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Question for the Aussie plumbers

Question for the Aussie plumbers

Old Jul 2nd 2010, 10:27 am
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Default Question for the Aussie plumbers

Just learning to braze copper pipes in prep for the tests for gas and plumbing permits, can anyone tell me the brazing rods and flux which are preferred in the trade?Also a quick run down of the process, flame size etc would be helpful, I have been using silicon brass rods and have achieved some joints ok, though compared to what im used to with solder in the uk they look crap, and cutting open appear to not achieve full penetration of the joint, also the pipe is left hideously oxidised and annealed, but without this heat cannot get joint to run. Any advice to save me wasting years trying to find the right way appreciated!
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Old Jul 5th 2010, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

Originally Posted by chris1386 View Post
Just learning to braze copper pipes in prep for the tests for gas and plumbing permits, can anyone tell me the brazing rods and flux which are preferred in the trade?Also a quick run down of the process, flame size etc would be helpful, I have been using silicon brass rods and have achieved some joints ok, though compared to what im used to with solder in the uk they look crap, and cutting open appear to not achieve full penetration of the joint, also the pipe is left hideously oxidised and annealed, but without this heat cannot get joint to run. Any advice to save me wasting years trying to find the right way appreciated!
hi, this seems about the correct stadard required for aus,
the joint will look awfull after brzing, try to move your heat around the joint and also away from it to regulate the temp of the joint, a lot of guys dont use solder here, no cleaning of the joint, its just practice on the job bud, are you getting ready for your vettasses assesment?
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Old Jul 13th 2010, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

thanks for the reply john, im still in uk, have pr visa so will have to do hand tool tests for plumbing licence and the course thereafter for expats, think ive got a handle on brazing now, was sold the wrong rods for a start, got some correct ones and tried again, much better but what a crap way of jointing, i suppose the theory is the joint is stronger than soldering, but the material strength is wildly lower after annealing it to death, still im told not to waste time questioning why the aussies do it like that , so i wont! It looks shite though, id be embarrassed to leave pipework like that in the uk.
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Old Jul 14th 2010, 6:13 am
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

Originally Posted by chris1386 View Post
thanks for the reply john, im still in uk, have pr visa so will have to do hand tool tests for plumbing licence and the course thereafter for expats, think ive got a handle on brazing now, was sold the wrong rods for a start, got some correct ones and tried again, much better but what a crap way of jointing, i suppose the theory is the joint is stronger than soldering, but the material strength is wildly lower after annealing it to death, still im told not to waste time questioning why the aussies do it like that , so i wont! It looks shite though, id be embarrassed to leave pipework like that in the uk.
hi, if you have a pr visa there is no hand tool test to do, its just the theory stuff at tafe, your right in what you say its best not to say to much about brazing and standards ect, its a different world here, i just get on with it and take the money. any way any questions let me know.
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Old Aug 23rd 2010, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

Originally Posted by chris1386 View Post
Just learning to braze copper pipes in prep for the tests for gas and plumbing permits, can anyone tell me the brazing rods and flux which are preferred in the trade?Also a quick run down of the process, flame size etc would be helpful, I have been using silicon brass rods and have achieved some joints ok, though compared to what im used to with solder in the uk they look crap, and cutting open appear to not achieve full penetration of the joint, also the pipe is left hideously oxidised and annealed, but without this heat cannot get joint to run. Any advice to save me wasting years trying to find the right way appreciated!
Here in France they prefer brazing too. I agree it looks bloody awful. However, being self employed I have to go with the flow, because if you solder the joints with tin in France they think that you're a DIY bodger, so I've had to continue brazing - or I use the crimped fittings but they can be a bit expensive and there isn't much choice at the local suppliers.

I use Castolin brazing rods with 808 flux. Don't know if it's available in the UK/Aus, but anyway in the rods I use there is 2% silver, and are (a bit) more fluid than the normal ones.
In French plumbing colleges they say the pipe is hot enough when it's "cherry red", God only knows where they come up with that colour, but you'll get used to it, and you'll call it the colour you want

When brazing copper, I prefer not to have a "clear dart flame" that you would use for steel pipes, and I usually reduce the oxygen which will create a less agressive flame that you'll find will heat almost all the way around the pipe to the same temp. Then you just have to apply the rod. Using this technique will never leave the pipes like you're used to leaving them, so don't get disheartened by the look of them, because it won't get much better!! Just remember that a good joint is a joint that doesn't leak!
Try practicing this technique with pipes close to the wall by fixing them to a panel of wood. I say this because you'll have to get used to doing this without burning the wallpaper or cracking tiles etc - the heat mats aren't that strong when you braze and you can quickly burn a hole through them!!

Good luck
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Old Oct 13th 2010, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

thanks to all, been practicing the brazing and got it ok, but i feel ashamed by the end result! Its that bad................ When i was last on recce i saw some truly hideous piperuns down walls, bent to all shapes in all directions, perhaps this is to avoid as many joints as possible?

When I finally get there i might contact you John, if thats ok, with the inevitable queries, lol, cheers again.
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Old Oct 13th 2010, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

no probs, yeah they do tend to bend as much as possible to reduce the amount of joins, also on new builds now its mainly plastic due to the cost of copper, also a lot of crimping systems for copper (viega) works a treat and saves bucket loads of time. good luck.
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Old Jan 12th 2011, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

Hi all,
I'm currently applying to get my state sponsered visa, do i need to be able to braze pipework in order to pass my assessment. i have been in the plumbing and heating trade for 18yrs but i have never done this before
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Old Jan 12th 2011, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

Originally Posted by tonytom View Post
Hi all,
I'm currently applying to get my state sponsered visa, do i need to be able to braze pipework in order to pass my assessment. i have been in the plumbing and heating trade for 18yrs but i have never done this before
I couldn't say if you needed to know or not as I'm not in oz, but I braze copper in France every day - of course its different to what you're used to but its aint rocket science so I wouldn't worry about it. You'll pick it up quite quickly, but whether you appreciate the finished joint is another matter!!
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Old Jan 13th 2011, 6:38 am
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Default Re: Question for the Aussie plumbers

Originally Posted by tonytom View Post
Hi all,
I'm currently applying to get my state sponsered visa, do i need to be able to braze pipework in order to pass my assessment. i have been in the plumbing and heating trade for 18yrs but i have never done this before
brazing is a peace of cake, i picked it up in 2 mins on the day of my assessment, been in aus 19 months and only brazed 2 joints, its more or less the same a normall soldering, heat it till its red then give it some with the silver solder, the better the solder the easier the joint, it doesnt really run like lead solder, you kinda have to push it in. the run over it to cap it, ive seen loads of other people do it and it all ends up looking like a piece of copper thats had a bad day in a furnace, nothing pretty about it, you shouldnt worry about it.
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