Counterflow chiller repair advice needed

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sibelman

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Greetings, brazers and solderers! My 11-year-old copper "ChillZilla" counterflow chiller has started to leak a little bit of chilling water at the top fitting. No harm to the wort, but annoying and could worsen. The fittings appear to be brazed. I have a Bernzomatic pencil flame propane torch. Any advice on how I might proceed to restore the joint's integrity?
 

501irishred

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If it was brazed vs soldered, your torch wont get it hot enough to remelt the original joint which would be the ideal way to repair. There is no harm in trying however . Use plenty of flux, and have solder handy. When you heat the joint, concentrate the flame on the outer pipe. If you see the joint liquefy, you may be done at that point but you can add a little solder at the top while heating at the bottom (solder will pull around and into the joint on its own if its hot enough and enough flux was used). If you cant get it to liquefy its probably brazed. You can still try using solder, but you will simply be attempting to fill the cracks in the braze that are currently leaking. instead of the solder migrating easily around the joint on its own, you will need to heat and add solder fully around the connection. In either case, keep the chiller still while it cools down. Movement during cool down can cause micro cracks (cold solder joint) and is likely the original cause of your current problem.
 
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sibelman

sibelman

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Thank you, Red. I have some acid-core solder, and plenty of thin rosin core for electronics. No separate flux, but could get some. Any thoughts on this detail?
 

501irishred

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I'd for sure use the acid core solder, and definitely get the separate flux. Any flux for plumbing should do fine, but maybe stay away from tinning flux for what your doing here. BTW - you can also improve your chances on success by cleaning everything up before you begin with some emory cloth or a wire brush.

And remember, there is no such thing as too much flux! :yes:
 
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