How to Silver-Solder Copper Pipe


Large plumbing jobs require a great deal of knowledge and experience to complete properly. But for such small jobs as replacing a pipe or fixture, all you need is a few tips. Soldering copper pipes is one of those jobs that is within reach for those people who like to do it themselves.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, dry rag
  • Soldering flux
  • Small bristle brush
  • Soldering torch
  • Lighter
  • Solder
  • Pliers with 18-inch handles
  • Heavy leather work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Wipe the inside and outside of each pipe to be connected to remove any oil or debris. Coat the inside of the female end and the outside of the male end with flux. Brush the flux onto the pipes in a thin coat.

  • Open the gas valve on your torch and light it with your lighter. Adjust the gas valve so that the flame burns blue and solid. Unwind 3 to 4 inches of your solder and set it aside at the ready.

  • Grasp the female piece of pipe with your pliers at least 3 inches from the work area. Hold the pipes in the desired position. Heat the pipes until the flux bubbles.

  • Touch the end of the unrolled solder to the joint where the heated pipes are joined. Run the solder all of the way around the joint allowing it to melt and fill the gap. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Restore water flow by opening the main valve.

Tips & Warnings

  • A lighter and torch pose explosion, fire and burn hazards. Please read and follow all of the manufacturer's recommendations before and during use. Always wear appropriate safety equipment, such as safety glasses, heavy leather work gloves and a mask, when soldering.

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