The BREAD Trick When Soldering, a Myth or a Fact?

Introduction: The BREAD Trick When Soldering, a Myth or a Fact?

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In this video, I'll be showing you if this "old-timer's trick" is really a trick or a myth!

Step 1: MYTH OR FACT?

So, I’m guessing many of you are wondering if the bread trick is really a fact or a myth. In today’s article, we’ll be finding out!

Step 2: WHY USE BREAD?

So why would you want to use a piece of bread when doing plumbing? Well, the answer is simple. Lots of times when you go to solder a joint on a water line that has a leaky shut-off valve, there’s likely to be a continuous stream of water in the pipe making it impossible to complete a solder.

Sometimes if you’re lucky, you can drop the pipe to make all the water come out or just lift it but this will only make it more difficult to make a nice joint.

So here’s another way to bypass this. An old-timer’s trick is to stick a piece of white bread in the pipe to give you a big enough time window to complete your solder. Now, the question is, does it work? Well, let’s try it out!

Step 3: THE PROBLEM

Ok, so I simulated a water line that goes to a single faucet to see if this trick would work.

Let’s just say there was a pinhole here in the pipe and we needed to cut the portion out and solder a coupling to get this fixed but, this shut-off valve was leaky, so here we go.

Step 4: WHAT DO I DO?

The first thing we need to do is cut the pipe, I’m using a mini pipe cutter but you can use anything you want.

With the pipe cut, we can see that there is a continuous stream of water coming out, if we try to solder like this, we’ll be heating up the water inside the pipe till it becomes steam and we don’t want that. So here’s where the bread trick comes in.

Step 5: THE BREAD TRICK

You’ll wanna make a tight enough plug so that it takes a while for the water to seep through. Then use something long to push it far enough so you don’t burn it while soldering.

Step 6: SOLDER EVERYTHING BACK TOGETHER

Then go on, onto sanding your pipes and fluxing them and assembling everything together. Now you only have a limited amount of time to get this done, so do it as fast as you can.

Good job!! You were able to solder it even with a leaky valve!

Step 7: WILL IT DISSOLVE?

Now the moment of truth, will the bread be dissolved? Let see...

And yes, it dissolved. You might need to clean out your faucet’s aerator before saying the job is done and voila, how to solder with a leaky shut-off valve!

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    6 Discussions

    One of the manufacturers, I think it's Oatey make a gelatin capsule for the different sizes of pipe to stop the water flow. I've never used them but I know they exist.

    1 reply

    Yes, I have heard of those, no idea if they work or not though, gonna give them a try.

    Nicely explained. I was shown this trick many years ago by an "Old timer". It works great, but you are right about the limited time to get the job done.

    1 reply

    Thank you, yeah the time is about 3-4 minutes approx ;)

    Never heard of this trick, you never know when something like this might come in handy, so thanks for sharing :)

    1 reply

    Exactly! These tricks will only serve you once or twice in your life time, but it's fun to know it when the perfect time comes ;)