Brass pipe fittings are much more expensive than its equivalents. Some times it may cost ten times more than the plastic or steel fittings. So before you make a decision to replace your old pipe fittings, just think once. Something that can be done to recycle your cruddy and tarnished fittings. A little scrubbing and soaking can make these fittings good as new. With right tools and chemicals, you can save enough time, money and efforts.
- Soak a tarnished fitting in a cup filled with white vinegar. Add a tablespoon salt and adequate amount of water to cover the affected area. Leave the fitting in the solution for few hours. Remove the part and scrub the affected area using steel wool or abrasive pad. You can also use commercially available brass cleaners for the job.
- Use wire brush to scrub male and female thread. Carefully remove the thread thread seal tape or compound. A 4-in-1 tool, available at most plumbing stores will be your perfect plumbing partner for the project.
- Clamp the fittings into a vice or hold it tightly with the pair of locking pliers to remove hose ends. Soak the fitting in acetone, then scrub gently with coarse abrasive pad. It’s advisable to wear rubber gloves while using acetone.
- Replace the nut on the fitting for leak proof joint. Replacing the ferrule nut would just cost much lower than replacing the whole fitting. You may have visit specialty plumbing store to find one, but its worth the effort.
- Using the propane torch pull apart the soldered connection. Apply heat to the fitting only or soldered connection not to the pipe. If there is a rubber valve, remove it first as excessive heating will damage the valve causing leak in the pipeline.
- Polish the soldered areas with the help of wire brush while the fitting is hot. While you may not be able to make up for all the solders, still you should be able to reuse the fitting.
Brass is softer than most of the metals, and tends to damage easily. So, handle the fittings gently with much required care.