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Discuss The consequences of bad practices. in the Plumbing Forum area at

  1. Cailean

    Cailean Plumber

    I got called out to a leaking copper central heating return pipe. The customer thought the leak was coming from the soldered joint, but I quickly realised that the copper was pin holed most likely due to acidic flux being left on the pipe.
    It takes seconds to wipe off excess flux. Those that don't then the consequences of this are the holes pictured in the pipe below.
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  2. Pickwickpick

    Pickwickpick Plumber

    Its amazing how often I see the signs of this, as you say its really not hard or time consuming to do!

    Was also particularly unimpressed at training centre last month to find out that the tutor doing the pipework classes for those with no plumbing background was teaching them to a) brush flux onto the joint straight after soldering it (not good to suddenly cool it if nothing else!) b) hadn't taught them to wipe it off afterwards.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Rob876

    Rob876 Member

    I have recently completed a level 2 diploma in one of those centres and yes they taught the same bad technique (I tend to pay close attention to seasoned plumbers that do it the right way) one of the things I have noticed is there are right ways to do things and wrong, and it's up to us to work out which is which.
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  4. townfanjon

    townfanjon Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Yes , winds me up that , 2 mins to clean it up
    • Like Like x 5
  5. Matchless.plumb

    Matchless.plumb Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    There is absolutely no pride in their plumbing world therefore giving a damn to clean the flux off afterwards. As @Harvest Fields@Harvest Fields used to say you can bring a horse to the pond but you can’t make it drink :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Rob876

    Rob876 Member

    and that comes down to the individual - having knowledge and pride in one's work are quite different things, I intend to have both.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Cailean

    Cailean Plumber

    That's shocking mate. Cool any joint too quickly and it's in danger of cracking. Even the manufacturers recommend that joints be left for 2 minutes before handling. Brushing flux on a joint immediately after the joint has been made is the stuff of cowboys riding into the sunset.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  8. Matchless.plumb

    Matchless.plumb Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Don’t agree, if I am having pride in what I am doing you’ll surely have good workmanship. Haven’t meat anyone yet who was committing to the work and loved doing what he was doing and delivered bad jobs.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Harvest Fields

    Harvest Fields S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    I’ve said that?:D:D:D:D
  10. Cailean

    Cailean Plumber

    The other thing about this pipework, that it could also have corroded from the inside too. If there's that amount of excessive flux on the outside of the pipe, I can only imagine what the inside is like.
  11. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber

    Wouldn`t it get flushed away.
  12. Cailean

    Cailean Plumber

    No it stays active in the system, but it will eventually degrade over time. It's best to flush it out of new pipework before use.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber

    These acidic fluxes are terrible imo.
    Even the grease based mild traditional flux I use I clean it off the pipe.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. skoronesa

    skoronesa Member

    Did you take pics of the fitting on the inside after you took it off? I have seen one instance of a pinhole forming from erosion.
  15. bogrodder

    bogrodder Plumber GSR

    That’s an absolute load of old tripe. I have soldered 100’s of thousands of fittings over my career and damp/ wet rag cooled soldered immediately after soldering.. the prelude to wiping the joints of flux. The key is to not just fly in with to much pressure!! I lightly dab the damp/ wet cloth on to pipe, until it solidifies fully and then hand wrap cloth to cool further and clean.
    I have spent many years contracting and this is absolutely necessary to work at speed. I can hand on heart say, I’ve probably only had 20/30 soldered joint leaks over my career... and that’s probably due to rushing and not fluxing enough.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2