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Old 03-13-2008, 11:55 AM   #21
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I'll be off tomorrow, so I plan to solder it together then. I already cut and fit the pieces together.
Thanks all, this has turned into a good DIY thread for others that will want to do this in the future. And thanks to the mod who corrected my typo in the title.

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Old 03-13-2008, 03:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtuous
Did you fire up the torch yet?

If not like the guys said before, just hit the pipe and the inside of what ever fitting you are using with some emery paper. doesnt take but a few swipes really. You'll see the difference. I've always used water soluable flux and never had a problem. They key is to heat the fitting on the outside up about halfway back, not just at the seam. Once the flux starts to bubble wait about 5 seconds and then lightly touch the solder to the seam. It should flow down the seam really quickly. If not just heat it up for 5 more seconds and try again. Some parts have alot of mass and take a while to get up to temp. If you get a blob on top where you are trying to solder dont add any more, just keep heating it until it runs.
+1 on that. It is how I was taught and it worked for me when repiping half of the house I lived in before I moved to Minnesota.

If you mess it up, you can heat it up, take it apart, clean the crap out of it with the emory cloth, or use a little drum sander on a dremel tool to remove all of the solder from the outside/inside of the joint and then try again when it is clean enough. But, if you follow the advice from Virtuous you should be ok.

I've used propane torches with much success, but recently talked to a plummer who was making a repair on the rental house we live in in MN and he swears by map gas for 1/2" pipe. Hotter flame he said. I watched him make the repair, which was in a tight spot with many joints and the map gas worked in half the time I remembered it taking with propane.
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:33 AM   #23
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Never use electrical solder or flux for piping, they contain lead.

For soldering pipes, I reccomend Taramet's Sterling solder, and Utility paste flux.

The purpose of flux is to prevent oxidation of the clean copper or brass while heating, oxidation prevents the phosphorus in the pipe and fittings from bonding, which is what makes soldering work.

Use steel wool or preferably sandcloth for cleaning the pipe before soldering, and invest the $2 for a fitting brush. You want to remove all traces of oxidation form where the solder is to flow.

I apply some heat to the pipe first, then heat the fitting. Once the flux stops bubbling, you should be hot enough for the solder to flow. If you overheat and burn the flux, the solder will not flow into the joint.

Let it air cool for a minute or to so the solder sets up, then wipe down with a wet rag. visually inspect the joint for any bubbles or gaps. If you need to resweat it, apply flux and heat again.

I'm a plumber, and I sweat a good 100 joints a week.

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Old 03-14-2008, 03:11 AM   #24
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Anyone know if its possible to solder 1/2 od soft copper tubing to a small end of street fitting 1/2 elbow? I want to connect up arms of my herms coil without bending the soft copper up. THe street side of these elbows are alot bigger than the soft copper and i wasnt sure if i was supposed to get another fitting.

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Old 03-14-2008, 01:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hagen
Never use electrical solder or flux for piping, they contain lead.
with RoHS compliance that isnt true anymore unless you find a really old spool of solder. Im not sure if I wiould still use it for pipe sweating though
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:30 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbulger
Anyone know if its possible to solder 1/2 od soft copper tubing to a small end of street fitting 1/2 elbow? I want to connect up arms of my herms coil without bending the soft copper up. THe street side of these elbows are alot bigger than the soft copper and i wasnt sure if i was supposed to get another fitting.
1/2" soft copper requires a fitting labeled 3/8". You could use a 1/2" to 3/8" reducing coupling. There's such a thing as a reducing bushing, but not between such close sizes. I do know that the soft copper fits a little loose inside a street and you might be able to get a seal with solder.
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:16 PM   #27
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Well it went together with no problems other than a few drips. So now my HLT is done. Thanks again to every one who gave advice.
Next I'll use this when I build my keggle.

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Old 03-15-2008, 05:07 PM   #28
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What did you put together? just curious.

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Old 03-16-2008, 11:32 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea
I use water based flux regularly and it works great. Acid based flux is easier to use for the beginning solderer, as it wicks the solder in more evenly over a wider temp range. it's very corrosive though, and that's why most who sweat copper regularly don't use it. It requires a good cleaning inside and out, which isn't always practical in the field. So as long as you clean your joints well, no problem.

Oh, and make sure to get Lead-free solder, you want 95/5, 95% tin, 5% Antimony.
Your right that it is corrosive, but only on the surface. And that is part of it's value. It tends to etch better and that will give a better bond. It will cause exposed surfaces to patina (green) early. Which is a restoration trick to make new cooper look old.

I am not sure why you need to solder anything. There is no pressure here, your just making a collector. You could just use a pair of pliers or vise-grips to crimp the joints. Or leave them loose and it will be MUCH easier to clean as it can be completely torn down after use. This is the method I am going to try.
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Old 03-16-2008, 01:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbulger
What did you put together? just curious.
A pickup tube for my HLT (former keg).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEMaine
I am not sure why you need to solder anything. There is no pressure here, your just making a collector. You could just use a pair of pliers or vise-grips to crimp the joints. Or leave them loose and it will be MUCH easier to clean as it can be completely torn down after use. This is the method I am going to try.
Actually, the valve is above the pickup tube so I have to rely on vacuum to get all the water out which requires the pipe joints be sealed.
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