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Old 10-02-2009, 01:37 PM   #1
methane
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Default How to sweat connections onto wort chiller

Hey y'all,
I've got a copper immersion chiller that I am about to toss through the window. Ever since I got this from my LHBS it has leaked on the intake. I thought I had it fixed finally (with some pre-brew testing) and used it last night. But the damn thing still leaked at the intake hose.

Right now, all that's holding the hose on is a couple of worm-style clamps. I tried to put a compression fitting on, but I really don't know what I'm doing and that leaked too. So, now I'm saying to hell with it. I want to sweat a proper fitting on. Only thing is, I don't know anything about plumbing.
Can someone give me some advice or point me to a 'plumbing for morons' type of web-site that will show me just what I need to do?
Currently, the wort chiller is 3/8'" OD with crap for connections.

Thanks,
Brad

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Glass will settle out faster than yeast. I'd just leave a little extra on the bottom if it really worries you.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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What you want to do is go to Lowes with a short little piece of your tubing (or grab some 3/8" off the shelf for comparison). I've found that a 1/2" barb to garden hose thread fitting has an inside diameter that fits 3/8" soft copper pretty snugly. If not, you can start with any sweat fitting labelled as 1/4". I know, confusing but 1/4" copper fittings sweat on to 3/8" OD soft copper tubing.

You need: sandpaper or wirebrush, acid paste flux, lead free solder, and a propane bottle/torch.

Sand or wirebrush the tubing and fitting on the contact surfaces until they are shiny and clean, apply paste flux to both surfaces, connect, heat the fitting and tubing trying to avoid burning the flux, apply a little solder to the joint all the way around and walk away.

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Old 10-02-2009, 02:31 PM   #3
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+1 what Bobby said. I sweated on a male garden hose fitting onto on side, and a female garden hose fitting onto the other side. It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it, I'd suggest taking a chunk (or the entire chiller) down to Lowe's or H.D. when the store isn't too busy and let them assemble the fittings to build what you need. If you're not using garden hoses, then like Bobby said, a barbed fitting with the correct diameter will work. I do my brewing outside so hose connectors are great.

Here's just one of dozens of You Tube tutorials on sweat soldering.

You might have to cut off a couple of inches of your tubing if it's been goobered up, a tubing cutter is the best way to cut copper pipe.

You have to get the fittings hot enough so that the solder is sucked into the joint by capillary action (I think that's the term), but not too hot. Mapp gas is hotter than propane. It should take about 15-20 seconds or so to heat the fittings to soldering temp, less if you're using Mapp gas.

You can probably get away with either type of solder, but if it's going into the wort then you should avoid lead base solder, I'd suggest getting the lead free type in case something else needs to be soldered later you'll have the correct type.

Good Luck...

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Old 10-02-2009, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
What you want to do is go to Lowes with a short little piece of your tubing (or grab some 3/8" off the shelf for comparison). I've found that a 1/2" barb to garden hose thread fitting has an inside diameter that fits 3/8" soft copper pretty snugly.
Thanks for the tip never would of thought to use the barbed garden hose fitting, but I just got it working. Had to do some filing but its good now.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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When worm-style clamps leak, add another clamp. I bought a chiller from Midwest and it leaked on the intake, but tightening it just made it slip. 2nd clamp, no problem.

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Old 10-02-2009, 06:44 PM   #6
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Heh, I've already got two clamps on it. It leaked before, so I took both off, cut the tip of the hose off and reattached it. And it still leaks. Hence, being at the end of my rope. The sweat solder if going to fix this and I will have peace of mind for eternity... I hope.

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Drinking:
Midwest Supplies: Morebeer Irish Red.
Bottled: American Red Pumpkin Ale
Primary: none
On Deck: AHBS Purple Haze, AHBS Winter Chocolate Stout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BargainFittings View Post
Glass will settle out faster than yeast. I'd just leave a little extra on the bottom if it really worries you.
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