by admin on Mar.23, 2006, under WashHouse
We had a real problem getting good solder connections on our trip last October. On one of the fitting locations, I forgot to clean and flux the connections after a dry fit, before I attempted to solder them. On others, I just had a really hard time due to the strong winds cooling off the pipes even while the torch was applied. We left with several leaks that we knew we needed to fix.
You can see solder blobs here which are obviously not a good example of a joint. I’m not sure if the green corrosion is from water or the flux I use.
Another problem was tying to solder upside down under the shed. Note to self:
Keep as much of the plumbing on the little house inside the structure, where the wind doesn’t blow, and you can work upright.
First I cut out the whole section, as seen above. I brought it inside where I could work in a warm, dry, draft-free place. I unsoldered all the pieces, taking careful measurements. Then we cleaned the individual pieces.
Use liberal amounts of flux to insure a good joint.
Here is the fixed, well soldered pieces in place. No more leak here.
Note: I had used fittings from Home Depot which were pre-tinned with solder on the inside. While these might work well if you fit everything together, and then solder all of the joints at once; they don’t work well for people like me who solder a fitting on, then fit another pipe to it, and carry on serially. The solder on the disconnected end tends to melt and interfere with sliding the next piece in, because the solder has deformed and re-hardened. Next time, I’ll use plain fittings without the pre-tinning.
Another Bad Joint
Another example of a bad solder joint. This was fixed in the same manner as the first.