Rookie first time questions..."cleaning" the solder

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by coopns, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. coopns

    coopns New Member

    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Just trying things out for the first time....

    So I got a 8 inch piece of copper and a fitting. I put the flux on, heated both pieces of copper put the fitting on and dripped some solder on. Worked ok for my first time I guess but I saw in the house and the plumber looked like he cleaned it up or wiped off excess. Would he be that good or did he clean it up?

    When I did dripped it on there, it kind of sucked in to the joint but wasn't pretty probably because I dripped to much on.

    Any advice or recommendations?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    Clean both the inside and outside of the respective pipe and fittings. Put flux on, push the pieces together in the proper orientation, heat the fitting until the flux is obviously hot, remove the heat momentarily and see if it will melt the solder. If not, continue heating. If it is a big fitting, you might need to heat one side while putting solder on the other after moving the torch around the fitting. It will suck the solder up into the joint. If you haven't already, remove the heat. WIth a cloth that won't melt, wipe the excess solder off before it starts to solidify and don't move the pieces until it has set up. Most fluxes are acidic, and any excess should be wiped off. The extra solder isn't a big deal, but it looks better if you wipe it off.
  3. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    844
    Location:
    cold new york
    Can't wiping off the excess solder before it hardens cause the joint to move and therefore cause it to not set properly?
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I sound like you got really lucky on the first attempt, but is is most likely that that joint will fail. The first thing to do is to clean both the pipe end and the inside of the fitting. This should be do just prior to assembly. Next apply flux to the pipe end and inside of the fitting. Now put the joint together and apply heat. The joint is heated until the hot joint will melt the solder, you never melt the solder with the flame. Once the joint is hot enough for the solder to flow, remove the heat and apply the solder around the joint. The flux will cause it to suck into the joint. you can wipe the joint with a damp rag to remove the excess flux and smooth the joint, but be sure you don't move the joint until it has pretty well cooled. Also, do not cool the joint with water. I just wipe the flux with a damp rag after the joint has cooled off.
  5. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    You learn to flick the "boogers" with your gloved finger without disturbing the joint. I know a plumber, he's retired now, who flicked the boogers backhanded with his fingernail.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    solder

    You don't "drip" the solder onto the joint, you put the solder against the joint and let it flow into the fitting.
  7. coopns

    coopns New Member

    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Yeah, I was incorrectly kind of burning the solder and dripping it on...Whoops. I will try'er again tonight.

    So the joint should be hot enough then it kind of sucks it in. So hold the solder right on the joint eh?

    Thanks.
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