Lead & no-lead solder compatibility

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Mikey, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Nov 8, 2005
    Hansville, Washington
    I've got to reconfigure some old copper plumbing that was installed in the 70s, so almost certainly were assembled with leaded solder. It will be fairly easy to unsweat the old fittings, wipe the pipes and fittings that are staying in place, and sweat on the new stuff, but I'm wondering if today's unleaded solder will flow and mate with the old solder film left on the pipes. Planning on using Oatey #5 flux. It is almost impossible to cut the pipes back to clean copper.
  2. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Sep 25, 2006
    Commercial Plumber
    Phoenix, AZ
    I don't know if the old style solder would mix compatably with the new...
    I probably would spend the time with a file and sand cloth to clean all the old solder off the old pipes and have a nice clean new surface to solder on with the 95/5...
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    No lead solder will mix fine.
    I've pulled many fittings apart from the 70's and resoldered using "No-Lead".

    My favorite solder is Bridgit
  5. TMB9862

    TMB9862 New Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    I agree with terry. I've pulled apart and re-soldered many old lines, I never even thought about the mixing lead/no lead thing until now.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    Me agrees too!
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    The old lead will come off the pipe very easy with a little sanding cloth and a new fitting will insure that all the old lead is totally gone.
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