flux question

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flux question

Postby bluegrass » Mon Feb 04, 2002 5:32 pm

After finishing my lauder tun manifold, I discovered I had used electricians flux instead of plumbers. I read that it may contain lead and that would be no good. Since its in my lauder tun and not in my kettle, am I safe or do I need to bring another ten foot of tubing home and start again? Thanks everyone!
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Flux or solder??

Postby andytv » Mon Feb 04, 2002 6:03 pm

I'm not sure what type of flux you used, but generally, electrical flux contains no lead. Flux is a "vehicle" tha promotes the flow of solder. There are several types of flux, some are water soluble, some require solvent cleaning. If the flux that you used was "rosin flux", you will probably need to run a fair amount of alcohol through the plumbing to remove the residue. Hopefully, it was a "organoc" or water soluble variety. If you want, reply with the label info, and I may be able to determine the type.

As far as lead goes, electrical solder is an alloy of lead & tin. By using this type of solder to process consumables, you run a risk of introducing lead into your diet. I wouldn't worry it, but I'm sure there are those who will tell you that lead solder is fatal, none of those beibg my parents & grandparents who were brought up on water from "lead soldered pipes". My opinion, you are probably safe, just make sure you remove the flux residue from the inside of your project.
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type of solder

Postby bluegrass » Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:32 am

Thanks for taking the time Andy. The label reads as follows; "For general electrical applications. 95% tin, 5% antimony, melts at 464 F, A medium melting alloy with fast acting flux". If it is a rosin flux, would I be safe using a wire brush to clean the inside, or would that have adverse effects on the copper? Cheers!!
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Rosin Flux

Postby andytv » Tue Feb 05, 2002 7:32 am

Thats sort of a wierd alloy, but I wouldn't worry about the possibility of lead conatmination. Your real potential issue is flux residue. In general, electrical solder features a rosin flux core. There are types with water soluble flux, but they are usually not used, because the residue is corrosive when not removed. In summary, I would guess that you used a rosin flux. Rosin flux residue is soluble in alcohol and some other industrial solvents. If I were you, I would try to dissolve and remove the residue with an alcohol soaked patch. If the residue has hardened, use the wire brush. The residue should be inert and won't effect the copper, but I would still remove it. Good luck.
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