Clear solder from brass fitting

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by cmose, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. cmose

    cmose New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Indiana
    I was soldering a one inch brass fitting to one inch copper. Couldn't get the solder to take on one side of the fitting so I took the fitting off before the solder set. Now the fitting has a good bit of solder in it - can I clean out the solder to reuse the fitting (if so how)? Had to special order this fitting be I'd prefer not to wait on another one if I can avoid it.

    Thanks
  2. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    You took it off before the solder set...?

    What torch are you using?
  3. cmose

    cmose New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Indiana
    Benzomatic mapp torch
  4. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Florida
    I am not a pro but this is what i would do..

    Heat it up until solder melts, grab it with vice grip and slam it on a piece of wood to drive out as much hot solder as possible. When it is cooled off use a 1" stainless brush to clean out remaining solder. You may be able to use sandpaper to clean it out after it is cooled.

    If you are using a propane torch I suggest you get a MAPP gas torch instead. It burns much hotter.

    Jerry
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  5. cmose

    cmose New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Indiana
    It's benzomatic's yellow cylinder, not sure if it's true mapp.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,304
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It isn't because they stopped making "true" MAPP in January 2011 after a fire in the plant. The new stuff is MAPP+ and burns about 400 degrees less. Heat the fitting and use a cloth to wipe the fluid solder out of the socket. If you use a brush it will solidify the solder as soon as you insert it so you will not get all of it out. When it is hot, slamming it on a piece of wood could dent it.
  7. cmose

    cmose New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Indiana
    I thought I remembered reason something like that but wasn't certain.

    I've tried heating the fitting a few times - gotten the thing read hot, but there are still a few ridges of solder inside the fitting. Does the fitting have to be devoid of solder and perfectly smooth to reuse? Or can it contain some solder and ridges so long as the pipe fits?

    Thanks!
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If the pipe fits without binding it should be fine. Any solder that is in there will melt and distribute when you sweat the fitting.
  9. cmose

    cmose New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Indiana
    Thanks for all the advice. Tried yet another time but had the same dead spot that wouldn't take solder as before. Tossing this fitting and ordering another one!
  10. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Sounds like your fitting or pipe is not clean.

    If your joint is properly fluxed and there are no tight spots, the solder will pull from one side all the way around the joint.
  11. cmose

    cmose New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Indiana
    Don't think that was it. Spent 15 minutes ensuring the two sides were pristine the first time (knew I didn't have extra). Was liberal and thorough with the flux as well. Both times it was the same spot that wouldn't hold solder.
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You mentioned that in the attempt to clean, you got it "red hot". Overheating brass and copper can sometimes affect the metal in a way that subsequent soldering is very difficult. That said, I can not explain why there is one spot on your fitting that won't take. Anyone seen this before???
  13. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Well if he insists on this "red hot" heating method, that I've never heard of, I can't imagine how that would work well.
  14. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    He probgably overheated the fitting/pipe and burnt his flux up before the solder ever hit the joint.
  15. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Ding ding ding.
  16. psjr56

    psjr56 Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    S. Jersey
    Is there a brand of flux and solder that is better than most? As far as soldering goes I heat the fitting until I see the flux start to boil then hit the joint with solder until it starts to flow. Definitely takes practice to get good at it. I don't do it for a living so if I get good flow around the joint with solder I'm happy.
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