Can I reheat soldered joint to ensure good solder job?

Old 02-19-10, 08:13 AM
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Can I reheat soldered joint to ensure good solder job?

I'm not a professional plumber, so don't know all the do's and don'ts of plumbing.

I soldered a copper pipe into a brass shower valve. I tested the joint under full water pressure...seems to be leaks. Since I am a DIYer, I have a fear in the back of my mind that I'll seal up my wall, do all my tile work, and then my soldered joint will fail.

Here's my question(s): Could I reheat the brass valve and try to draw more solder into the joint just to be sure it's a good seal? Is that an acceptable plumbing practice? Or is that a bad move? It seems to me that if I reheat the vavle and draw solder in just as with the first sodler job, that wouldn't do any harm. Or is it better not to mess with it, and since it is holding just fine, leave it and assume the joint is going to hold up just fine?
Old 02-19-10, 08:24 AM
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You could stuff solder in til the cows come home..but it could do more harm than good. If you used about an inch of solder and "wiped" it around the joint and it drew in well..then it's done. Some people think you need that little filet at the joint to indicate a good job...sometimes you get it..sometimes not. Now..maybe a Pro would every time...but I think much depends on the types of fittings..whether they have a little internal ridge and the orientation.

Adding more could just cause the good joint you have now to start leaking and excessive solder to build up internally to the valve.

I'd leave it alone.

btw...I think most would say you'd have to disassemble, re-clean, and re-solder. What a pain carefully sanding all the solder off to get down to base metal.
Old 02-19-10, 10:06 AM
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Trying to re-heat and add solder is a mistake. If you are concerned you didn't do a good job then you have to disassemble and go through the entire cleaning and fluxing exercise again.

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