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I need a quick education on soldering a 3/4 ball valve.

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Here's how I do it:

Valve open. Heat everything evenly and try not to get the valve too hot. It will take a lot longer than a regular fitting to get hot enough to solder, so be patient. Put the greatest heat where you want the solder to flow. If the handle gets in the way, remove it. If you're making the final connection, vent the line somewhere to keep pressure from building up inside, since the solder won't flow evenly into a pressurized joint. Be careful cleaning the joint after you're done, as the solder will take longer to set up.

Comments

  • ralman
    ralman Member Posts: 231
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    I am trying to learn to solder.

    I have done some homework and been practicing soldering copper pipes. I want to solder a ball valve. How do I do it without damaging the seal inside. I read ball valve open and ball valve closed during soldering. Which is it?
  • ralman
    ralman Member Posts: 231
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    Thank you so much Eric.

    I am going to give it a try, hope I don't burn the seal. I am practicing this one on a bench. I thought it would take longer to heat since it is heavier material than the copper tubing. Thanks!
  • Doug_7
    Doug_7 Member Posts: 244
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    Soldering a ball valve - safety precaution

    A safety tip to be aware of: If you ever find yourself wanting to solder, unsolder or otherwise heat a used ball valve - even on the bench - be very careful. Water will be trapped between the outside of the ball and the inside of the valve body housing.

    If a used ball valve is heated with the valve in the open position, the ball valve most likely will explode with violent consequences due to the trapped water in the body cavity.

    The correct procedure before heating a used valve is to first put the valve in the half-open position to vent all body cavities. You can also dismantle the valve body to remove trapped water.

    Doug
  • Eric Johnson
    Eric Johnson Member Posts: 174
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    Thanks

    for that information.
  • ralman
    ralman Member Posts: 231
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    Thanks from me also!

    Thanks!
  • Very good advise Doug

    That situation can happen with new valves also . Air pressure can build up between the outside of the ball and the inner part of the valve in the fully open position . It doesn't happen often , but it does happen if you keep the heat on the valve for a long time . Half open is the way to go for soldering valves .
  • Here, Here!

    ditto Ron, had that happen to me!(not thinking again).
    Anyway,,how are you making-out Ross?

    Dave
  • ralman
    ralman Member Posts: 231
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    Terrible... lets see. It is chilly here - 39*

    I got the ball valve soldered and managed to survive, but I have to tell you the explosion comments in this post make me nervous. I don't want to be killed or maimed in my basement over some isolation valves. I think the rest of my ball valves will be threaded instead of sweat. I am still working on my heating system. I don't have any idea when I will get it turned on. My short term goal is to fire one of the three zones this weekend, long term goal is the other two by Christmas (LOL). I have been lucky, our weather has been mild. I really need to get it going before things turn for the worse and my domestic lines freeze. Well, how about you? How are things in your neighborhood? I bet you have been busy with the start of the heating season.
  • heatguy
    heatguy Member Posts: 102
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    myth busters

    i have been doing plumbing for over 15 years have never had a ball valve explode.if your really concerned take a wet rag and rap around valve body when soldering to make sure you dont over heat valve. i did have a ball valve make a popping noise once which blew out the seal, as far as valve exploding this might be one for myth busters
  • Doug_7
    Doug_7 Member Posts: 244
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    Safety precautions

    I am personally aware of more than one documented case of experienced tradesmen heating a used ball valve, with the ball in the open position - and having the valve blow apart. That is based on 35 years of industrial experience involving hundreds of tradesmen.

    I would not bet my life on a wet rag.Putting the ball valve in the half-open position seems like simple enough safety precaution to me.
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