Soldering on the grill - really.

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by DIYitright, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. DIYitright

    DIYitright New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Not a joke, an experiment.

    A single propane torch was not enough to solder 1/2" copper tube to the large brass shower valve. The hunk of brass was a big heat sink. I mentioned this to DW and she said: "So? Put it on the grill."

    It could work. Other industries assemble parts and place them in ovens to solder the pieces all at once. Unwilling to trash a whole valve if it went wrong, I worked up to it. Yes, the valve has no plastic pieces. I checked. It is all machined brass.

    Experiment 1 with copper tubing:
    I fired up the gas grill until it read 600F
    Two scrap pieces of tubing and a straight union, cleaned and fluxed, were laid on the grill for 5 minutes with the lid closed. opened the lid, applied solder and it did not melt. Moved the pieces into a visible flame and the solder flowed right into the joint. It worked.

    Experiment 2 with an old shower valve:
    Again at 600F
    I used the old shower valve that was removed and had various bits soldered to it.
    Waited 20 minutes.
    The parts were still firm
    I move it into the flame and after a few minutes was able to disassemble everything. It worked.

    This could never be a suggested practice and you could trash an expensive valve. It made for interesting experiments.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I always pull the cartridge when soldering, and reinstall when I'm done.
     
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  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Occupation:
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I use mapp gas instead of propane as it delivers the extra heat neeted for bigger valves. The size of the torch tip counts also.
     
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Occupation:
    Rocket Scientist
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Welders use a grill all of the time.

    When I am done I have a Steak and Beer.
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You had the wrong torch and/or gas. And, if I had to wait 5 minutes to do every joint, I would never finish a job. Grills are also difficult to use inside a wall.
     
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  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Occupation:
    Rocket Scientist
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I agree, and not safe either. :)
     
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