How to Sweat Copper Pipe Fittings

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Sweating copper pipe fittings is exactly the same soldering pipes, which requires a solder, a flux and a heat source. See a demonstration of sweating copper pipe fittings with instructions from an experienced carpenter and construction specialist in this free video on home repair.

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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Mark Blocker. In this segment we're going to cover, "How to sweat copper pipes?" Sweating copper pipes is exact the same thing as soldering copper pipes. So anytime you hear, refer, hears somebody refer to sweating pipes are referring to soldering copper pipe. So this is how you solder copper pipes. To solder copper pipes you'll need to remember couple of things. Usually copper pipes are use for holding water and if that's for home water system or any drinking water system, you want to make sure you use a lead-free solder and a lead-free flat. 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 mapp gas; mapp gass 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, twist around and that will give you that nice sandy clean look. And that's what we're after; we have to have the fittings absolutely clean and I just rig this up in a little clamp so I can hold up off the table when I actually solder it. I'm tying it down just a little bit. And you also want to clean the inside of your fittings 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 removed. Now you're going to want to flux those up before you solder it. I mean you can use a brush or your finger; you just want to put that flux in the in the feed, inside the fitting and a coating around the outside of the pipe itself. All fittings that are going to be soldered you need to get coated with flux thoroughly. Once you got it coated with flux, slide it under, make sure it fits okay; everything fits good. I'm just going to slide it under and twist around a few times, make sure that they mixes up. Okay, what I'm going to do is I'm going to heat this up and it will put the torch right between the two connections right there; right in the mid of it so I get both the fitting and the pipe the same temperature. I'm going to let that heat up for about thirty, forty seconds and then once I see that flax start to bubble and it's getting really 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 around right that joint. And that's going to suck that solder into that fitting and create a good bond. Okay, as you can see I'm holding at the end of the blue tip of the torch, right about where the mid of the fitting come together and I'm just going to let it sit there. It's going to take about anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute; maybe minute and a half the very most. Once I see that flax start to bubble in 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 will just sucks right into the joint; just go all the way around evenly and that will create a good soldering bond. Okay, so that's how you sweat copper pipe fittings.

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