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Old 05-16-2009, 12:40 PM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
Connoisseur of Old Iron
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: N/W Pa.
Posts: 5,985
Default Leaks .

Jim , have been too busy to get to posting more in this thread , maybe later on today .
Leaks can be frustrating but they are part of learning , I still have one every other decade or so .
As for leaks in a sweated joint , the biggest culprit is improper cleaning of the joint , overheating is another one .
Joints must be clean and shiny but not polished . A plumbers roll of sandcloth is a good investment , it can be used for other things also so it would not go to waste . Polishing the tubing joint with too fine a grade of sandcloth , does not leave a good "tooth" on the surface , "tooth" is a slang term referring to surface roughness in paint and body work .
The type of flux also has some bearing on solder flow into the joint . A good tinning flux is what you want to use when installing air lines , that is what I use most of the time . Regular flux works well but does have more leaks in the systems then the tinning flux .
Too much flux can make a mess , but it is better than too little flux , you will learn when you have enough on the joint .
Flux both joints , the tubing and the fitting . The flux on the tube should extend a little beyond the bell of the fitting . If you happen to remove the fitting from the joint re-flux both pieces .
Different solders , made by different companies can have different flow characteristics . A harder solder will flow different then a softer one . When soldering joints you want a drop to form and drip off , that signals that the joint is full . Quit adding solder and wipe the joint just for look's
Hairs from the flux brush are also leak makers , wipe clean your flux brush every once in awhile on a white cotton rag and check for loose hairs still in the brush and lost ones on the rag . Cheapo flux brushes can breakdown quickly when compared to good ones .
But in the end soldering is an art that takes practice and patience to master , I know welders in my local that can weld anything from the hubs of hell to the crack of dawn , but I would not want them soldering on any job that I would run . We call them sprinkler fitters :evil: , cause they have so many leaks , but If I wanted a nuke quality weld they would be at the top of the list .
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