Wondering if I made a mistake sweating copper

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jeff_bathroom, May 9, 2008.

  1. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi,
    I've sweated copper before with no leaks. This time I have 1" fittings that needed to be connected to 3/4" pipe, so I have 3/4 copper adapters. I wasn't thinking about it of course til after I was done, but I sweated all the 3/4 adapters onto the 1" connectors without also sweating to the pipes themselves. I was wondering if when I heat up the fitting again to connect the pipe, if I'll screw up the original sweated joints?
    I sure hope not since there's eight of them and those 16 pieces were pretty expensive. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    -- Jeff
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,296
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Not sure if I have the picture correctly, but the unsoldered joints must be disassembled, cleaned, and fluxed before soldering. If you don't go wild with the torch and overheat the joint, you can probably get the new joints soldered OK without messing up the previous ones. If you do have to take the original joints apart, you can reuse the fittings although cleaning out the old solder can be a PITA, it's done all of the time.
  3. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi Gary,
    that's what I wanted to know. I'm uncertain whether I'll have issues
    til hooking it all up. I hope not because removing the solder and redoing all of it does sound like a major pita. Just to give you the full picture; what this is for is to hook up whole house water filter and softener.
    So, it goes like this: I'll need to connect to the incoming 3/4" copper supply to the house. That connects first to a main on/off valve, then a prefilter, then the carbon filter, then the softener tank then back out to
    the house. So, all those connections between units required a step up to
    1" fittings from the 3/4" of the house. So, picture the first connector which
    would be a 3/4" adapter to a 1" threaded connector. There's 8 of those and I pre-soldered all of the adapters to the connectors.
    Thanks for your input.
    -- Jeff
  4. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Just sweat the joints. If the presoldered joint heats up just flux it externally and hit it with some more solder to make sure there are no gaps. No problem
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If you have threaded fittings to screw into 1" threaded holes or onto 1" MPT fittings, you've done this all wrong if now you can't screw the male or female adapters because they are soldered onto the tubing and the tubing can't rotate. Or did you mean you soldered reducing slip x slip fittings onto 1" tubing and didn't finish the 3/4" tubing joint? Adapters are threaded.

    Also, the prefilter and carbon filter will eventually starve your softener for water flow and shorten the life of your resin. If you are on 'city' water, it is not a good idea to remove chlorine on a whole house basis.Drinking water and shower head filters are a much better choice. If you are on your own well, you should not use carbon on water of unknown microbiological content. Who ever you bought the softener and filters from should have told you this before they took your money.
  6. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi Winslow,
    thanks for the tip about the flux. I'm going to try to finish
    this up today.
    -- Jeff
  7. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi Gary,
    Sorry, I don't know what an MPT or slip x slip fitting is. I'm ok with the issue of being able to screw the pipes on. I'm not in the situation where I won't be able to do that.
    Not sure what you mean about that the prefilter and carbon filter will "eventually" starve the softener for water flow. The manual does say that if water pressure drops off, then the prefilter probably needs to be changed.
    I read documentation and reviews about these units. I didn't see anything about the issues that you're speaking of including the comments about chlorine and microbiological content. I'm open minded though. If you wouldn't mind posting some independant URLs about the subject, I'd like to review it/them.
    Thanks.
  8. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Done - sort of

    I tried to pay a plumber $95/hr plus materials to hook up these filters/softener. He came gave me the price and I said ok. Called him back and left three messages on his cell...no return call. Another outfit never even called back as they said they would. These are the plumbing outfits with the biggest advertising in the phone book. This is so typical of Savannah, GA. They must have gone fishing...that's not unusual.
    So, I did the job myself. I don't like to sweat copper, but I got it all hooked up. No leaks in all the copper connections but I had leaks where they screw onto the plastic. I used teflon tape first time around. I unwound all that stuff and used the teflon pipe dope. That fixed about four leaks.
    All is well except I noted some pressure drop in a few of the faucets, but not all of them. Then this morning, the lavatory faucet stopped altogether.
    I wondered what in the world could make just a couple faucets misbehave. I thought maybe air in the system. Then I wondered about the bread I used to stop the water flow to do the last soldering on the main water feed. Took off the screens on those two faucets and thankfully the water pressure is restored. Sure enough, there was a coating of bread on both screens. The kitchen faucet had some other kind of green plastic strip also stuck in there. I couldn't identify what that was....pretty odd. That's the good news. I'm soaking the screens in white vinegar. I don't have any clr or other right now. Think that will work?
    I guess it's time for a pro to chime in and tell me never to use bread. I searched a couple of posts where that is said. Thing is; that's what my plumbing book says to do. Not sure how I'll deal with this issue in the future, but it won't be bread. All things considered, I'm really happy my water pressure didn't suffer by installing these units.
    -- Jeff
  9. taysan

    taysan Member

    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Well, I'm certainly no pro, but I've used bread before sucessfully. Only when I really needed to of course - it was when I moved a bunch of lines in my basement and there was no way I could see to get the lines completely dry and drops of water kept coming down from the 2 stories of plumbing above me. I also removed the screens from any faucets before turning the water back on.

