Any type of plumbing work is hard but there are some projects that aren’t impossible to complete yourself. Soldering your copper pipes together happens to be one of them. Don’t get the wrong impression, though – we said that the task isn’t impossible, which doesn’t make it easy as replacing a showerhead, for example. 

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In this article, we are going to show you two copper pipe bonding options that you can try out at home. Without further ado, read more about…

The tools you’ll need

This sort of project isn’t very easy on the budget – it requires quite an impressive list of materials. We advise getting everything needed ahead of time in order to avoid last-minute shopping trips. Here is what you have to purchase for the job:

  • Pieces of cloth;
  • Soldering torch;
  • General tube cutter;
  • Plumber’s sandpaper;
  • Wiring brushes;
  • Flux brush;
  • Copper pipes;
  • Copper fittings;
  • MAPP glass;
  • Pipe plugs and straps;
  • Solder flux.

How to solder copper pipes together

Now that you’ve purchased all of the materials that this project requires, the first that you should do is… 

Prepare the pipe

First, you need to do some preparation work – get some sandpaper or emery cloth and remove the copper oxide from the tubing area, which you have to insert into the fitting afterwards. You need to do this both on the inside and outside of the surface. It is vital for the project that all type of dirt, oils, grease, etc. is removed, so you don’t end up with a leaky joint. 

The same rule applies to water, as well. Make sure to thoroughly wipe the joints. Any present water will stop the soldering process, which can result in, you guessed it, a leaky fitting. 

Apply solder flux

After you are done with the cleaning part, you need to make sure to apply a good amount of solder flux to the area and then connect the fitting and tubbing. Again, you need to brush the product both on the inside and outside of the part. 

Melt some solder

It’s time for the fun part – preparing the torch. Light it up and tackle the device until you get a blue coloured flame. Place the flame right next to the connected fitting and tubbing. Move it around the parts where you are going to place the solder afterwards. Do this very carefully, slowly and make sure to test the melting point of the material. You can do this by pressing the tip of the wire to the joint. The idea behind the whole process is to heat up the solder wire to a melting point. This is done by positioning the tip of the flame on the tubing and touching the solder to the joint part. You want the solder to fill the space between the fitting and the tubbing. If you are working on bigger fittings, you’ll have to concentrate the flame ahead of the melted solder for this to happen. 

Don’t apply too much heat on the actual copper. Like we said earlier, constant movement is key here. The motion will prevent the metal from turning black. Still, if you get carried away and the copper gets dark, you’ll have to stop with what you are doing and re-do the whole cleaning process in order to avoid a leaky fitting.

Wipe any excess liquid solder

Remove all the excess liquid solder that you see with a piece of cloth, preferably a clean, cotton one. Carefully spray the area with a bit of water to set the solder. This will prevent the joint from moving around and creating a weak spot. 

Clean the piping

Get rid of any type of dirt, loose solder beads, etc. from the inside of the tubing after you are done with the whole soldering process. You can do this by using fresh water to flush the piping. This will also help you examine your work for any potential leaks. 

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How to solder copper pipes without a flame

If you don’t fancy the idea of dealing with fire, there is a heat-free solution that you can try, which is also a bit more budget-friendly. Without further ado – here is how to solder copper pipes without a flame:

  1. Buy any brand liquid durable polymer. This product is perfect for solderless copper bonding. Basically, you are glueing the parts together. The material is very durable and a lot easier to use. 
  2. Clean the pipes. As mentioned earlier in the article, cleaning the material you are working on is a very important step. Sandpaper the fitting and the joint and remove any excess metal particles with a cotton cloth. 
  3. Apply the adhesive. Brush the polymer adhesive on the external part of the copper pipe and to the inside of the fitting. Push the pipe into the fitting, twist it, and hold it in place for around 10 to 15 seconds. 
  4. Wait. The polymer adhesive will need 10 minutes to dry and create a strong bond between the joint and the fitting. Once completely dry, flush the piping to check for any leaks. 
Related: How to Test Water Pressure

Hire a professional

Soldering copper pipes together is no easy task and on top of that, it’s also a very expensive one. A lot of pricy materials are involved, which you won’t use in the future, the actual job is time-consuming – the list just doesn’t end. With that in mind, why don’t you just leave the whole thing in the hands of the professionals?

Fantastic Services offers expert plumbing solutions for situations exactly like this one. The specialists we work with are trained, vetted and work with high-quality equipment, tools, and materials. Their work schedule is extremely flexible and you can book them for any day of the week, including on public holidays. Don’t waste time wondering how to solder copper water pipes and give Fantastic Services a call today! 

Visit the main website for price rates on our professional plumbers!

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Takeaways

  • Make sure to clean the pipes you are going to work on very carefully and thoroughly in order to prevent leaks.
  • If you are soldering the pipes with a torch, avoid applying to much heat, so you don’t blacken the metal.
  • Be extra careful when preparing the torch. We don’t need to tell you how dangerous this device is. 

Did you found our article on how to solder copper pipes helpful? Leave your thoughts and advice regarding the topic in the comment section below! 

Image source: bit mechanic/shutterstock.com

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Have you ever needed to solder a copper pipe in your life? Did you do it yourself, or did you call a professional? Tell us in the comments!

  • Last update: October 28, 2019

Posted in Plumbing Tips

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