How to Connect Brass Fittings

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More durable than PVC pipe and less prone to corrosion than copper, brass fittings are an industry standard for high-flow and high-pressure indoor plumbing applications. Most brass fittings are threaded for easy installation, although just about any fitting imaginable is available for specialized needs, such as dishwasher and water heater installation.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-stick coating plumbing tape
  • 2 adjustable wrenches
  • Pliers
  • Steel wool or emery cloth
  • Soldering flux
  • Propane torch
  • Lead-free pipe solder

Threaded Fittings

  • Wrap the male threads of either the fitting or pipe with the non-stick tape. Make two or three complete loops around the threads to form a tight seal.

  • Place the fitting over the pipe and turn the fitting clockwise until it can no longer be turned by hand.

  • Adjust a wrench to fit the hex or square nut on the brass fitting by rolling the wrench's worm screw between your thumb and index finger.

  • Slip the wrench onto the brass fitting with one hand. Adjust a second wrench to fit the coupling at the end of the pipe and hold firmly with the other hand.

  • Continue turning the brass fitting with the wrench until it is snug on the pipe's terminal coupling.

Soldered Fittings

  • Clean and score the inside of the fitting and the end of the pipe with steel wool or emery cloth.

  • Apply a generous amount of soldering flux to the pipe and the fitting, then slip the fitting onto the pipe.

  • Ignite the propane torch and adjust the flame to its highest setting.

  • Position the flame so that the light-blue tip of the inner flame hovers next to the fitting. This is the hottest point of the flame and will ensure that the fitting gets hot enough to accept solder.

  • Rotate the flame around the fitting until the flux begins to bubble. Remove the flame and touch the solder to the joint. Trace the joint's seam with the tip of the solder, as it draws into the connection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work quickly with the solder after you remove the flame. The fitting will cool quickly and might need to be reheated, if the solder doesn't make it all the way around.
  • Remove the flame before the flux begins to smoke. This means the flux is burning and will leave carbon deposits on the metal, making the solder less effective and the joint more prone to leaks.

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References

  • Photo Credit plumbing image by Inger Anne Hulbækdal from Fotolia.com
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