Ran out of gas when sweating

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by djarchow, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. djarchow

    djarchow New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
    Location:
    Iowa
    I was sweating the last connection for a Delta shower valve. It was the copper going to shower head. I had just gotten it hot enough that the solder was just starting to wick in and my torch ran out of gas. After I bought another cylinder of gas I tried to sweat it again but after heating it twice the flux was probably burnt out and it looks like a terrible joint with obvious gaps in the solder, at least at the edge of the valve.

    Should I try to separate the copper from the valve and attempt to save the valve? The copper I can just pitch or cut an inch shorter if I need to but I am not sure how to clean out the valve. Is heating it up and using the wire brush enough?

    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Yes.
     
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  4. djarchow

    djarchow New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
    Location:
    Iowa
    HJ,

    Thanks. I will give it a try.
     
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If you use liquid flux, it has a very short time before it oxidizes the joint. After separating the joint, the male end can be wiped with a cloth after melting the solder and then cleaned up with a wire brush after it cools. The female end can be a bit harder to clean the solder from. Using the wire brush when the solder is molten could get little balls of solder stuck to the ends of the bristles. Use an old brush that you don't mind messing up and then follow up with a better clean brush.
     
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    When you look at it once you get it apart, if there are any scorch areas, you need to clean them up. If it's got a continuous coat of solder, wipe off the pipe while the solder is still molten (don't use a synthetic cloth!). Once things have cooled enough to handle, re- flux things, then, as long as you can insert the pipe into the valve body, you've cleaned that up enough. Some of the brushes are pretty aggressive, and will clean up some of that excess solder. If you were just soldering in stubs and you have the valve free, while it's still molten, if you rap it against something, a lot of that excess solder will come out. Make sure you haven't flowed excess solder and it got into the valve body, or your cartridge may not seat right.
     
  7. djarchow

    djarchow New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
    Location:
    Iowa
    I cleaned out the fitting on the valve this weekend and resweated the connection. I may have cleaned it a little too well as it felt loose compared to some other unused brass fittings I had lying around. So I am still not sure if it is a good joint or not. I may just pitch the valve and buy another one, and start from scratch they aren't that expensive, and it won't be the first or last $25 I have wasted on a screw up this project. Thanks for everyone's help!
     
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