How to Solder Pipes

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Soldering pipes requires using a lead-free solder, a lead-free flux, having a way to clean the pipes and using a heat source, such as propane or map gas. Learn to solder pipes safely and effectively with instructions from an experienced carpenter and construction specialist in this free video on home repair.

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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Mark Blocker. In this segment we're going to cover how to solder copper pipes. To solder copper pipes, you'll need to remember a couple of things. Usually copper pipes are used for holding water, and if that's for your home water system, or any drinking water system, you want to make sure you use a lead free solder, and a lead free flux. You're going to need flux, you're going to need solder, you're going to need a way to clean the pipe, whether it be the brushes or sandpaper. You're going to need a heat source. You can either use propane or map gas, map gas works better, it gets a little hotter. And we'll use that. You can use either one. First thing to remember before you start to solder your copper pipes, you want to make sure they're really clean. Use a brush on the outside of the fitting, and that just slips on, twists around, and that'll give you that nice, sandy, clean look. That's what we're after. We have to have the fittings absolutely clean. And I've just rigged this up in a little clamp so I can hold it up off the table when I actually solder it. I'll tighten it down just a little bit. And you also want to clean the inside of your fitting, even if they are brand new. Just twist your brush in there for a few minutes, make sure it's good and clean on the inside, all debris is removed. Now, you're going to want to flex those up before you solder them, and you can use a brush or your finger, and you just want to put that flux in the, inside the fitting, and a coating around the outside of the pipe itself. All fittings that are going to be soldered need to get coated with flux thoroughly. Once you've got it covered with flux, slide it on there and make sure it fits OK. Everything fits good. I'm just going to slide it on there and twist it around a few times and make sure everything mixes up. OK, what I'm going to do is I'm going to heat this up and I'm going to put the torch right between the two connections right there, right in the meat of it, so I get both the fitting and the pipe the same temperature. And I'm going to let that heat up for about thirty, forty seconds, and then once I see that flux starting to bubble, and it's getting real hot, I can just take the heat away, and what I'm going to do is just tap the solder right around where the joint itself is, and just wrap it around and go right around that joint. And that's going to suck that solder in to that fitting and create a good bond. OK, as you can see, I'm holding the end of the blue tip of the torch right about where the meat of the fitting come together, and I'm just going to let it sit there, and it's going to take about anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute, maybe minute and a half at the very most. once I see that flux start to bubble real good. Once you remove the heat source, you can actually just take the solder tip and just walk it right around there, and you can see how the solder just sucks right in to the joint. Just go all the way around evenly, and that'll create a good soldering bond. And just give, make sure you give ample time for that solder joint to cool down before applying water pressure, usually around ten to fifteen minutes. That's how you solder copper pipe.


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