Tip & How-To about Plumbing
If you have any water, just a trickle, a occasional drip in your waterline near were you need to sweat(solder) the pipe together, your in big trouble if you have no experience in dealing with this problem. As you heat the copper pipe or brass with your torch the water turns to steam actually keeping the temperature of the pipe below the melting point of the solder.
Always have a fire extinguisher near by. Remove any materials from behind or around your work area that are easily ignitable, like insulation. In tight areas, use a spray bottle of water to soak any surrounding wood, and if possible use a heat guard, like sheet metal.
What you'll need, Ball valve, pen, (Torch-Mapp Gas), flux, sand-cloth, solder, channel locks and a piece or two of white bread, yes bread, your pipes are hungry.
First thing is to prep everything. Clean your ball valve and pipe end with sand-cloth, make it nice and shiny. Flux ball valve. Remove crust from bread, do not crush or roll bread up into a ball. We want the bread to remain porase to soak up and slow down the flow of water to your joint, water is pulled towards the heat source.
The pipe will have some flex to it depending on if it is secured tightly near by the joint or not, if you can, pull down slightly, not to hard or you may break a good joint down the line, try and get as much of that water out as possible. Make sure all faucets, spickets and shower valves are completely open, if not that will create a finger over the straw effect.
Now heat further back the line to draw the water away from end. Put pieces of bread in pipe, creating a 6" to 10" long sponge, "Bread must not be rolled up or crushed" push it lightly back with finger or pen. Wipe off any bread crumbs from your already cleaned pipe end and flux, put ball valve on, leave valve open. heat ball valve were the copper end has entered. Heat rises, so work from the bottom as you heat the fitting. The faster your able to heat the joint, the more likely you'll be successful. Do not have two people with two torches, you may burn each others face off, not advised. !!!Always be aware of were your lit torch is pointing!!!
Having an extra set of hands in this frustrating time will make things much easier. The trick is to get the water away long enough to sweat the pipe, since you didn't roll the bread up, it will flush out easily when you turn the water back on, Always turn the main valve back on slowly.This is the cheap version of the JET-SWET. Good Luck.
Posted by Clayton Jr on
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