Brazing vs. Stay bright 8
Hello, I'm new to the sight and wanted to try posting my first thread. I wanted to see what everyone thought about brazing vs stay bright 8. I have always brazed my connections, with nitrogen of course, but I tried using stay bright 8 on a 410a system to see how it would work. It seemed to hold up, I'm just worried that it won't last long and the acid from the flux will eat away at the compressor windings eventually. Just wanted to see what everyone's thought were, thanks.
if you read the data from the harris sight, stay bright 8 is a stronger joint than brazing. i am a fan of sb 8 and have used it for a long time. however, manfacturers spec brazing on 410 systems. in the age we live in do what the man recomends. personelly i feel your sb8 joints will outlast the copper. but what do i know, im just a old fitter with thousands of joints under his belt. what the hell do i know.
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Hey thanks, it's good to hear from someone who has a lot of experience. I'm putting in a r22 condensing unit and Iam definitely going to use it there.
In Canada we have to follow the CSA B52 MECHANICAL REFRIGERATION CODE and it states that all joints shall be brazed with a filler have a melting point of 800F+. So even though SB8 is stronger because it doesn't affect the metals molecular composition as much as brazing does, if the Lines containing refrigerant were in an area of high heat (fire) the joint wouldn't let go as fast, so like Viceman said, he has done thousands of joints and hasn't had any problem yet, but when something happens and there is an investigation and they find out that the qualified tech used an un certified filler according to the code book thats the only problem but by reading the sails pitch on the harris web site it seems legit.
If Sta-Brite was a superior method you would see it used in the equipment you install. If the IOM paperwork said to apply flux and Sta-Brite to the joint I would do so without question. The bottom line is that it requires acid to prepare the copper . It also produces debris into the piping as it is applied ( beads ). And the
" strength " , the argument is that the lower melting point does not anneal the copper and that it is ' STRONGER " , BS. It is a brittle connection that will fail as vibration over time takes it's toll on a material barely hanging on from new. Yeah sometimes it worked with R-22 but with 410-A it is even further from being an acceptable method of joining pipes and components.
Stay - Brite is excellent for hydronic piping. Apply the flux and roll with it , it makes a fantastic looking joint and flows like no other. A great product for it's intent no doubt.
IMO this thingy about refrigerant joints separating in a fire might be the REAL reason why brazing is officially the preferred method... remember our litigous society...
I can see Trane getting taken for $5M over an accidental death of a baby when the soldered joint went, the HFC started on fire, and it was determined the baby 'might not have died' if the joint was done with brazing. PFFFFFT derned lawyers.
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It works great on hydronic piping like tech 45 said. I tried it a month ago on a boiler system and wow was it clean looking
Originally Posted by tech45
You hit the nail on the head. SB8 has a low tinsel strength and does not do well with vibration. It's pressure rating also decreases when the working temperature goes above 250 degrees. The flux, can break down the oils used if allowed to enter as mentioned above. Oh, and most guys use 300x too much flux and solder too.
Do you remember the old Bryant condensing units that had a small round disk soldered onto the compressor discharge line? I believe it was some sort of relief device in case of fire. I remember replacing a compressor and after brazing it in and replacing F/D attempting a pressure test and refrigerant pouring out of a ¼" hole in the back of the discharge line with solder melted around it. At the time I couldn't figure out why I had a hole in the middle of a piece of pipe and it wasn't there before I started. I did find the piece in the bottom of the unit and put it back on. Since then I always looked for that just in case. By the way this was pre recovery so no one gets me for pressure testing with refrigerant.
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