sweating horizontal joints

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jlast, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. jlast

    jlast New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    Hi all,

    I'm new to soldering copper and just feel like I'm getting the hang of it. I'm assembling some parts for a heating system on my bench, and I can get some nice looking joints vertically, where the solder forms that nice silver ring at the end of the fitting cup. But when I do horizontal joints, it seems like I end up putting too much solder into the joint trying to get that "ring"...the solder seems to flow into the fitting just fine but I don't get that ring, only more drips out the bottom. Is this just normal for horizontal joints, or is there something I can do to make the solder build up better. Maybe it's just aesthetic but I like when I can see that solid ring.... Thanks
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I think horizontal joints are easier. If it's heated top to bottom, it will pull the solder in. As long as you can see it, it's there. It doesn't have to pool.
     
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  4. jlast

    jlast New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    By heated top to bottom you mean heated completely, right? Because I've mostly seen guys apply heat to the bottom of the joint and feed the solder from the top. Some of what I'm doing is 1" and with that, I heat from the bottom and sides until it's all up to temp, then feed into the bottom of the joint first, and work my way up on both sides.

    When soldering brass valves, do I keep the flame on the cup the whole time while feeding the solder? It seems harder to keep the whole thing hot than with copper fittings. I think I'm being skittish with the heat because I'm afraid of damaging the valve.
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It's all about even heat. The more sides you can hit the better. I tend to foucus more on heating low and applying solder high.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    See https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?posts/439755/
     
  7. craigpump

    craigpump In the Trades

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Occupation:
    Self employed water system tech
    Location:
    Connecticut
    My grandfather taught me a little trick, if you're working with 1/2", put a bend in the solder 1/2" from the end. That should give you the right amount of solder for your joint. 3/4 tubing, 3/4" of solder and so on.

    Sounds like you maybe using a little too much heat, pull your torch back from the joint a little.
     
  8. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Practice makes perfect.
    Most important things to remember: clean the parts well, heat them evenly and keep them dry.
     
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