Loose Sweat Fittings

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by rdtompki, May 16, 2010.

  1. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Iowa
    I'm plumbing a bypass into a new auxiliary hot water heater installation and bought some 3/4" quarter turn sweat ball valves at the local big box store. I've done my share of copper plumbing and haven't encountered sweat fittings as loose as these BV - the pipe actually wobbles a bit in the fitting. Is this acceptable for a sweat joint? I think not and I'm going to take these Made in China BV back and try to find a brand that is made elsewhere.

    Rick
  2. i960

    i960 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    They'd probably still work alright - but I'd side on the side of not relying on solder to fill the entire gap as well.

    I've had good luck with the ball-valves they sell at HD that have Italian written on the included piece of paper hanging from them. However, I've always used the threaded ones and soldered male fittings to the inlet and outlet pipes.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,247
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A solder joint REQUIRES a specific tolerance in the joint, Mueller once made a "go/no go" gauge for it. If the joint is too sloppy, which yours appear to be, capillary attraction will NOT occur and the solder will NOT flow to the bottom of the joint.
  4. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Iowa
    hj, thanks
    I should have gone to HD where I've had no such problem, but the Lowes is several miles closer. Understand completely the capillary action issue. Chinese manufactured items are inevitable, but for something as critical as plumbing components I'd expect more oversight. I'd be shocked if these BV were within spec.
    Rick
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