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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,568
    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    Let me rephrase it to "field annealing" lol. If my terminology is incorrect then please correct me. Annealing is the process of heating a metal until it's properties change. Field annealing would have occured when trying to solder with maybe water in the copper. The solder won't take and the copper becomes a greenish purpleish color. Also hard and brittle. Even after cleaning the copper and adding flux, the solder won't take. I practice my annealing skills normaly repairing condensate drains in freezers when there is residual ice in the line. I've heard an old plumbers trick is to stick bread in the pipe to absorb the water while the joint is being soldered, then just flush it out with a little pressure. Never tried that.

    annealing is the process of softening a metal. To anneal copper, you heat it until it glows and then cool it either slowly or quickly.

    To anneal steel, you use the same process, but it must not be cooled quickly or it will re-harden.

    Copper cannot he hardened uniformly in the field. Copper pipe is rolled in the factory to make it hard. Once you anneal it, theres no going back.

    What you may have experienced was hydrogen embrittlement in which hydrogen from the water damaged the hot copper. This is more prominent with low grade copper.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,853
    Thank you for clearing that up.
    Officially, Down for the count

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    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Near Chicago Il.
    Posts
    126
    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    . I've heard an old plumbers trick is to stick bread in the pipe to absorb the water while the joint is being soldered, then just flush it out with a little pressure. Never tried that.
    Man, I have tried that trick a whole lot of times now, for me at least, it almost never works. I think I have got about a 10% success ratio with it at very best.
    I always have to leave an open joint while sweating like a union of some sort, or sweat in a shut off where it's legal, leaving it open until I get the upstream side sweat in, then close it and move on to the rest. Between dripping and steam holes, that migrating water seems never ending most times.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    530
    Okay, here it is.
    USE WHITE BREAD ONLY. Remove the crusts. Squash the bread between your hands and roll it around until it becomes a gummy ball of dough larger than the pipe hole. Force it into the end no more than a fingerlength. Watch to see that you have the flow stopped. Any water in the pipe will cause the dough ball to expand and form a seal that stops nonpressurized water from ruining your solder or braze joint for the five or ten minutes you need. Once joint is done, flush water through and the dough ball dissolves quickly. If you can't flush it the standing drain water just takes longer to dissolve it. It always dissolves.

    If the pipe is full of water I use a CO2 pipe freezer to form an ice plug and keep it in place until repairs can be made.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    343
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie1KRR View Post
    Man, I have tried that trick a whole lot of times now, for me at least, it almost never works. I think I have got about a 10% success ratio with it at very best.
    I always have to leave an open joint while sweating like a union of some sort, or sweat in a shut off where it's legal, leaving it open until I get the upstream side sweat in, then close it and move on to the rest. Between dripping and steam holes, that migrating water seems never ending most times.
    Last bit of plumbing i did on used pipes moving a sink in my kitchen i used a wet and dry vacuum and a thin pipe fed down the copper to suck out enough water so that it didn't cause problems when soldering. A small syringe would have been better but had to work with what i had!

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    530
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyspanners View Post
    Last bit of plumbing i did on used pipes moving a sink in my kitchen i used a wet and dry vacuum and a thin pipe fed down the copper to suck out enough water so that it didn't cause problems when soldering. A small syringe would have been better but had to work with what i had!
    That's a pretty good idea! That one goes in my mental tool box for sure.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    toledo, ohio
    Posts
    63
    Most of the issue on old water line comes from the cleanliness of the inside of the pipe... I know it sounds crazy but the junk built up inside acts as a heat sink and drains your heat away from the work and inhibits the path that the solder will flow to.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    116
    Last time I worked on a house this age, I ended up just cutting the pipe back until I had a piece that would take solder, one fitting, however, got the 15% treatment because my flux kept washing out. The 15% stuck to it no problem

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    126
    Had same problem with a unit heater. Copper cleaned, still wouldnt take. Picked up some Silvabrite 100 solder and wahlah, 95% tin 5% silver, problem solved. Stay away from water based flux.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    984
    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    Let me rephrase it to "field annealing" lol. If my terminology is incorrect then please correct me. Annealing is the process of heating a metal until it's properties change. Field annealing would have occured when trying to solder with maybe water in the copper. The solder won't take and the copper becomes a greenish purpleish color. Also hard and brittle. Even after cleaning the copper and adding flux, the solder won't take. I practice my annealing skills normaly repairing condensate drains in freezers when there is residual ice in the line. I've heard an old plumbers trick is to stick bread in the pipe to absorb the water while the joint is being soldered, then just flush it out with a little pressure. Never tried that.
    Supply run to subway, charge in there and ask how much for the buns?.
    Never argue with a crazy man.

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