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Old 03-02-2011, 10:34 PM   #1
Apoxbrew
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Default Soldering Help

So I'm wondering on things like dip-tube and other copper that's very close to the bottom of your pots/keggles how you properly solder these joints if you can't really get under them to do so?

Does the joint suck the solder around the entire pipe if you just hit it with the solder on the top and sides?

Just finishing up my keggle and HLT tonight so want to make sure I do things right. I don't have a don't of copper soldering experience.

Thanks!

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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You put copper dip tubes in with either compression fittings or unions so they can be taken out.

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:48 PM   #3
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You don't want to solder everything in place. I've seen some pics of setups that do not solder at all. Personally, I would solder enough to get it in pieces that you can take apart to clean and install into your tuns.

The way solder works is that it is drawn to the heat with the aid of flux. If you haven't done it before I would test it out fist before making your final piece.

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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I'm unsure as to why you have to solder in place? But yes, the solder will flow into and around the joint.
If you ever have trouble accessing the back side of the fitting you can bend the wire to curve around to the back side of the joint.
You can heat the fitting on one side of the joint while the wire is placed against the edge of the fitting on the opposite side. When the the fittings get hot enough the solder will start to melt. As soon as you get the solder to start flowing wipe the soldering wire around the shoulder of the fitting. Do this on both sides.
Move fairly quickly around the joint. It doesn't take a lot of solder either. If it spills out, and drips you're using too much.
Make sure you clean your fittings very good before you apply the flux.

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Originally Posted by rudu81 View Post
You don't want to solder everything in place. I've seen some pics of setups that do not solder at all. Personally, I would solder enough to get it in pieces that you can take apart to clean and install into your tuns.

The way solder works is that it is drawn to the heat with the aid of flux. If you haven't done it before I would test it out fist before making your final piece.
Flux actually is a cleaning agent, and also creates an oxygen barrier that prevents oxides from forming that make it difficult for the solder to adhere.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmfa200 View Post
Flux actually is a cleaning agent, and also creates an oxygen barrier that prevents oxides from forming that make it difficult for the solder to adhere.
Guess my cousin isn't always right about plumbing....
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudu81 View Post
Guess my cousin isn't always right about plumbing....
More of a FYI, than a corrective comment. Glad you took it in good spirit.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:13 AM   #7
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Thanks gents. Maybe I don't need to solder. I assumed I did in order to create the air-tight seal necessary for a siphon to work... no?

Meaning, what good is a dip tube if you love your siphon because air enters the joints once the water/word level drops below your valve??

Maybe I'm missing something. I certainly want to be able to clean things well and what not... so if there's another way to ensure a proper siphon without soldering I'm certainly interested.

Thanks! Sorry for my newbness!! lol.

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Old 03-03-2011, 12:28 AM   #8
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what does the inside of your bulk head look like? Is it a threaded coupling or threaded nipple?

One thing that people are suggesting is to solder together the diptube in the shape you want, but then, as the final attachement of diptube to bulk head, you use a compression fitting. That way you can just unscrew the compression fitting and remove the diptube.

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Old 03-03-2011, 12:50 AM   #9
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This is a pic of a compression fitting attached to a piece of copper tubing. The three brass parts are the compression fitting.


When you buy it, it will be three separate parts. The part on the left is called the 'seat'. The little round part in the middle is called the 'ferrule' or 'ring'. The part on the right is called the 'nut'.

You can get seats that are shaped a bunch of ways. Male pipe threads (like pictured), female pipe threads, male with 90* bend, female with 90* bend, etc, etc.

You want to make sure you buy a compression fitting that has the proper pipe threading to attach to your bulkhead and a ring and nut that is the proper size to fit around the copper you are using for the diptube.

To install a compression fiting. Slide the nut onto the copper, then slide the ring onto the copper. Then begin to screw the nut onto the seat, making sure your copper tubing stays inserted fully into the thing.

The nut freele swivels around the tubing. As you tighten the nut, it will compress the ring, and the ring will become clamp down onto your copper tubing. The ring will become permanently attached to the tubing. Don't over tighten the nut onto the seat. Just do it until the ring is clamped on good.

Now you have a copper tube that is attached, liquid tight, to the brass seat pipe fitting. The nut still swivels freely, so if you unscrew it from the seat, you will be able to pull the copper tubing (with clamped on ring) out of the seat.

You will end up screwing the seat into your bulkhead and just leaving it there. To install the diptube, insert the copper into the seat and screw down the nut.

To uninstall the diptube, unscrew the nut from the seat.

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Old 03-03-2011, 02:31 PM   #10
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As others have said the final connection to the fitting on the inside of the vessel should be a removable compression fitting. As you've figured the parts that decend to the lowest pickup point, like the pickup or dip tube should be air tight to maintain a siphon. So make needed connections there either soldered or compression fittings. Then everything that's at the lowest level even with the pickup tube needn't be air tight as it just delivers liquid to the pickup point. So, a slotted manifold or screen manifold, all on the bottom of the vessel can just be pressure fit to make disassebly and cleaning easier.

What I've done in my keggle (slotted ring manifold) and MLT (slotted square H manifold), is compression fittings where they attach to the vessel thru wall fittings, soldered pickup tubes, and pressure fit slotted manifolds. One thing I've learned the hard way though is simple press fit doesn't cut it. It will drive you nuts when it comes apart from stirring a mash or whirlpool. I had to recover from a couple of those problems before I decided to safety wire the press fit connections. I just drilled a tiny 1/16" hole across the assembled fittings and bent a short length of small gauge SS wire thru the holes across the fittings to pin them together, but still allow easy disassembly for cleaning. Works like a champ. I suppose you could just as easily use copper wire too, or tiny SS clevis pins if you want to be extra fancy, but absoluetly no steel or iron wire even if zinc plated.

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