question about soldering copper tubing

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by bardos, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. bardos

    bardos New Member

    Messages:
    8
    I just ran to the hardware store to buy some solder before they closed for the weekend, hoping to get a leg up on my plumbing project this weekend. I went without my reading glasses and when i got home i saw that the roll of solder i had bought has 3.5% silver. I thought "no problem".

    It does behave differently than the other solder I was using on this plumbing project. Needs much more heat and doesn't flow as nice. Have I made a booboo or will this still be ok? Won't be able to test my joints until I complete the circuit next week. But i could use the info to continue or stop until the shops re-open on Monday.

    thx.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    solder

    As long as you use proper soldering techniques you should have no problem.
  3. bardos

    bardos New Member

    Messages:
    8

    been using it, not as easy as the last roll but doable. I'm pretty sloppy with this stuff. Ugly joints. aarrgh. TN-AG 3.5% silver.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    solder

    It will have a fairly small temperature range where it is plastic and flowing. So it will take more heat to melt the solder, and possibly continuous heat to keep it flowing until the joint is made properly. But it will solidify faster than your previous solder.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,932
    Location:
    New England
    Did your old roll have lead in it? It could if it has been sitting around for a long time.
  6. bardos

    bardos New Member

    Messages:
    8
    i imagine it must have to flow so nicely.

    shame about lead being poisonous to organic beings. maybe in the next universe they can work that one out.
  7. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The amount of lead that you will get in your water from a soldered joint is negligible. It is an issue of the law more than the hazard. Kids eat lead paint and there may be a few places that have lead pipes, so the EPA logic is that you must avoid lead in soldering water pipes.

    They got rid of perfectly good leaded brass and some of the pump manufacutrers replaced it with inferior nickel plated iron. The lead in the brass was to make it easier to machine and it contributed no lead to the water. Rationality is not a constraint for government rule-makers.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    logic

    Or Ralph Nader.
  9. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Maybe so, but I'll not take my chances. You go ahead and drink leaded water, Bob. :)
  10. bardos

    bardos New Member

    Messages:
    8
    well, here's the thing. Truth be told I completed the job with lots of soldered joints. lots. Today I tested. Three leaking joints. Undid two and resoldered and fine. The third one is a bit of a bugbear. I have been using my butane torch hooked up to a small metal cannister to do the job, it's what i've been using for years. The firdt two joints were very hard to unsolder. required a lot of time. The third joint doesn't budge. My thinking is that this tin/silver solder has a really high melting point and that i'm not going to get at it with butane. Would the solution be to go out and get some propane which burns hotter? Pain in the neck, but if it's the only way to undo this joint I guess i'll go for it. let the experts plz contribute to this thread.
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I think you're on the right track. Butane just doesn't get a hot enough flame. Propane would be better, Mapp gas would be even better.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2010
  12. bardos

    bardos New Member

    Messages:
    8
    propane it is then. what is mapp gas?
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    It is a gas that burns hotter than propane. It comes in bottles like propane. I believe most professional plumber use it now because it's faster and better suited for heating joints on valves where prolonged heat is not desired. This would not be a bad option for you.
  14. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Iowa
    Another torch option would be propane with a good torch. I recently redid our master bathroom plumbing with hundreds of sweat joints in 1/2" and 3/4". MAPP gas was overkill for this small pipe. The higher output spread flame of the torch (with built-in igniter) would heat up the joints in a fraction the time of the pencil flame torch that comes in the low cost kits. The built-in igniter is a big safety benefit.
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Keep in mind that if there's any water in the pipe there ain't much that you can do to heat the joint enough to melt the solder.
  16. bardos

    bardos New Member

    Messages:
    8
    which was exactly the problem. and due to gravity working against me in a tight space, there was nothing for it but to cut the line. did that cleaned it all up, made some new pieces and resoldered the bad area and now it's back together. the whole system is connected up and does not leak. The only thing is that I haven't tried it with hot water. The fact is I can't. This building is still going up. Would hot water make a difference in "leak potential"?
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    leaded water

    Lake911, I'll give you odds that if your water were tested the way CA does it, you would be drinking leaded water, regardless of any attempts to eliminate it. They have found that all their attempts to eliminate it by regulating the items that go into the house have failed, so now they are trying to pass Draconian measures that would make it almost impossible to produce plumbing items that would conform to the proposed standards. I personally, feel that most of the lead is coming into the house from the city water systems.
  18. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    That may very well be the case. I drink RO/DI water for the most part though. Doesn't mean because the lead is only a few ppm that I will unnecessarily add more. I live in an old house, I'm already getting enough exposure from the paint. ;)



    Jason
  19. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Probably not until it gets up close to the melting point of the solder :D .
  20. bardos

    bardos New Member

    Messages:
    8

    not likely I take it,

    thx.
Similar Threads: question soldering
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Re-soldering question from a DIY'er May 26, 2009
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Basic Soldering Dumb Question perhaps Oct 16, 2007
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Another soldering question Oct 22, 2006
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Noobie Copper Soldering Questions Aug 8, 2006
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & [B]Soldering 101 Question[/B] Jan 29, 2006

Share This Page