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cleaning copper

Randy Tibbits
Randy Tibbits Member Posts: 91
Is there a good product for cleaning copper pipe and fittings after installation? I use laco flux and it is a aggressive product and I'd like to spiff things up for cosmetic reasons. I have used different fluxes but I still prefer laco. I'm going to try No-Korode flux, I hear it's good. The funny thing when I first entered the trade I used laco and hated it. Then I used oatey and loved it. On a whim I tried laco again and I really like it. I've tried others but nothing has come close to my oatey and laco.


  • Ken C.
    Ken C. Member Posts: 267
    Nokorrode is good...

    as far as soldering goes, it's the standard in my area. But you stated that you are using a flux for AFTER soldering, as a cleaner to brighten up the soldered fitting, if I'm reading you correctly. I've never done this or heard of this application for flux. How long do you leave it on, and what do you use to wipe it off? By the way, it drives me nuts when I see green stains because guys don't take the extra step of wiping off excess flux after they've soldered the joint. Glad to hear someone else cares about appearance.
  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641

    depending on your job --i do a good amount of comercial insalls of mixing valves,pumps etc.. i solder with Taramet-solder--it flows like 50/50 ,safe for potable and stronger than 95/5 -- after the joint is done and cools some -put any flux on it and wipe when its warm--lately i have been -taking a few minutes extra after its done--i wipe it all down then PAINT it with copper paint ,if you do this in residential the homeowner will be upset about the fumes but it looks great for years
  • Randy Tibbits
    Randy Tibbits Member Posts: 91

    Gosh no I don't use the flux for cleaning after soldering. I was thinking something along the lines of copper brite or brasso.
  • Ken C.
    Ken C. Member Posts: 267
    Guess I did misunderstand you

    Anyway, why do you prefer Oatey and Laco? I prefer Nokorrode because it's the most popular in my area, and I've never had a problem with it. But it does tend to stain the pipe.
  • Mike Kraft_2
    Mike Kraft_2 Member Posts: 398
    Cleaning up the CU

    When I am done buliding a manifold I vice it and use scotch brite pads.I hope I am calling this the right product.But it is an abrasive pad.Dimensionally about 6" X 10".When they are brand new they are a bit of a pain but when broken in they do a marvelous job.It's wool like but I believe it's made with plastic.............I think.Because if I hit it when it's a little to hot it melts :).

  • tombig
    tombig Member Posts: 291
    Copper paint??

    I'm intrigued about copper paint. Please elaborate. My apprentice brushes his warm joints with flux and a dry rag and I must say the results are impressive. I buy twice as much flux, but....! I steel wool all my exposed boiler installs and let nature take it's course.
  • Randy Tibbits
    Randy Tibbits Member Posts: 91

    Laco and oatey allows the solder to flow just "right". No-korode is'nt available locally. I'm going to have some shipped in to give it a try. It's in my nature to keep trying new and different products. Even things as basic as flux. My motto is nothing venture nothing gained. I've been bit a few times but live and learn.
  • Ray Landry
    Ray Landry Member Posts: 203
    A good solder joint

    is one you can't even see. whenever I apply solder I try to always put in on the back side of the fitting where you can't see it. I always try to keep a halogen light on my work as well, it makes it easier to whatch when the solder flows. after the joint solidifies, I take a SERPERATE can of flux and brush (if you use the same brush for preparing joints the burnt brush fragments will get in the pipe and fitting and ruin the joint) and paint the fitting with flux, then with a nice clean shop rag, wipe the fitting to a shine. It looks like it was never even soldered.
  • ALH_3
    ALH_3 Member Posts: 151

    Nokorode with Bridgit solder.

  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177
    chrome pipe

    if you flux the entire pipe and heat and run solder on piping and wipe down while still hot you will get the look of an all CHROME plated piping system. the long island plumbing artists were big on this.
  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641
    copper paint

    when i solder it is very neat most look like a joint that was soldered from the top with a nice cap on it --the copper paint is so years after your job is done it still looks great --instead of the dull petina --dont misconstrue this as a way to hide sloppy joints,,It Isn't--- but i used to leave many jobs shinny as a mirror flux and wipe after im done ----scotchbrite etc.. but it doesn't last ---i saw a job that my co-worker had done 10 years ago and it still was looking great --and i remembered that it was painted --spray paint --or you can use a clear -- which i might try next
  • tombig
    tombig Member Posts: 291

    We take a lot of pride in our equipment rooms. Never clear coated for posterity though it has crossed my mind.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909

    Brighter than a new penny when your done!

    Customers freak when they see you shining the pipes when you're done!

    Mark H

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  • Ken D.
    Ken D. Member Posts: 836

    Clean left over flux with Simple Green, Spray Nine, Fantastick or the like. Then polish with steel wool. Comes up nice. I've never tried Brasso, but it sounds intriguing.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Your not familar with them

    Because they are for doing the dishes.

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  • S Davis
    S Davis Member Posts: 491

    Try Wiping down the fitting with No-Korode Just after soldering it takes all the discoloration off the fitting, then hit it with a wet rag to clean off the flux the fitting will look like it was brand new.
    It takes a little time but is well worth it.

    S Davis
  • Terry St.James_2
    Terry St.James_2 Member Posts: 102

    You can have a clean joint without using or buying anything for it. Try heating your joint and just before you add your solder wipe the joint with a rag. This will get rid of all the excess paste or flux. The solder will follow the paste or flux...if it is all wiped up the only flux left is in the joint itself. You should also wipe it after the joint has been soldered, to prevent oxidizing of the copper.
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