How to Sweat a Ball Valve
Once you install a ball valve, water to any plumbing system can be turned off without any need to turn off the main water supply. It is recommended that you install a valve for every plumbing fixture so that maintenance is easy. You can install a ball valve yourself in around an hour. Follow the 12 steps described below to do so.
Step 1 – Turn off Water
Turn off the water supply to the plumbing fixture in which you want to install the valve. If you are not sure about how to do it for the fixture, turn off the main water supply to your house.
Step 2 – Mark the Pipe
Mark 2 points on the pipe (on which you want to install the valve) to represent the section that will be cut. To determine the distance between the 2 cuts, measure the valve’s inside section. If you mark taking the external dimensions, you won’t be left with pipe to fit into the valve ends.
Step 3 – Cut the Pipe
Cut the pipe using the propane torch head. It is advised that you don’t cut the entire marked section in one go. First, cut a slightly smaller length and check if the valve fits in.
Step 4 – Clean the Ends
Use emery cloth to clean both the insides of the valve’s both ends and the outsides of the pipe’s ends until they turn shiny.
Step 5 – Rub Flux
Rub some flux on both the outsides of the pipe’s ends and the insides of the valve’s ends at the point where you want to solder.
Step 6 – Insert Valve
Insert the valve into the pipe and rotate it so that both the surfaces at both the ends are uniformly coated with flux.
Step 7 – Position the Valve
The position of the valve should be such that the movement of the handle is not blocked–you should be able to move it to complete open/close position.
Step 8 – Heat the Area
Heat the area where you applied flux at one of the ends until the flux starts to bubble. Repeat this for the other end.
Step 9 – Solder the End
Touch the solder’s end to the ball valve’s end at a point and move it slowly around the pipe taking a full turn.
Step 10 – Form a Bead
Work slowly and continue applying solder until a uniform bead, covering the valve edge, is formed.
Step 11 – Wipe off the Flux
Allow the soldered end to cool down slightly, but make sure that you wipe off the excess flux using a rag before the area is no longer warm.
Step 12 – Check for Leaks
Turn on the water supply to the plumbing fixture. Check for leaks and re-solder the valve, if required.