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Do You Solder Ball Valve Open Or Closed?

To ensure leak-free joints and other benefits, ball valves are often soldered to their connection pipes. But do you solder ball valves open or closed? This question is common when it comes to this type of valve, so we wrote this article to provide you with the answers you need. We also shared tips on how to go about soldering ball valves to copper or other pipes.

Ball valves are commonly used in industrial and residential water lines. In these applications, they provide effective sealing and durability, plus they do not accumulate debris over time. To install ball valves, one of these methods may be used:

  • Soldering
  • Using threads
  • Compression fitting, or
  • Push to fit connection

Often times, a ball valve requires soldering to install. Here, we’ll restrict ourselves to this installation method and show you how to solder ball valve connections the right way.

Soldering brass ball valve to copper pipes
Soldering brass ball valve to copper pipes
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?3yzqXlDMiMo

Do you Solder Ball Valve Open or Closed?

While you could solder ball valves open or closed, it’s usually recommended to close them all through. These valves contain delicate components, such as Teflon seats, that could easily get damaged by the high temperatures of the soldering process.

That being said, our advice is that installers follow manufacturer instructions when soldering ball valves. That way, they can be sure every step is right and that they’re doing everything as directed.

Some manufacturers may even recommend additional measures to further protect the valve from heat, such as wrapping a piece of wet non-flammable cloth around it. That’s in addition to ensuring the heating flame points away from the body of valve.

How to solder a ball valve
How to solder a ball valve
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?3yzqXlDMiMo

How to Solder a Ball Valve

It’s important that the process to solder ball valve is correctly executed, or the resulting connections may not be effective or durable. Improper soldering could also cause damage to the valve components. With that in mind, here is how to solder a ball valve the right way.

Things you’ll need:

  • Solder flux
  • Propane torch (MAPP gas for larger pipes)
  • Solder
  • Brush
  • Emery cloth or other abrasive tool

Step 1: Inspect Ball Valve and Pipes

Start by inspecting the cleanliness of both the valve and the pipes that will connect to it. That’s because dirt and foreign materials like, weld particles in the pipes, could end up damaging the valve components such as seats.

Step 2: Clean and Deburr Valve And Pipe Surfaces

Using the emery cloth, gently clean the valve and pipe surfaces until clean enough for soldering. You may also need to deburr the pipe to remove a rough edge.

Step 3: Apply solder Paste

Next, apply a good amount of solder paste on the outside of the pipe ends. Apply the paste on the inside surfaces of the valve, too. It serves to clean these surfaces further, removing any residual oxides in preparation for the solder application itself.

Step 4: Align Valve and Pipe

Align the two work pieces together, with the valve going over the pipe. Ensure both are in their correct positions. Ensure, too, that the ball valve is in the closed position to avoid damage to its internal components by heat.

Step 6: Solder Ball Valve and Pipe

Using the propane torch, heat the pipe near the joint for a short duration, directing the flame at an angle so it points away from the valve. Once hot enough, touch the joint with solder. The solder should easily melt and seep into the joint. Note that you can solder the valve open or closed, but soldering it closed is safer.

Step 6: Inspect and Test joint

After the joint between the valve and pipe has cooled and the solder hardened, inspect it for any flaws. If there are no visible flaws, proceed to test it. It should not leak. Repeat the soldering steps steps if the joint shows any signs of leaking. If it’s the valve stem leaking, you may need to tighten it.

   Soldering a sprinkler’s ball valve
Soldering a sprinkler’s ball valve
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?AYIDjPxFskk

Ball Valve Soldering Tips

Sometimes and depending on the steps used, the soldering process may not produce expected results. Use these tips to ensure your ball valve is correctly soldered.

  • If soldering the valve to large pipes, consider using a hotter flame. MAPP gas is also recommended.
  • Some pipes, such as silicon brass types, require a special type of flux and a hotter flame. Ensure that if using them.
  • Avoid burning the soldering flux by holding the torch a good distance away.
  • Consider using thread sealant if soldering a ball valve that uses threaded fittings. This is to avoid melded solder from clogging the thread.
  • Always avoid heating the valve body directly. Instead, aim the flame at the pipe but near the joint
  • Do not hasten the cooling of the soldered joint; allow it air cool instead

Soldering Ball Valves

Ball valves are commonly soldered to copper pipes. This involves the use of a special type of metal alloy called solder, and which melts at very low temperatures. When heated, it flows into the connection formed by the valve and pipe. Upon cooling, it hardens to firmly join the two work pieces together.

Soldering Ball Valve Advantage

Soldering ball valves offers several benefits. It forms a leak-free joint that ensures reliable fittings connections in a plumbing or other system. That’s in addition to producing a robust joint that that can last a long time. Soldering is also inexpensive.

Soldering Ball Valve Disadvantage

Soldering a ball valve has its downsides. First, bad solder or flux could result in poor connections and lead o leaks. During the process, also, the valve could overheat and get spoiled. But that’s only if the process is incorrectly carried out.

Should a ball valve be open or closed when soldering?
Should a ball valve be open or closed when soldering?
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xH39kbcZiE

Conclusion

Soldering a ball valve should not be difficult; you only need a few items and an understanding of the required steps and other requirements. As we have seen, you can also solder these valves open or closed. However, soldering them closed is the most recommended method. It helps prevent damage to internal components, and most manufacturers recommend it.

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