Users' questions

Why is my plumbing solder not sticking?

Why is my plumbing solder not sticking?

Most likely you don’t have the base metal hot enough for the solder to wet it. Make sure the pipe is empty, and try waiting a bit longer before applying the solder. The base metal should be hot enough to melt the solder directly.

Why is my solder not flowing into the joint?

Heat is the number one reason that solder flows. Without it, you’ll unsuccessfully try to solder a piece for a very long time. Heat is a tricky thing to figure out, especially if you’re just starting out. If it’s still not working, consider a charcoal block which reflects heat, making it easier to solder.

Can you put new solder over old solder?

Just heat the joint up with your torch, once the solder starts to melt use Channel locks to pull the fittings apart. Once the joint is apart, wipe as much old solder off as you can with a rag. Now you can start over.

Why is the solder not melting?

Soldering tip has oxidized (turned black) and solder won’t stick to it. Bad technique. Not enough heat. Dirty or oxidized parts.

Does plumbing flux expire?

Flux is not like milk that expires. If it is still a liquid that isn’t gummy it should be fine. Do a test solder or two. You will know if it is good by how the solder flows out when molten and how it hardens up as it cools.

Why does my solder not melt?

Slosh the flux around and flux the solder. make sure it all gets hot enough, if the solder isn’t melting at all you simply are not getting enough heat.

Why can’t I get solder to melt?

Try to apply the solder wire to the joint first then introduce the hot tip for just long enough to see the tinned copper track melt the wire – not the iron itself. If the points to be soldered aren’t hot enough (briefly) you will probably get a “dry” joint which is less than bright to the eye.

Can you solder copper pipe with water in it?

Don’t try to solder pipes with water in them. Soldering a joint in pipes that contain even tiny amounts of water is nearly impossible. Most of the heat from the torch goes into turning the water to steam, so the copper won’t get hot enough to melt the solder. Stop the trickle of water with a pipe plug.