozzle, and it does not burn.
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I just bought this same torch and don't like it. I am selling it. The tip sucks too much heat and takes to long to heat up and the tip stays to hot to long after shut down and it doesn't have a pesio (sp?) ignitor. The one they had prior had a lite stainless tip that would heat up fast and cool down fast and pesio ignitor. I am sending the old one back to see if they will fix it. It was the best repair plumber type torch I have ever used. The JTH7 might be good for new construction but then I would use a B tank set up.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2006
  6. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    piezo.....
  7. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    I called Bernzomatic and spoke with Gene. He told me that the JTH7 _is_ designed for 1/2" household use.

    So I went back and carefully reread the instructions. I had been reading the wrong instructions. I had been reading the instructions for the TS839 rather than the JTH7.

    (Why do manufacturers insist on providing instructions for stuff you didn't buy? Is the printing cost of a single sheet of paper so large that it's worth confusing customers?)

    I then used the JTH7 as instructed. Wow. It heated the joint nearly instantly. That causes me some concern since I did not see capillary action. Nonetheless, the joint _appears_ to be a good one.

    So my next very basic question is: beside pumping 80 psi water through the pipe, is there any way to tell if a joint is a good one?
  8. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I'm not sure what you mean by 'did not see capilary action'. It might happen quickly, but as you feed enough solder, you should start to see a silver ring around the fitting and pipe joint. Or, if you 'feed some solder' and it appears to disappear into the joint, capilary action is working. But, if the solder tip just falls off and globs on the surface of the pipe, without any of it disappearing into the joint, it's not working right.

    There's a way to test the system with pressurized air. That might even be a code requirement - not sure. However, for the effort, I'd rather just turn on the water. Wait 5-10 minutes and let the joint self-cool, then turn on the water main 1/2 turn, then go next to the joint and look for leaks. Dry it with a towel and feel for moisture starting to peak through. If good, turn water on all the way. Check the joint for dryness and integrity every couple hours for a day. If it's strong 8 hours later, you should be good. The chances of a delayed leak goes down exponentially with time.
  9. Alexdc99

    Alexdc99 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Also if you leave you propane tank in the cold garage you get less pressure due to the cold. When I need to use my torch in the winter months I bring the tank inside for half a day. Then when I go back outside the gas comes out easier and not in the more liquid form from when it's cold.
  10. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    Yes, there is a silver ring around the fitting so the action could be faster than I can see. With the el cheapo pencil burner I can see the solder being sucked in. With this ... well I don't know. It seems to work.

    If this does, indeed, work then this is one hell of a terrific soldering device.

    Is it possible to heat a fitting too quickly so that the solder does not bond properly with the copper?
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,235
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    instructions

    What is the difference between the two torches, according to the instructions. With most torches, you just open the valve and ignite the flame.
  12. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I recently switched to a Bernzomatic TST4000, bought at HD. Has a piezo ignitor and swirl flame (not adjustable). My initial experience was like yours, in that the familiar inner blue flame wasn't obvious, so I wasn't sure where to "put" the flame on the joint. With a very little experimenting, using MAPP, it became obvious that this thing is much hotter than my old cheap propane torch. It heats up a joint in a matter of just a few seconds, and seems to cause the joint to suck the solder in quicker so you don't always get a nice-looking "fillet" (is that the right term?) around the outside of the joint like I'm used to.

    Having said that, every joint is working fine with no leaks. I like the torch a lot.
  13. ToolsRMe

    ToolsRMe New Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    CO
    Heating joint too fast?

    The flame is totally adjustable in the sense that you can adjust the amount of gas going to the flame. This adjusts the size of the flame but not its shape. There are no attachments available for the JTH7, I think.

    The instructions for the TS839 was to turn the valve from full open clockwise one-and-a-half turns. The instructions for the JTH7 is to have the length of the inner blue flame (for propane) be between 3/4 and 1 inch. For MAPP, it's 1/2 to 5/8. Apparently, opening up the valve that much (incorrectly per the TS839 instruction) produces a flame that will turn 1/2" copper to brittle toast.

    The JTH7 has a 4-foot hose that allows the burner head to point in any direction; even upside down. The bottle must remain more-or-less upright. The JTH7 has a belt clip but I prefer to hang the bottle off of a pants pocket.

    Like SteveW, I've found that the joint heats up in a very few seconds. My el cheapo pencil burner often takes more than a minute to heat up a 3/4" tee joint.

    So my question, again, is "Is there anything wrong with a joint heating up that fast?" Does the flux need time to do its work? Since the flame is so hot, perhaps only one side of the joint is getting properly soldered?

    I know that copper is a terrific conductor of heat. Yet with a pencil burner I've often seen flux being pulled into one side of a joint and not the other even though I try to heat as much of the joint as possible.

    Perhaps because the flame is so much wider on the JTH7 that I don't have to worry?
  14. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    My instinct is that it's a function of tip size more than the pressure/temperature of the flame. It shouldn't take a full minute to heat a copper joint even with 'El Cheapo'. I'm curious if anyone's used the JT680 before? That's just a larger version of El Cheapo, "El Grande Cheapo?".

    Man, though, dontcha love that hose? ;)
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2006
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