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10/15/2021 7:52:46 PM
Posted: 7/20/2013 5:09:40 AM EDT
I've done a good bit of remodeling work in the past, including sweating copper pipe and never had any trouble.  Finally found it, though.

I'm trying to solder 1/2" copper into a shower valve body.  Can't get it hot enough - I guess the valve has too much mass and is draining the heat away as fast as I can apply it (standard propane torch).  Any hints?

ETA: no water, this is a new install and I"m trying to solder in MPT fittings to make the rest of the install easier.  So it's not in the wall; working on it in the garage.
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 5:33:09 AM EDT
There should be fittings in the shower/mixing valve that unscrew, that allow you to solder the joint, then screw it back in so the heat doesn't damage the valve itself.
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 5:41:36 AM EDT
If that shower valve has any washers/plastics in it, you don't want it too hot.
Did you prep both pieces of copper with the plumbing sandpaper and use flux?
You should be heating the outside of the fitting to be soldered just enough to draw the solder into the joint.
You may have to use a wet rag around the valve body as a heat sink to keep it from overheating.
Disclaimer:
I'm a master electrician and a wannabe plumber, but I do all my own plumbing
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 5:42:59 AM EDT
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Quoted:
There should be fittings in the shower/mixing valve that unscrew, that allow you to solder the joint, then screw it back in so the heat doesn't damage the valve itself.
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What he said
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 5:52:15 AM EDT
what flux did you use? did you pull the body apart so you did not ruin the plastic and rubber fittings?
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 5:54:20 AM EDT
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Quoted:
There should be fittings in the shower/mixing valve that unscrew, that allow you to solder the joint, then screw it back in so the heat doesn't damage the valve itself.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
There should be fittings in the shower/mixing valve that unscrew, that allow you to solder the joint, then screw it back in so the heat doesn't damage the valve itself.


Quoted:
If that shower valve has any washers/plastics in it, you don't want it too hot.
Did you prep both pieces of copper with the plumbing sandpaper and use flux?
You should be heating the outside of the fitting to be soldered just enough to draw the solder into the joint.
You may have to use a wet rag around the valve body as a heat sink to keep it from overheating.
Disclaimer:
I'm a master electrician and a wannabe plumber, but I do all my own plumbing


Natchurly, nothin' in the installation instructions about that, so it may already be too late.  

Will disassemble what I can and see if I've already toasted it.

Link Posted: 7/20/2013 5:58:46 AM EDT
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Quoted:




Natchurly, nothin' in the installation instructions about that, so it may already be too late.  

Will disassemble what I can and see if I've already toasted it.

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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
There should be fittings in the shower/mixing valve that unscrew, that allow you to solder the joint, then screw it back in so the heat doesn't damage the valve itself.


Quoted:
If that shower valve has any washers/plastics in it, you don't want it too hot.
Did you prep both pieces of copper with the plumbing sandpaper and use flux?
You should be heating the outside of the fitting to be soldered just enough to draw the solder into the joint.
You may have to use a wet rag around the valve body as a heat sink to keep it from overheating.
Disclaimer:
I'm a master electrician and a wannabe plumber, but I do all my own plumbing


Natchurly, nothin' in the installation instructions about that, so it may already be too late.  

Will disassemble what I can and see if I've already toasted it.



it's toast.   try again with a new fitting and mapp gas.
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 6:07:52 AM EDT
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Quoted:

it's toast.   try again with a new fitting and mapp gas.
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I pulled it apart and it looks OK; the main valve body kind of hangs in the center of the body suspended by the brass threads towards the front, so it looks like it'd have to get pretty hot to damage the parts inside.  Rubber washers and anything else I can see look OK.

Probably worth trying, anyway (?)

Thanks for all the help so far!  Knew I should have checked in here first!
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 6:33:28 AM EDT
So assuming the valve is still OK, is this just beyond the reach of a regular propane torch?  I guess I could run out and pick up a MAPP torch, but if I'm going to that I may as well just get a new valve with threaded fittings.  I hate to give up that easy...
Link Posted: 7/20/2013 7:24:13 AM EDT
Heat the valve body around the copper pipe and the pipe at the same time, spend a little more time on the valve body than the pipe, propane should work, it will just take a little longer.  The new mapp gas is not as hot as the old.  Your propane torch may be able to handle mapp pro (or whatever they call the new crap.
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 2:05:14 AM EDT
I ended up running in and picking up a MAPP torch.  Doesn't take much justification for me to add a new tool to the stash.

Worked much better; nice solid joints now.  Just remains to be seen whether I fried the valve with the first go-round.  I'll be installing it today, so I'll know soon enough.

Thanks again for everyone's help and suggestions.
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 2:05:35 AM EDT
(Satellite-induced double-tap)
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 1:39:12 PM EDT
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Quoted:
I ended up running in and picking up a MAPP torch.  Doesn't take much justification for me to add a new tool to the stash.

Worked much better; nice solid joints now.  Just remains to be seen whether I fried the valve with the first go-round.  I'll be installing it today, so I'll know soon enough.

Thanks again for everyone's help and suggestions.
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If you did fry it and don't already have one, consider a temperature balancing valve.  They are priceless.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 3:29:11 PM EDT
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Quoted:



If you did fry it and don't already have one, consider a temperature balancing valve.  They are priceless.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
I ended up running in and picking up a MAPP torch.  Doesn't take much justification for me to add a new tool to the stash.

Worked much better; nice solid joints now.  Just remains to be seen whether I fried the valve with the first go-round.  I'll be installing it today, so I'll know soon enough.

Thanks again for everyone's help and suggestions.



If you did fry it and don't already have one, consider a temperature balancing valve.  They are priceless.


Didn't fry it... works fine, and no leaks!

I don't think this one is temperature-balancing, but it does say it's "pressure balancing".  Different things, I 'spect.
Here's the one I was working with:

Symmons Temptrol Single-Handle Tub and Shower Faucet

Went with this one based on price + reviews.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 5:14:45 PM EDT
I just did my first one this past week and took the guts out because I knew how hot I would have to get the valve.  Turn the propane torch to the max and make sure everything is clean and fluxed.  Heat and go.  Propane will do the job.
Link Posted: 7/26/2013 11:31:27 AM EDT
Propane will do the job.
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Depends on how large the torch is.
Link Posted: 7/26/2013 11:59:31 AM EDT
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Depends on how large the torch is.
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Propane will do the job.


Depends on how large the torch is.


And the mass of the valve.  I kept it on it for a good 15-20 minutes (after taking the guts out), and it never did get hot enough to draw in the solder.  The MAPP torch had it hot enough in maybe 15 seconds.

My propane torch is just one of the ubiquitous Bernz-O-Matic homeowner jobbies.  Adding the MAPP torch to the tool bin was a good move.
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