Soldering ball valves are one of the most common plumbing projects out there. It’s quite easy to perform and can be done without any professional help. But some steps might be confusing if you’re new to soldering a ball valve.
This is why you may wonder whether to solder ball valves open or closed?
Soldering a ball valve can be done both open or closed. But experts suggest soldering ball valves in the closed position. It’s safe and there’s less chance of damaging any part. You can solder it open as well. But in that case, you’ll need adequate knowledge about soldering ball valves.
That was only a small part of the discussion. If you’re curious to know more, read our piece till the end. You’ll definitely find your answer.
Let’s jump right in!
Should You Solder Ball Valves Open Or Closed?
Soldering is simple and easy. But you would need proper knowledge about it to perform correctly. For example, there’s a difference between plumbing and electrical soldering.
Soldering ball valves fall under plumbing soldering. It’s a simple process. But there’s confusion about whether to solder ball valves open or closed.
Soldering ball valves can be done both opened or closed. Both options are popular among people. But it’s standard to solder ball valves closed.
Why should we solder ball valves closed? Soldering it in a closed position will allow the gas to dilate. It reduces the chance of blowing bubbles in the soldering joint. Because in the closed position the air exits the pipe.
On the other hand, soldering ball valves open is not usually recommended. Because there are some risks when you solder a ball valve open.
For example, there could be water trapped in the seals or pipes. When the heat turns water into steam it might damage the valve. Worse can be the steam might blow out the seal. Thus, making the valve damaged in the process. It’s also a risky thing to do.
Some company’s manufacturer guidelines mention whether to solder the valve open or closed. This is why you should always read the manufacturer’s guidelines first.
They’ll tell you which is the best way to solder your product. Also, you can be assured with your soldering process.
How To Solder Ball Valves Open Or Closed?
The soldering process is the same for both open and closed ball valves. But it should be done carefully with precautions. Here are some tools you’re gonna need to solder a ball valve-
- Safety gloves
- Map gas or propane gas for the heat source
- Tinning flux
- Pipe cutter
- A ball valve
- Pipe cleaner
- Lead-free solder
Do you have all you need? Then let’s begin.
Step-1: Processing To Adjust The Ball Valve
Cut the pipe with a pipe cutter first. Clean both of the sides with a pipe cleaner after that. You can use abrasive cleaners if the pipe needs heavy cleaning. Make sure it’s properly cleaned.
Apply a coat of tinning flux on the end side of both pipes. Add some flux inside the ball valve as well. Use a brush to apply the flux on them.
Wondering which piper cutter to use?
No worries! We’ve got some suggestions:
Use any of these to cut your pipe properly!
Step-2: Adjust The Ball Valve
Place the valve on one side of the pipe. Since you’ve applied flux on them, they’ll easily dry fit together. Make sure you’re positioning it properly.
Connect the other side of the pipe to the valve now. Fit them accurately.
Step-3: Apply Heat To The Joints
Read the manufacturer’s guidelines first. It’ll recommend the right position for soldering. If it says to solder it closed then close the solder. If it suggests keeping it open, solder it while open.
But be careful about using the ball valve handling. Using too much pressure might break off the ball valve handle.
It’s time to heat the pipe near the ball valve area now. This is why you circle the heat throughout the pipe. Be careful not to heat the body of the valve. Otherwise, the nylon seals inside the valve might get melted.
Keep the heat on adjoined areas. Continue the heating process until the pipe is hot enough to melt the solder.
Step-4: Solder The Ball Valve
Apply the solder to the joining areas and keep heating it. The solder will melt and attach itself to fill the gap.
Let the pipe cool down afterward. With that, you’re done soldering ball valves to the pipe. You can now either open or close the ball valve. This is to check if there are any leaks in the joined part.
If you find any leaks add more solder to fill the gap properly. Don’t wait for the small slow leaks to seal themselves. It’s better to not leave any problem behind. If there aren’t any leaks, you’ve done a pretty good job.
That’s all the steps you need. Now you can solder your ball valve open or closed.
Question: Why does a ball valve leak?
Answer: Ball valves can leak for many reasons. For example, the valve may not close properly. It can happen due to dirt, obstructions, or debris. Another reason can be a broken seal inside the valve.
Question: Can leaky PVC ball valves be replaced?
Answer: Yes, it can be replaced. Turn off the waterline first. Then cut the PVC ball valve from both ends and replace it with a new one afterward.
Question: Can ball valves be repaired?
Answer: Yes, they can. Ball valve’s individual parts are changeable. Find out the damaged part. It can be the feed tube, rubber digraph, or adjusting crew. Just replace the damaged part.
That’s all for soldering ball valves open or closed. Hopefully, you’ve got your answer regarding ball valve soldering.