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In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shares tips on soldering pipe.


  1. Use a cleaning strip or an emery cloth to clean the outside of the copper pipe and the inside of the copper fitting.
  2. Use an acid brush to apply flux onto the pipe end and inside the fitting.
  3. Push the fitting onto the pipe until they fit tightly together.
  4. Thread the torch tip onto the propane cylinder, then open the valve and ignite the propane with a striker or a built-in igniter.
  5. Adjust the valve to create a sharp, well-defined pencil-tip flame.
  6. Use the torch to apply heat to one side of the copper fitting.
  7. Once the flux starts to bubble, press the solder against the opposite side of the fitting.
  8. Wait for the heat to melt the solder, then and draw the solder into the joint.
  9. Remove the flame and gently wipe away any excess solder with a dry cloth.
  10. When soldering existing pipes, be sure to drain all water out of the pipes first.
  11. Use a fireproof heat shield to protect wood framing, insulation and other combustibles from the torch flame.