Tip & How-To about Plumbing
How many times have you tried to sweat solder a joint in the basement which leaks when you turn the water on? The problem is most likely that there was some water in the pipe which cools the joint locally as the water turns to steam. Here's a tip to keep the joint dry.
Let the pipes drain for 10 or 15 minutes. You will notice that there is still some water dripping from the pipe. The trick here is to stop that water from trickling down from upstairs and ruining the solder process. Go to the kitchen and get a slice of that white pap bread that most American households have and feed to their kids. Don't use good whole grain bread! Save that for the kids.
Now take the slice of white bread, remove the crusts so there is nothing left but the white pap. now ball it up and roll it between your palms. Take the ball of sticky white bread and jam it into the end of the pipe. Use a dowel which is almost the size of the pipe to force it about six inches into the pipe. This will block the water from running down into your joint. Finish sweat soldering the joint, then go to the nearest faucet, remove any screen-type strainers, and turn the water on at the meter and at the faucet. You will see that wad of dough come plopping out of the faucet and down the drain where all white pap bread should go anyways! Check the joint and you will find a perfect solder job, no leaks!!!
Posted by Bob Hewitt on
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