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What is the worth of a good torch for soldering pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by TullioK, 27 Aug 2019.

  1. TullioK

    TullioK

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    I attempted my first few solder joints on some bits of scrap pipe at the weekend with view to replumbing the house in the near future. I tried end feed and Yorkshire style joints. I was just using a small kitchen chef's torch but even so I got on better than I expected.

    I had thought I would out and buy the best torch I could find (Superfire 2 by the sounds of it) to make my life as easy as possible and help ensure good joints, but since the little chef's torch did OK, I'm wondering if it's worth it and I could just get a budget torch instead.

    I've found the Superfire 2 for about £75 online with some map gas. It may be a good investment but if it's not going to make my work any better or easier than a £30-40 torch from B&Q I don't think it's worth it.

    So what are the advantages of having a top end torch?

    Thanks in advance
     
    Last edited: 27 Aug 2019
  2. seco services

    seco services

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    Superfire 2 is about £55 mapp gas about £12
    Those cheaper blow torches are useless, they feed from the bottom of can so when you use them at an angle they starve of gas and tend to flare up
     
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  3. ollski

    ollski

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    Yes superfire 2 works upside down and thats often a position i find myself in if im ever forced into hot works
     
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  4. TullioK

    TullioK

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    Thanks both for your replies. I wouldn't want something that doesn't work upside down, that seems like a pretty basic feature but very useful to know that the cheap ones don't!

    My little kitchen torch works fine upside down however... why do I need something more powerful than that? Sounds like a stupid question perhaps but I'd still like to hear an opinion.

    In the meantime I think I'll look to acquiring a Superfire 2 and mapp gas.

    Is your default to use push fittings then? I considered using them and not bothering with soldering but there were so my opinions against them for use under floors and behind walls so I thought I'd just learn to do it the 'proper' way.

    Thanks again
     
  5. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Soldering a short length of scrap pipe will require less heat than soldering a long pipe. The long pipe will conduct far more heat away from the joint than a short length will
     
    Last edited: 28 Aug 2019
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  6. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    many sites prohibit hot work now and our PLI makes strict stipulations these days about hot work, most going down the pressfit route but expensive for a DIYer, I have had a superfire 2 for about 15 years and never missed a beat, as said the cheaper ones flare when in awkward positions
     
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  7. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    1. If your kitchen chef's torch will work in any position, it's probably suitable for any soldering of pipe of 15 mm diameter or less. However, it could be limited (as bernardgreen notes above) on longer pipe runs, or on "tee" connections where there is much more copper to carry away the heat.
    2. I'd be surprised to see a chef's torch touch 22 mm or larger pipework.
    3. One of the key's to soldering is the ability to feed enough heat into the joint to be sure that the solder melts through contact with the hot metal. In my experience, this amount of heat is easily supplied by a decent torch (e.g. Superfire 2) running on propane (blue cylinders) for 15 and 22 mm pipework. It's also usually enough to do 28 mm, but for surety, and for any bigger pipe, I'd consider swapping to MAPP gas for its greater heat supplying ability.
     
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  8. fezster

    fezster

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    The monument 3450g is a good option. About two thirds of the price of the Super Fire 2.
     
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  9. TullioK

    TullioK

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    Thanks everyone, I have ordered a Superfire 2. I got a package that includes the attachable heat guard which looks handy

    Pressfit does sound like a winner but as you say expensive up front cost. I'm more likely to use a blowtorch for other things as well

    Thanks for those points. I'd be worried with the chef's torch that if it takes too long to get the copper up to temperature, the surrounding pipework would be getting hotter and hotter. I was surprised how effective it was though on my small test though.

    I have ordered some MAPP gas- it seemed like an easy choice given the Superfire 2 be turned down if things are getting too hot.
     
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  10. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    Why do you want Mapp gas? Propane is perfectly adequate.
     
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  11. TullioK

    TullioK

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    I've got to start somewhere and based only on what I've read, Mapp's higher flame temperature can make some tasks easier at very little extra cost, so I thought I'd go with that. Maybe I made the wrong choice and will end up using propane. I'm not sure how long one 400g will last but I'd be interested to try propane when I run out
     
  12. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    AFAIR I've soldered 50mm copper with Propane so there's no need for Mapp in domestic pipework...just be careful not to overheat the joint.
     
  13. durhamplumber

    durhamplumber

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    Maybe it will flare when the bottle runs low,etc,i certainly would not trust it,the more expensive ones do not flare,are easier to control.light etc, with one hand,which comes in very useful at times.
     
  14. durhamplumber

    durhamplumber

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    Yes,indeed
     
  15. FiremanT

    FiremanT

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    You crack me up Bernie.



    Although I agree a chefs lamp will struggle with 22nm or damp work
     
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