stubborn copper fitting

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Old 08-18-11, 10:39 AM
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stubborn copper fitting

I am trying to remove an old elbow from some old copper pipe in an old house I recently bought. I thought if I just heated up the joint with a torch, the solder would melt and the old elbow would pop right off. But nothing happens. Anybody have any idea what I'm doing wrong? Did they used to put these on with something other than solder? Any help will be appreciated.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 10:42 AM
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Can you tell if the solder is getting hot enough to melt?
 
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Old 08-18-11, 10:44 AM
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Steam is coming out of the open end of the elbow, and little bubbles coming out of the joint, and if I hold a new piece of solder to the flame it melts almost on contact. So I'm sure it's getting hot enough.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 10:47 AM
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Well, I'm no expert (read NOT A LICENSED PLUMBER), but when I need to replace joints and the like, I cut back about 4" on either side and use couplings to fit replacement parts. Mainly because I don't relish the idea of trying to pull apart hot copper while holding a blowtorch.

A close quarter tubing cutter is an excellent investment.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 11:25 AM
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I use the back end of my channel locks. You need to tap the joint after it gets hot. Once it moves slightly from tapping it you will need to grab the other end of the ell and wiggle it off. Tapping on the horn only makes it come off crooked and it will get stuck.

Also if there is water in the line it may not heat enough.

And also you can overheat the joint too much where it will kind of braise to the pipe and it will not came off very easy.

I hope you understand what I am saying. Its hard to translate something I do naturally without thinking about it.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 08-18-11, 02:31 PM
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If you've got steam, there's a good chance you've also got water. You will never get that hot enough to remove it if there's water in the pipe. You've got to drain the pipe.

WEAR SAFETY GLASSES! Old soldered joints have a tendency to SPIT THIN STREAMS OF MOLTEN SOLDER... and it's usually aimed right at your face! Don't ask how I know.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
WEAR SAFETY GLASSES! Old soldered joints have a tendency to SPIT THIN STREAMS OF MOLTEN SOLDER... and it's usually aimed right at your face! Don't ask how I know.
As opposed to the new ones which tend to drop solder on the webbing between your fingers.

 
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