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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    1

    Default Tool for cleaning the solder from inside of a copper fitting

    One of the TV episodes from Ask this Old House, Richard Trethewey used a tool (Not a wire brush) to remove solder from inside of a copper fiting so a copper pipe could be inserted into the fitting and resolder. What is the name of that tool and where can a person obtain them. They would be for a 1/2" or 3/4" dia.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Tool for cleaning the solder from inside of a copper fitting

    I haven't seen that show or the special tool, but I'm sure that it's not as good as sweating the excess solder away.

    Caution: extreme heat my damage the fitting, since copper is a soft metal. If dolder "refuses" to move out, don't mess with this fitting and use a new fitting instead.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
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    661

    Default Re: Tool for cleaning the solder from inside of a copper fitting

    I agree with dj1, to much heat will change the molecular structure of the copper and weaken it and over time it could fail, better to just use a new fitting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Tool for cleaning the solder from inside of a copper fitting

    To remove excess solder from a copper fitting, you can simply sand and flux a piece of copper pipe, heat the fitting with a propane torch so the solder melts inside the fitting, insert the fluxed piece of pipe, remove the fluxed piece of pipe, wipe any excess solder off that piece of pipe and without resanding or refluxing that piece of pipe, insert it back into the fitting. Every time you put it into the fitting and pull it out, half the solder inside the fitting will come out with the pipe. Repeat the process as many times as necessary to remove the excess solder.

    It isn't necessary to remove the old solder from pipe or fitting except to the extent that the excess solder prevents the pipe from going all the way into the fitting.

    It's standard plumbing practice that if solder is bonding properly to copper or brass, to treat the surface of the solder as the new surface of the copper or brass. Just sand down the old solder lightly to remove any metal oxide, apply flux to the sanded solder, ditto for the fitting, slip them together, heat and apply a tad bit more solder just to ensure the joint is full of solder.

    I wouldn't push a fitting brush into a fitting that had a lot of excess solder in it to brush it out cuz you'll ruin the brush. Use the pipe trick as described above instead.
    Last edited by Nestor; 07-16-2011 at 04:52 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Tool for cleaning the solder from inside of a copper fitting

    I just sand or brush a bit then do just the same as if it was all new- clean the pipe, flux everything well, push it together* then solder away. The * is that you may need to heat the fitting so it slides together- a natural part of the soldering process; just be sure the pipe goes ALL the way in.

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