How not to melt washer outlet box?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by nuckphoto, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. nuckphoto

    nuckphoto New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I am replacing leaking washing machine valves and the outlet box but have run into problems. How do you prevent the new outlet box from melting when sweating on the new copper valve adapters?:confused: I have gone through two boxes so far.

    The old valves were sweated directly to the copper pipes. When I removed them, I bought the copper adapters to accept the new threaded valves.

    Thank you.
  2. You remove the threaded valves from the box,

    sweat in short pieces short enough to get back down into the box to nut up and tighten,

    but long enough make the necessary soldering to connect far enough away where the heat of the soldering doesn't transfer heat to the box.

    Usually those lengths are 6-8" depending on where the holes located in the box. If it is a 2 by 6 framed wall, you can run even longer lengths and make this possible.

    Somewhere on my site I have a picture to this idea.....lemme see if I can find it.
  3. nuckphoto

    nuckphoto New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Well, I guess if I didn't have this phobia about screwing things up, I might have come up with that idea. From looking at your pix, I didn't know the valves tightened (attached) to the box.

    This is the old setup I'm working on. Leaks and mold were the main reason for removing the wallboard.

    Thank you and thanks for the pix. A big help.

    Attached Files:

  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valves

    If you have the right valves, (and I have never seen those valves used for a washer box), then the solder connections are not close enough to the box to cause a problem.
  5. nuckphoto

    nuckphoto New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thank you for responding.

    I believe the house was built in '82. But what's wrong with the valves? Don't you use standard water valves?

    When soldering the connections, I used as small a flame as I could, but when the copper pipe and flux got real hot, the flame wrapped around the pipe and melted the part of the box behind it as well as the hole the pipe comes through.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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  7. enosez

    enosez Member

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    Long Island NY
  8. Wrex

    Wrex New Member

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    Location:
    New Jersey
    This would work well but you would probably have to enlarge the holes on the box to accomodate the hex female end of the fitting.

    How about this remove the valves from the box and sweat the valves to a short length of copper pipe that extends outside the box. Insert the valves into the box. Then cut the existing tubing running to the valves to fit this stub pipe. Then simply solder the short stub pipe coming out of the valves to the existing tubing with a 1/2" to 1/2" sweat coupling.

    This will keep your torch away from the plastic box and avoid melting.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2008
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valves

    No, I use regular washer box valves with the extended shanks and the handles on top. Even ball valves can get tight and the handles being behind the valves could make it very difficult to operate them.
  10. Herk

    Herk Plumber

    Messages:
    547
    Location:
    S.E. Idaho
    I've soldered many hundreds of washer boxes and have to say that I've never melted one. I'm guessing you have a torch that I would simply throw away.

    As to that mold - if it were my house, I'd remove the rock on the other side of the wall and replace it. There are rules about such things.

    From this site:

    "The purpose of mold remediation is to correct the moisture problem and to remove moldy and contaminated materials to prevent human exposure and further damage to building materials and furnishings. Porous materials that are wet and have mold growing on them may have to be discarded because molds can infiltrate porous substances and grow on or fill in empty spaces or crevices. This mold can be difficult or impossible to remove completely.

    As a general rule, simply killing the mold, for example, with biocide is not enough. The mold must be removed, since the chemicals and proteins, which can cause a reaction in humans, are present even in dead mold. "
  11. nuckphoto

    nuckphoto New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Many thanks to everyone that responded.

    I do like the Ox Box and the Intelliflow boxes, but I'm sure the latter will be out of the budget. Makes me think, though, that the stainless hoses would be a very good idea, especially if we go with the double decker washer/dryer set up.
  12. nuckphoto

    nuckphoto New Member

    Messages:
    5
    The torch is one of the usual ones found in hardware stores. I kept the flame as small as possible, but not being a plumber (or even an experienced solderer) is most likely the problem.

    As for the mold, behind that wall is (of course) the cubby hole in the garage where the water heater sits.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    A hotter torch means you're on the fitting for a shorter time...then the cooling can begin. A weak flame means you're on it a long time giving the heat a chance to migrate.
  14. Fubar411

    Fubar411 New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    After redoing my laundryroom, I wish that I had done my supply and waste in separate white boxes. Only b/c the supply hoses are notorious for bursting. If you leave the supply in an area more accessable, you can turn on and off the water when you're doing laundry, which isn't a bad idea.
  15. Wrex

    Wrex New Member

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    126
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Indeed if you're using the 20 dollar "soldering kit" type burner with the adjusting valve that you need to light with a flint lighter then the temperature on that torch is pretty low.

    I recently purchased a trigger type instant light torch burner with a can of MAPP gas and WOW was I shocked at how quickly I brought joints up to solder temperature. I can't believe I was using that other crappy burner for all these years.
  16. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

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    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I wonder how much that helps my soldering luck. I've done probably 80 joints now w/ only 1 leak. (A slow drip at that) But I never have used anything other than this:

  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    That is what I use for almost all my work. I actually took my tips, tanks, hoses, and regulators off my truck and put them in my garage. They sat unused in my truck so long I figured they were wasting space.
  18. spryde

    spryde Sr. IT Analyst

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    I just saw the Oxbox at Lo*es. $25 for the double solder on system. Pretty neat.

    SP
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