Summary: Learn how to solder copper pipes.
Solder, which comes in wire form, is a metal alloy that is easily melted. It is useful for joining together other materials and forming water-tight joints. It is often used for joining copper water pipes together. Although the idea of melting the solder to form a secure joint is simple, it can be a tricky skill to master and may require a little bit of practise first.
When solder is placed on the inner surface of the joint then this is known as a solder-ring joint. You do not need to add any solder to solder-ring joints, however solder needs to be added to end-feed joints.
Soldering copper pipes
Before you can solder a joint, the pieces of pipe must already be cut to length and have been filed down to remove any burrs.
- Start by igniting the blow torch. While this is heating up, scrub clean the ends of the pipes that will be joined together using steel wool.
- Add some flux paste to make the joint as clean as possible.
- Slide all the lengths of pipe together that you want sealed and make sure they are fitted together properly.
- Using the blow torch, heat the joint where the two pipes meet all the way round. Touch one end of the wire solder against the joint to see if it is hot enough to melt. When the pipes joint is hot enough to melt the solder, apply the solder around the joint to form a seal.
- Repeat this process with all joints you want to seal. Once you have finished and the solder has cooled, wipe away any excess flux and check the seal is successfully covering the whole joint.
Soldering copper pipe video
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- Tap repairs
- Burst pipe
- Self cutting taps
- How to cut pipe
- How to replace a bath
- How to replace a toilet
- How to use a pipe bender
- Push fit fittings