I'm replacing the shower mixing valve in my guest bathroom during renovation as the old one had a good deal of surface rust. This is my first time soldering pipes together.

I mounted the new valve to a 2x4 laid flat between the two studs that the valve sits between, as instructed. I placed a similarly-mounted 2x4 about 36" above the mixing valve so that I could mount the shower arm. The way the valve is designed, however, forces me to apply a slight bending force in the length of pipe that traverses the distance between the mixing valve and the shower arm in order to get the shower arm mounting elbow screwed to the 2x4. The reason for this is the fact that the outlet in the mixing valve juts further out than the inlet of the shower arm mounting elbow when the mounting elbow is mounted to the top 2x4.

Please note that this diagram is not to scale. The bend is exaggerated for illustrative purposes. Diagram, not to scale

That length of pipe is soldered to both the shower valve and the shower arm mounting elbow. I used enough flux and got two nice solder joints, no leaks. I've had it like this for a few days, and no leaks have sprung up. The bending force I've applied is not excessive. I may have had to use three to five lbs of force to push the shower arm mounting elbow onto the 2x4 so I could attach it with screws.

Do I have anything to worry about? Will the constant torque applied to the pipe, and ultimately the solder joints, cause leaks in the future?

  • 1
    Did you sweat the joint before or after doing the bending? If after, there's actually no force on the solder itself, just on the pipe. If before, you could heat it again to reflow the solder, which would also remove the force on the solder joint itself.
    – Nate S.
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 17:03
  • @NateS. I sweated the joint before, but you're right! My neighbor and I are doing this job on our houses at the same time, so we are helping each other out. I tried reheating when trying to get a pipe aligned at his house, and I noticed no force required to keep the pipe in place! I'm going to do the same for mine. Thanks! Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


Looking at what you have done I would not be worried. I do both copper plumbing and hvac copper (high pressure) if you have a good clean connection that the solder wicks back into the fitting it will be plenty strong. I have made hangers using 1/2” copper pipe and 4ea 90’s to hang heavy items with and these last for years, I know a guy that makes fancy towel racks using the hot water pipes (with a recirculating system so the pipes are always hot) a good solder joint won’t leak with a little force on it.


You'll probably be fine with no leaks if sweated properly. How ever if you'd rather not worry about it move the mounting 2 x 4 forward until plumb with the valve port.

Alternately, you can bend the copper pipe slightly to bring it more in-line with the two connections.

Or just shim out the 90 to bring it forward more.

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