Use of Pre-soldered copper fittings?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by scatkins, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. scatkins

    scatkins New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Does anyone have any experiance using the pre-soldered copper fittings that I've been seeing? Seems like a great idea, any pitfalls?
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    They work but are very expensive and I couldn't afford to use them. I think in a few years they won't be around.
  3. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    It's just a gimmick to make DIY'ers think they can solder and don't need to call a plumber.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,825
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    fittings

    They are just a modification of the original solder fittings that had the groove and a hole in the side to put the solder into when the fitting was heated.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    This has been a topic of discussion before, and as I recall, someone said he found them handy when working in a tight area. Other than that, most everyone feels they are just a gimmick and not worth the extra cost. I've never seen the need to even try them.
  6. scatkins

    scatkins New Member

    Messages:
    18
    I understand what they are and that they cost more (although at the big box stores the price was pretty much the same at least for 1/2. In fact I've found several local stores that seem to only be stocking the presoldered parts.

    But I guess I'm looking for is first hand experiance with them. I'm wondering if there are any pitfalls of using them? For example, you still need to clean the inside of the fitting. Any problems with this displacing all of the solder?(i.e. in the internal ring joint).

    Gimmick? Maybe, but there are times when the space is really tight and difficult and anything that saves a little bit of time can be well worth it.
  7. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I don't think it saves any time. I've used them before. The nice thing about the conventional way is that you can feed solder in until you see a tiny bead develop on the underside of the fitting; that way you know the joint is full. But with the presoldereds, you have to 'trust' that it's fully melted and filled. I ended up feeding in MORE solder which defeats the purpose.

    IMHO, you'll sleep better if you do it the old fashioned way.
  8. jk60

    jk60 Engineer

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    San Francisco
    In my area (San Francisco), the cost of the pre-soldered fittings at Home Depot is about the same as the standard fittings. The pre-soldered fittings are somewhat thinner, but other then that I had no problems using them. I still have a tendencey to go with the standard fittings, but found the pre-soldered variety very handy in tight places.
  9. galacon

    galacon Master Electrician & Engineer

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Northern Illinois, USA
    I just don't trust 'em. I always add a little solder anyway, so why bother...

    Just my 2c :)

    G
  10. scatkins

    scatkins New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Tried some out. Actually they worked quite nicely. Fed them a little bit extra solder, but that didn't seem to be necessary.

    I agree, they might tempt a novice to just stick the fittings together and heat without proper preparation which is still required.

    But in using them in an area that was just a pain with a bunch of weird angles and more joints than I'd like, the whole job seemed to go much quicker.
  11. scatkins

    scatkins New Member

    Messages:
    18
    A further note: One possible downfall that I noticed in using was that because of the presence of solder it is harder to get the inside of the fitting prepared. I found that in 1/2" fittings that I need to be careful when using the wire brush to clean up the inside of the fitting. I especially noticed this when the fitting had been sitting on the shelf for a while and was well oxidized.

    That said, after using a while I found they work pretty well, especially in tight places where you want to minimize torch time.
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