No announcement yet.

Soldering copper pipe?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Soldering copper pipe?

    I'm working on a plumbing project at home and it's been a long time since I've last soldered. I need to purchase some solder and flux and I'm confused on what type of flux to buy. I know i need to buy lead free solder but what type of flux is best for copper pipe? Any other advise would be appreciated too.


  • #2
    Just buy the kit like aweaver suggested - figure that the solder and flux must by compatible. Also pick up a couple of the "plumber's fire resistant" cloths while you're there. The fun of blowing/stomping out little wood framing fires next to your joints goes right away when the wife walks in. Trust me on this one.
    Stickmate LX AC/DC
    Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
    Hand cranked coal forge
    Freon bottle propane forge
    HH 210 and bottle of C25


    • #3
      There is one kind of flux that is pretty neat...I forget the name...but it is tinning flux or something like that. It has some solder in the flux itself...makes soldering a piece of cake.

      Also don't forget to clean those joints well with some steel wool or sand paper or emery cloth. VERY important.

      Aweaver's indea of those little plug things is a good one, especially if you mess up and find you have a bad joint AFTER you turn the water on. You can also use a rolled up piece of bread to accomplish the same thing. It will come out the faucet without problem...old plumber's trick someone told me about. If you doubt it, roll up a piece of bread, then put it in a glass of water and check it out in a few minutes...

      Clean both joint parts, apply flux to both pieces before assembly, ample heat, let the joint melt the solder [not the flame], watch the solder get sucked into the joint...that is all there is to it.

      IF there is ANY water in the pipe at the joint, you will not get it hot enough to melt the solder until all the water is boiled out. This can be difficult to make it may condense and drop back down...a never ending cycle.

      Soldering copper pipe is easy...have fun!

      Near Pgh, PA


      • #4
        Thanks for your help guys!


        • #5
          the bread trick is a neat way to deal with water in the lines. it's bailed me out many times.


          • #6
            I also have used the bread trick many times. Works like a charm and is cheap. Also keep a wet rag handy to wipe the joint with right after soldering. Makes a much neater looking job.


            • #7
              Aw comon all you kids want to use bread, and of course Weaver has found some kind of thermal disolving paintball. Haven't any of you ever used a Co2 fire extinguisher to freeze the water right in the pipe and form a Ice plug? Of course you can also use a 20# Co2 bottle from a beverage system too. Works like a charm on hydronic heating systems.


              • #8
                Solder paste

                I solder pipe every day and I wouldn't say buy any cheap flux. I have specific brands that I buy and that work well. The reason I say this is that different fluxs have different burning points. As soon as the flux starts to burn you have just screwed up. The next thing you will see is alot of black soot on the pipe and the solder knotting up. When you turn the water on you will see that nice little fine stream of water shooting out of the joint you just soldered. I like "Marlin",Oatey lead free paste in the metal can is good,(don't get the one in the kit in the plastic container as it is water soluable),No-corrode. Also don't buy just any lead free solder,as some of it sucks and doesn't flow. I like Oatey solder it costs a little more but it flows easy.(you can get that at Home Depot but probably not the flux. Loews might have the Oatey flux in the red metal can and it is ok. David>Dixon Plumbing & Electric


                • #9
                  I'll agree with David - the Oatey stuff is great, the solder in the flux makes things simpler. Oatey also makes a brush for cleaning the tubing and fittings - fits 1/2 and 3/4, both inside and outside - nice.

                  Allen T.


                  • #10
                    Thanks again guys. The sell Oatey products at my local Home Depot. I'll go an pick some up.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by atucker
                      I'll agree with David - the Oatey stuff is great, the solder in the flux makes things simpler. Oatey also makes a brush for cleaning the tubing and fittings - fits 1/2 and 3/4, both inside and outside - nice.

                      Allen T.
                      BTW, the 1/2" pipe brush makes a good Mig nozzle cleaner.


                      • #12
                        copper pipe.

                        All the info is very good. Just want to add: The flux in the can is good stuff for "new" installations. If you are looking at some older joints that need some help, and will be in the worst spots, close to stuff that does not like fire, be sure and get a bottle of "squirt" silver solder flux. It will tame that one spot on that one joint that's trying to burn the house down. Be careful.


                        • #13
                          I picked up some Oatey solder and flux this weekend and it worked great! It was the easiest time I've ever had soldering. Once again thanks for all your suggestions.