    Only suggestion on bread is to use the whitest bad-for-you bread you can find :) Oh, and don't put crusts in there!

    I'm surprised you have to soak your screens - a toothbrush or something should remove any bread material - what kind of bread did you use?
  10. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Solder Copper Pipe With Bread

    I Have Used Bread Many, Many, Many, Times To Solder Copper Pipes
    Yes Some Times I Have Had Problem Cleaning Lines After Ward's
    The Best Way Is To Stop "all" Water Before Starting Work
    I Spin Time And Go To Great Lengths To Stop Water Before I Do Work These Days

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2009
  11. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks for the info guys. I have to admit that I used the bottom
    side of a hamburger bun. If I have to do it again, I'll be sure to get some Wonderbread/ultrawhite and also remember to remove the screens.
    Luckily the first water that I ran was the utility sink without a screen
    and all kinds of crud came out of there...presumably the bread. :)
    -- Jeff
  12. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I think that if you open up a bath tub faucet wide open before you turn the house water back on, most of the debris will likely go out there - no screen to get clogged up.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    While a tub spout rarely has an aerator (mine does - it's integrated into the valve assembly), a fair number of valves have screens on their inlets. Bread under these situations can be a real problem.
  14. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Good point!

    Maybe opening an outside sill cock?
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have never shared my lunch with a pipe yet!
    There are many ways to divert water from the work area such as opening a faucet, flushing a toilet in a basement bath, or setting a washing machine to fill in the basement. Opening a sillcock is also something that I do.

    There are also tools that plumbers buy called Jet Sweats that hold water back.

    I eat my lunch!:D
  16. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    It's interesting that there does not seem to be a 100% method to address this problem, other than waiting for the water to stop completely. Maybe this is an opportunity for the Wonder people to produce a specially designed bread tot or something guaranteed to dissolve completely. :D I would just love to buy a tube of 3/4" Wonder bread-tots at Home Depot.
    I also just realized I didn't answer taysan's question as to why I'm soaking the screens and not using a toothbrush. Our water is very hard here, so I thought to try to remove other deposits in addition to the bread.
    Hopefully this new softener will help that situation. One thing I noticed right away is that the water tastes much, much better (really deserves three or four "much's" to describe how "much" better it tastes). Our water is supposed to be very good here in terms of having low levels of polutants and whatnot, but it is pretty bad tasting due to the minerals I guess. I could not really even drink the water from our frige that goes through a filter...it still tasted awful.
    The water now is devoid of that minerally/chlorinated after taste. I'm very impressed so far. Of course that is only the charcoal and pre-filters at work. The jury will be out for awhile about the salt-free softener. This is Pelican as some probably have guessed and I don't want to upset nor get into that argument with any "water people" when I've described the product as a "softener". I'll update this thread with an honest appraisal of that product in a couple months after it's had time to work. If it doesn't work as advertised, I won't let my ego get in the way of telling you so.
    Thanks everybody for your advice !
    -- Jeff
  17. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Water Filter

    Try A " Multi-pure" Water Filters For Really Good Testing Water


    Multipure.com :d
  18. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Don't need one since I purchased this one. But, I'm sure that's good info for other folks looking for one. Thanks.
  19. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Terry - Tieger plumbing says hello

    I had also posted the question related to this thread on one of your competitor's web sites (good to get a few opinions). They'd been pretty busy I guess because I didn't get a reply until days after I completed the job.
    But, he said you're a nice guy and to say hello.
    So, "Hello from Tieger plumbing".

    -- Jeff
  20. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Florida
    Regarding performance of Pelican Filter/Softener

    I've had it installed for around a month now.
    I'm very pleased with it.
    The "softener" part of it works well. I'll still get spots on a sink
    for example, but they clean off very easily. The hard water spots
    don't happen any more.
    I was so happy with the filtering part of it (water tastes great) that I bought
    one of those sparkling water machines from Soda Club. I'm now drinking about a quart of sparkling water a day. And, I've never been a water drinker. We don't buy gatorade or water from the store any more as that's what I used to drink after some of my sweaty DIY jobs.
    Anyway, two thumbs up for Pelican.
    Only question now is whether these units last as long as they advertise
    before needing to be refilled.
    -- Jeff
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