Got a beautiful Price Pfister tub/shower faucet cheap on ebay and now I’m wondering if this is the reason… It has “convertible tailpieces” that either sweat onto copper pipe or thread into iron pipe. My house pipes are copper. I’ve only soldered copper pipe once before and it took me several tries to get it to seal, and that was a regular fitting. These, it looks like a very tiny space for the solder to go, and I’m having a hard time imagining that enough solder could get in there to seal it. I finally got the solder to melt on there, and then it just globbed and ran everywhere so I tried to mop it up a little. Looks like gaps in the solder in what I can see of the teeny-tiny ring where the solder could go.

Anybody know about these “convertible tailpieces”, and should I maybe just splice a piece of iron pipe between there? It would at least have threads to hold it.

Well, the hardware store had some fittings, and I even got them sweated on there. Surprised the heck out of me; it just happened so quickly. Second time’s the charm.

When you were soldering, did you use use flux and MAPP gas rather than Propane? Propane does not get hot enough to sweat properly.

When you are sweating fittings, you want to heat up the part of the fitting that slides over the pipe. This will cause the solder to flow into the fitting and seal it as it liquefies. When I first started trying to solder, I was impatient and never let the joint get hot enough, so the solder would melt on the pipe, but would never flow into the area between the pipe and fitting. It also helps to make sure that your pipe is empty of water. The water really soaks up the heat from the torch and it takes forever to get it hot. Sounds like you got it right the second time.