How to Solder Copper Pipes

Copper pipes can be very expensive to replace. Instead of replacing them you may want to solder them in order for them to work better.

Some of the things you will need to solder copper pipes are:

* Flux
* Solder
* Propane torch
* Copper pipes
* Safety glasses
* Sturdy gloves (preferably leather)

Here are some steps to take when soldering copper pipes

*
The first thing you need to do is make sure the pipe or pipes are clean. If there is water present on the pipes it will cause problems when you are soldering. Make sure the pipes and the area you are soldering in is dry. Wipe down all the pipes with a dry cloth, rag, or paper towels.

* Now that the area is clean and dry you can place the flux to the end of the pipe that you are starting to solder. Usually when you are applying the flux it will have the feel of Vaseline. It also does not take much of the flux for the soldering to work.

* After the area that you are soldering has been coated you need to slide a sleeve, which is a joining piece, and then hold it in place. To do this you can use vise grips.

* Heat the copper pipe with the propane torch close to the sleeve until the time when the solder melts on contact. You want to make it hot enough so that the solder melts easy but you do not want to make it too hot. When you do it a few times you will get the hang of it and find out how long it will take.

* When the solder melts on contact you should touch the solder to the pipe where it comes together with the sleeve. Capillary action will pull the melted solder into the space that is between the pipes. This will happen unless you are making the solder too hot. This should only take a few seconds.

* If you happen to be working on a pipe that has some water inside of it and you are not able to get the water out soldering will still work. But you have to be careful as the heat will turn the water to steam and it may burn you if you get too close. If you see steam start to come out of the pipe you can keep working but watch out for the steam.

SAFETY TIPS

* You will be using a torch so you have to first make sure before soldering that you are comfortable with it. If you do not know how to use a torch make sure you do before you begin the job. Not knowing how to use the torch can lead to SERIOUS injuries.

* Make sure there is no flammable material in the area where you are working in. Flammable chemicals should be placed a safe distance away from your work area.

* When using vice grips You have to know that they DO conduct heat so be sure not to hold the vice grip too tight and make sure to wear gloves when holding the vice grips.

Author: Jason Green