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Old 02-24-2017, 05:52 AM   #1
kotterr
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Default Soldering copper pipe with heat gun? What about brass?

Is it possible to connect copper pipe by solder using a heat gun instead of a torch? I know a heat gun can quite easily melt a bar of tin down to a puddle and it would have likely done the same with the lead bar I had in there had I not dropped the entire piece in there (solder is used in MUCH smaller quantities). But can it work to solder copper pipe together? What about brass to copper?

https://www.amazon.com/Astro-9425-Du...dp/B00MAB80EU/


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Old 02-24-2017, 06:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kotterr View Post
Is it possible to connect copper pipe by solder using a heat gun instead of a torch?...
https://www.amazon.com/Astro-9425-Du...dp/B00MAB80EU/

Yes, you can solder with a heat gun, and under some conditions, it's preferable. There's an attachment that helps contain the heat.


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Old 02-24-2017, 06:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nehmo View Post

Yes, you can solder with a heat gun, and under some conditions, it's preferable. There's an attachment that helps contain the heat.
I would have thought no, given that copper is such an effective heat sink. It must be incredibly slow though right? Still work with larger sections of pipe? (that is a pretty short section there).

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Old 02-24-2017, 07:36 AM   #4
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No. And the fitting in the pic is a type known for failure. For safe and reliable connections, no heat gun for soldering and no pre-soldered fittings. I realize some will argue but I have seen them fail regularly. Heat gun soldering and pre-soldered fittings ARE good for increasing my bank account due to frantic calls from homeowners to fix their leaking joints. They always say they "saw it on the internet, so why didn't it work?"...

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Old 02-24-2017, 11:20 AM   #5
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No. And the fitting in the pic is a type known for failure. For safe and reliable connections, no heat gun for soldering and no pre-soldered fittings. I realize some will argue but I have seen them fail regularly. Heat gun soldering and pre-soldered fittings ARE good for increasing my bank account due to frantic calls from homeowners to fix their leaking joints. They always say they "saw it on the internet, so why didn't it work?"...
agreeing with SHR
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:42 PM   #6
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Why would you want to do this? Its 10x easier and safer to use a propane torch and proper fittings
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Old 02-24-2017, 06:44 PM   #7
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Also, who solders a coupling onto a pipe in a vice???
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:42 AM   #8
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I saw that video, too. No, I wasn't about to use presoldered fittings. Sounds expensive and you don't get to apply the solder to your satisfaction. I was just wondering if it were doable in a situation where I did not want to have an open flame. Does anyone have any personal experience with doing it with a heat gun?

Also, what about soldering copper to brass or to stainless steel? Is it possible? Would I need something hotter, like MAPP gas?
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:45 AM   #9
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You can solder copper to brass without issues. You cannot solder stainless steel. If you are worried about open flame, get yourself a heat shield of some sort. Ditch the heat gun idea, trust me. Its going to be way harder.
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:11 AM   #10
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Pre-Soldered Fittings use an alloy of solder that melts at a lower temperature than standard solder. Since a typical electric heat gun supplies much less heat than a torch, to get the job done in a reasonable time, the heat gun demonstrator chose to use a Pre-Soldered Fitting.

The merits of such fittings are debatable, (and that discussion deserves a thread of its own), but I wonder if those who had trouble with Pre-Soldered Fittings hadn't yet gotten the hang of them. With a Pre-Soldered Fitting, you heat the pipe more than the fitting. That's the opposite of the usual technique.

The other issue is the brass you asked about. While brass’s affinity to copper (actually brass is an alloy of copper and zinc) presents no problem, the thickness of the brass fitting may. Often a brass fitting is much thicker than the copper pipe it joins to. The thicker a fitting, the more heat it requires during the soldering process, and the weak electric heat gun may tax your patience.

You might consider practicing a little on some scrap pipe and a few extra fittings. Before you do your actual project, you should be confident in your own ability to succeed.

I don't know what of your situation makes you want to avoid the flame, but I assume it's a legitimate concern. If there's flammable material in range, get it wet first, and protectively cover it with something. A precautionary water hose wouldn’t be a bad idea too.

If you really want to be cool, get a 5 kilowatt power supply, and learn
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