In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shares tips on soldering pipe.
- Use a cleaning strip or an emery cloth to clean the outside of the copper pipe and the inside of the copper fitting.
- Use an acid brush to apply flux onto the pipe end and inside the fitting.
- Push the fitting onto the pipe until they fit tightly together.
- Thread the torch tip onto the propane cylinder, then open the valve and ignite the propane with a striker or a built-in igniter.
- Adjust the valve to create a sharp, well-defined pencil-tip flame.
- Use the torch to apply heat to one side of the copper fitting.
- Once the flux starts to bubble, press the solder against the opposite side of the fitting.
- Wait for the heat to melt the solder, then and draw the solder into the joint.
- Remove the flame and gently wipe away any excess solder with a dry cloth.
- When soldering existing pipes, be sure to drain all water out of the pipes first.
- Use a fireproof heat shield to protect wood framing, insulation and other combustibles from the torch flame.