Easy2 Technologies - Soldering Copper Pipes Product Demo

Soldering Copper Pipes Instructions

  • Soldering Copper Pipes

    Soldering copper pipes is a basic plumbing skill. It can be as much an art as it is a science, thus the more you get the "feel for it", the faster and easier it gets.

    Soldering copper pipe, or “sweating” as they call it in the trade, involves using a propane torch to heat up the two pieces you are joining, solder is “sucked” into the joint and spreads evenly between the pipe and fitting. Once it cools, you should have a solid, leak-free joint that will last for years.

  • Overview

    Soldering copper pipes and fittings involves the following steps. First you need to cut and dry fit all the pieces. Then you clean and prepare the parts. Next you assemble and solder the joint. Finally, a quick swipe with a rag makes the joint look professional.

  • Planning Ahead

    Plan ahead. Determine all the materials you will need to complete your plumbing project. Make sure you have enough copper tubing and fittings to make all your turns, straight runs and other connections.

  • Cutting Copper Pipes

    A tubing cutter is a clamp-like cutter that rotates around the pipe as you cut. Align the blade of the tubing cutter with your cut mark. Tighten the clamp in place. Spin the cutter around the pipe a few times, tightening it after each full rotation. Repeat until the cut is complete.

    Use the reaming blade on the tubing cutter to remove the bur on the inside of the cut pipe.

  • Prepping Copper Pipes

    Take emery cloth and polish the ends of the straight pieces where they will be soldered. Polish until the metal is shiny and clean. This will remove any grease, dirt and oxidation that can prevent a leak-free joint.

  • Checking Pipe Fit

    Use a round wire brush to polish the insides of fittings. Before you start soldering, assemble your pieces to make sure everything is cut correctly. Make sure all joints fit together without "torquing" or twisting. If straight pipes do not slide easily into fittings, make sure they are not squashed into an oval shape. Re-cut any pipes that don’t fit well.

    Disassemble the pipes and use the flux brush to put a thin coat of flux on all surfaces that will be soldered. This includes the ends of straight pipes and inside of fittings. Assemble the pipes and fittings again.

  • Soldering the Joint

    Heat the area on the fitting where the straight pipe slides into it. Use the inner flame tip and move it around slightly so that it heats the whole overlapping area. After heating for about eight to ten seconds, touch the solder to the joint at its highest point. If it is adequately heated, capillary action should pull solder into the joint. If solder does not pull into the joint, apply more heat and try again. When solder drips out of the bottom, the joint is filled with solder.

    For a clean, professional finish, quickly brush off any excess solder from around the joint. Be careful – the joint is still hot.

  • Disassembling Joints

    To disassemble a joint, heat it up with your torch. While the joint is still hot, quickly grab the pipe and fitting with two pairs of pliers. Twist and pull the pipe and fitting apart. Be careful – they are hot! Using emery cloth you can clean the pipe and re-use it. Do not re-use fittings. They are too difficult to completely clean for a leak-free joint.


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