New Shower Valve

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by tommy7, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    Hey all. Thanks ahead of time for the help!

    I am trying to install a new shower valve and have had my difficulties.

    With each difficulty I have learned much, and now feel capable of doing the job. ( yea..right.)

    This was a new Moen shower valve a week agao. I have sweated and unsweated pipes a couple times.

    Now, that i am preparing to do it one final time (see "yea right" above).

    I have a couple questions...

    1. How well do i have to clean this valve?

    2. Can I have a corner so close to the valve? If so, do I sweat it on one step or two? Would I be better off putting an elbow in lower and allowing my self more room by the valve?

    [​IMG]
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,121
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    A little Emory cloth to clean things up, then flux and solder it with no-lead solder.

    As long as the cartridge is out while soldering, it doesn't' matter how close the fittings are.
  3. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    Thanks Terry!

    Actually, it's this close together. If I put flux on both ends and run the solder down the middle, can I count on it sealing both?

    If there is a better way to do it, I'm game!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,121
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You can also use a street 90 into the valve. What you have is doable too.

    The brass body needs to be hot enough to melt and pull the solder in. You can tap the solder onto the body to check your heating progress.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,133
    Location:
    New England
    Because the valve body is much more massive than the elbow, you'll need to apply the heat to the valve body more than the elbow, but you probably want them both to be hot enough to solder both at once. Don't overheat the elbow and not get the valve body hot enough - you need the solder to flow into both fittings.
  6. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    Thank guys! It aint pretty, but it soaked up a lot of solder.

    Last question. I want to plug up the elbow shower head joint so i can test it tomoorw. Do I just find a screw that fits it? Whats the common practice? I couldnt get any help at HD.

    [​IMG]
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,121
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The shower arm is standard 1/2" pipe threads.
    A 1/2" x 6" nipple with cap will do.
  8. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    Well, I couldn't wait and tested the pipes tonight. The joint you guys helped me with worked out great! Thanks!

    But, I do have a trickle leak at the bottom of this coupling joint. Doesnt look liek it but I swear I sodered it!

    I'm pretty sure this is a dumb questions, but I do have to remove the joint completly by resweating, then re-clean, re-flux, re-sweat? Thanks!

    [​IMG]
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,133
    Location:
    New England
    Once water gets into a joint...the only way to fix it is to disconnect it, clean and redo. You can reuse the fitting. Hopefully, you can get it apart without having to cut things which would likely mean adding another repair coupling to restore the cut.
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Those globs of solder tell the tale.....not hot enough. Either the fitting was not hot and/or you melted the solder with the flame. The solder MUST melt by touching to hot metal.
  11. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    Thanks! I've learned a lot in the last 2 days! I should have come here sooner.

    A couple more questions:

    1. You said "once water gets into a joint", does that mean if I hadn't tested it with water yet, I can go back and add solder to a joint after it has cooled?

    2. When I re-clean a pipe and joint after pulling it apart, am I trying to get all the solder off so I see only copper?
  12. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    I couldn't remove the coupling by itself, so I removed the elbow above it also. Is it likely that I have damaged my successful joints near it? see picture.

    [​IMG] Thanks!
  13. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You do not need to remove solder down to bare copper. Wipe with a dry rag to remove excess, so it will fit into the socket.

    If you reheat the joint, swab some flux on it as well.
  14. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    Is there a trick to these couplings?

    I put new one on. I heated it up thoroughly. It took a lot of solder across the top and bottom. When I wiped it with a rag, it seemed to remove the solder, but i figured it was sucked in, i had used so much . When I tested it, it leaks! Dribbles! All my corners hold great!

    What could I be doing wrong?

    [​IMG]
  15. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    One more thing that has me confused. The leak is on the left, hot water side. Why does it leak when I turn on the hot or cold water? Granted, it leaks a lot faster when the hot water is turned on. But, aren't they completly separated?
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,133
    Location:
    New England
    It looks like you're overheating the joints and burning out all of the flux. The magic to this is move the flame, test periodically to see if the solder can melt yet, and when it does, remove the heat, apply the rest of the solder then leave it alone to cool. If you're handy and can do it fast enough, you can use a rag to wipe excess off for asthetics. Wait too long, though and you can create more problems by maybe moving things as the solder is setting.

    Personally, if you don't do this often, I've found differences in the fluxes available - some are much harder to get a good joint with than others. One often mentioned as being more friendly is a tinning flux - it has not only flux but powdered solder in it. You still need to add solder to get a waterproof joint, but it sort of pre-tins it for you to help things along.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  17. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    -- Go figure. I would have used a street 90 myself....never knew you could just put a stub and flux right to the brass like that...

    - To the OP. Can I suggest taking some scrap short copper, clamping it horizontal or vertical and practice sweating before doing that on your fixtures. Don't get me wrong...I'm sure it's all leak free and all, but with a little practice, I'm sure those joints will look a whole lot better !
  18. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    After 2 trying days and help from Jim, Jimbo and Terry, I finally got it. No leaks..... yet. Which leads to my next question....:D

    If it does not leak now, what are the likelyhood is will leak 30, 60, 90 days from now. Should i wait a certain period of time before I put up the cbu?

    I've attached pictures, if you pros see anything out of the ordinary, I sure would appreciate your advice!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  19. tommy7

    tommy7 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    maryland
    That is exactly what I spent this afternoon doing! Good call. Practicing, that is.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  20. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Too much heat, too much solder, etc, etc - regardless of leak free can be a bad thing. A lil money on fittings to learn how to get the feel would be a +++

    If you have not planned for it, definately put some blocking where the valve is.
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