• In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains how to solder copper pipes.


    1 Use emery cloth to clean outside of copper tubing.
    2 Clean inside of fitting with wire brush.
    3 Apply flux to pipe and fitting with acid brush.
    4 Slip fitting over pipe.
    5 Heat fitting with propane torch until flux bubbles.
    6 Apply solder to fill joint; wipe off excess solder with rag.
    7 For an easier way to sweat joints, use pre-soldered fittings, which require the application of heat only.
    8 For a no-solder flared connection, use flaring tool to deform end of copper tubing.
    9 Slide nut onto tubing, then tighten flared connection using two wrenches.
    10 For a no-solder compression fitting, slide brass ferrule onto pipe, add nut and tighten fitting to join two pipes together.
    11 Copper fittings lined with neoprene gaskets permit pipe connections without special tools, wrenches or a propane torch.
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    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Soldering copper pipe is easier than it looks, but doing it expertly and safely takes great care and practice

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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • propane torch
        Propane torch
      • copper fitting brush
        Pipe brush,
        used to clean inside of copper tubing and fittings
      • flaring-tool
        Flaring tool,
        used to deform end of copper tubing

      Shopping List

      1. Lead-free solder

      2. Emery cloth,

      used to clean outside of copper tubing

      3. Flux and acid brush

      4. Clean rag,

      used to wipe excess solder from joint

      5. Flared connection

      6. Compression fitting