Old vs New Solder compatability.....

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by rfsmith48, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. rfsmith48

    rfsmith48 Member

    Feb 23, 2008

    I am remodeling a bathroom built in 1971. I believe that all the copper supply plumbing was assembled using Lead/Tin solder.

    If I have to resweat some of the existing joints with the current solders...(Indium/tin?) will that work?

    Because I am moving the Vanity and John, I will need to cap several lines and re-route several others.

    Can I get small amounts of the Lead/Tin solder for maintainence/repair? (I have not seen Lead/Tin solder in the stores for many years.)

    What say the Terry Love guru's?


    Rog Smith
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    As long as you clean the pipe and fitting, use an appropriate flux, you can use the legal solder without issues on an older pipe or fitting. Once a fitting has had water run through it, you have to take it apart anyway to resolder it...just wipe off as much as you can (which will make it go into the fitting easier) when taking it apart. I'd use new fittings, but you can reuse the old ones, but it's often more hassle than it's worth. Much easier to clean and flux a new one.
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  4. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet In the Trades

    Sep 7, 2009
    Seattle. WA
    Lead/tin solder is still used and sold, some places just don't stock it in the plumbing supply dept., although I'm pretty sure
    it can still be used on copper DWV piping.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Just wipe the "hot" solder off the tubing with a rag and then use new fittings with the proper solder. IF you do a good soldering job you will not have any problems.
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