How to Sweat Copper Pipe

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Grab a tubing cutter, an emory cloth, a wire brush, and a supply of flux and solder, and get ready to learn how to sweat copper pipe. A remodeling expert takes you through each step in this free video of professional home help tips.

Part of the Video Series: Home Remodeling Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Chris Palmer. Today, I'm going to show you how to sweat copper pipe. To sweat copper pipe, there's a series of steps that you need to follow. Number one, you need to make clean, square cuts on your pipe. Using a tubing cutter is probably the best tool for that. You want to take a piece of emery cloth and clean off that surface where the fitting is going to slip over it. Also, clean the inside of the fitting with a wire brush. I had a price tag on my fitting, and I just went ahead and cleaned that off as well. Once your parts are all nice and clean, you do the dry fit. If you have multiple piece in your run, fit everything together and make sure it's going where you want. Once that looks good, it's time to apply some flux to the inside of the fitting, and the outside of each connection. What the flux does, is actually pulls the solder into the joint. So, you want to get a nice, even coat everywhere that you want solder. Make sure you don't leave any spots uncovered, and a nice thin, even coat. Also, on the outside of the pipe where the flux, where the fitting is going to be applied, gets flux. Anywhere flux is, solder is going to be. So, don't add flux too far down the pipe, because it'll look bad once you have solder on there. Now, I have flux on both parts of my fittings and connections. I put it together, and make sure it's all the way inserted into the fitting. A couple little twists and turns. Now, we're ready to fire up the torch. Set up your torch so there's just an inch or three quarters of an inch of blue flame coming off the tip. And, touch the tip of that blue flame to the work. Now, you're not trying to melt your solder. You're trying to heat up your work piece, so the solder melts when it touches the work piece. And, once that solder starts to melt, the flux will draw into place. Be careful of where that fire, that flame is going. If there's wood nearby, or any flammable materials, be very careful. Use a flame guard, and don't hurt yourself. If you have any doubts about what you're doing in your home plumbing system, call a licensed and insured professional plumber. I'm Chris Palmer, thanks for watching. That's how you sweat copper pipe.


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