How To Solder Copper

The reason to solder a copper pipe is when you need to join two pipes together, but you don’t want to hire a plumber. There are several ways to do this and in this session we explain how to solder a copper pipe. Another method is using an attachment that clicks the copper pipe into the attachment and in this way joins the pipes together. However, it is important to know how to solve how to solder a copper pipe in the traditional manner.

You will need equipment to solder the pipes together. First you will need a gas cylinder to heat the copper pipe; lead-free solder [it must be lead free if you are using it for drinking water]; flux paste with a brush to apply it [the flux is used to add it to the pipe prior to soldering].

You will also need something to clean the copper pipe. There are various tools or equipment to do this – it could be sand or grit paper or a tool that you slip into slip the pipe into, that has wire brushes. A wire brush is also useful and used to clean the inside of the copper pipe prior to soldering it together.

You will also need a pipe cutter that has a blade on the top and a blade on the bottom. Use the tool to cut the pipe. Turn it each time you snug and turn the pipe, the pipe cutter cuts through the copper a little more. Most cutters have built-in deburring reamers. Use it to remount the inside of the pipe –¬† this is to smooth it out. Sometimes you will need to solder additional pipe to your existing fittings. If this is the case, be careful not to heat the pipe up too much when soldering.

When the pipe is clean both inside and outside, it is now time to apply the flux paste. You can use a brush or alternatively use a Q-tip or stick, particularly adding flux to the inside of the pipe. Do not use your fingers to apply the flux or it will contaminate and not solder correctly.

Now prepare to solder. Get your gas cylinder to heat the copper pipe on the top. Now get the solder, fold it at right angles and heat up the pipe at the back. Heat up the pipe at the joint front and place the solder at the back. You will know when it is hot enough as the solder will begin to melt. To summarise, heat the coupling at the front and then feed the solder over onto the opposite side. In this way, the solder is attracted to the heat source and so is spread. Done in this manner you will not need to solder around the complete side circumference of the pipe. Then call up plumbers Queenstown because you need their help.

When you have finished, take a wet rag and wipe it down. The wet rag helps to cool the pipe down. Always make sure you are wearing protective eye goggles and gloves when soldering.