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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Braze/solder question

    Pardon me if this isn't the right forum--I'm a newbie and admit it. Please redirect me if needed...

    I'm taking my HVAC class that leads to the EPA test, so I'm new at all this stuff--even though I do have general light construction experience in plumbing and electrical. I just finished the sections on brazing and soldering, and I'm a little confused. I went into HVAC under the impression that soldering was pretty much all that was need. I didn't know that--according to the books--brazing is really the skill most used.

    I just wanted to find out from some of the pro's what the real story is. (I'm new to HVAC, but not to schooling and life. That means I know the books don't always teach what is right, or what is common practice). Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
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    brazing is the most common practice. all the install manuals from manufacturers state that everything should be brazed

    there is a solder type braze called stabrite 8 which is like a soft solder but has tensile strengthes of brazing rod

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    26,072
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    Soldering isn't that different than brazing.

    If you can solder well, a little practice and you'll be brazing just as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    6
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    Thanks for the info. The reason I asked the question is related to equipment. With soldering (sweating in the plumber's world I come from), all you need is a cheap propane torch, which I have on hand. To braze, my understanding is that you can only do that with a full blown acetylene setup.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    21
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    IME, you can get way with an air-acetylene torch but it isn't always practical on the larger sizes because it can take way too long to heat up to the flowing point.

    An oxy-acetylene setup is certainly my preference, by far.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    1,413
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    Oxy/acc setup brazing with 15% silver solder is what use 95% of the time. Never soft solder refrigeration lines. Soft solder is for water.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,159
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    I only use a oxy/acet set up in this trade for AC/R piping.

    MAPP and propane are for copper water lines.

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