Here is a letter from one of my readers emphasizing the importance of ensuring that the copper is absolutely cleaned before sweat soldering a copper fitting.

hey Bob thanks for the info
I am a well versed handyman in my house, & had tech school training in plumbing, electrical, HVAC, hydraulics & pneumatics, etc.
I was (am) putting in a laundry room on the 2nd floor of our house. I drilled holes in the floor & ran pvc for supply lines, & had to cut into the copper water lines to tie into them.
4 solder joints (2 each fitting) & I was set. Ran cpvc into screw fitting on copper tee. All done, had my son turn the water back on from the basement. 3 joints looked good but one was leaking. Kind of a awkward angle & space to get at with torch & solder etc.
Well, long story short, 4 hrs. & 15 tries later I was still standing on my milk crate on the counter perched into the rafters still trying to re solder & 'fill the leak'. More solder was the answer, right? I now had to replace the cpvc mounted into the tee because I had melted it....
Well after midnight I gave up till morning- water still shut off.....
Next day I got up to the same ol' same ol'. Trying diff angles & methods & heating the pipe then the tee, etc. etc. etc. 3 hrs. & lots of curse words later, I needed a break. So for fun I got online to see what else could be wrong, & I happen onto your site. Well, the pipe WAS a bit dingy so I fig. heat it up, remove the joint & start over. I SANDPAPERED the tee & pipe REAL good, then (haha) actually using my GRANDPA'S 3 oz. tin of flux (I couldn't find mine, but will leave it for my kids inheritance), flux'ed it & went to work. 4 swipes here & there, & shut the torch off, cooled it then plugged the tee end fitting. Went downstairs, prayed, then turned the water back on & RAN (haha) upstairs & waited & watched. And prayed again. IT WORKED!! First time!! I LITERALLY wasted 6-7 hrs standing on a milk crate & wasted literally 10 INCHES of 1/8" diameter solder. Never again. My joint was dirty, & would not stick. I thought it was clean, but I brillo pad'ed it, not sandpaper. Big difference. Thank you for your website & feel free to share my story with others, so they won't waste a weekend standing on a milk crate
Smitty from Ohio

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