How To Solder

Soldering copper pipe and fittings is very easy for the average home owner and requires only a few tools that can be purchased at the local hardware store. Follow these steps and watch the video to learn how to solder.

Tools Required

  • Pipe cutter
  • Torch and propane cylinder
  • Sand cloth or sand paper
  • Fitting brush
  • Soldering paste and a small brush
  • Lead free solder
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses

Steps for soldering copper and brass

  • Always have the fire extinguisher handy and wear safety glasses and gloves.
  • Ensure the section of pipe is completely drained of water by isolating the area with valves and opening faucets to drain the pipe.
  • Cut your pipe to the desired length
  • Clean all the ends of the pipe with sand cloth until they are shiny. Even a little dirt left on the pipe will prevent solder from sticking to it.
  • Take a fitting brush and clean the inside of the fittings. If you don't have a fitting brush, sand cloth will work, just roll it up.
  • Apply a coating of soldering paste to the ends of the pipe and inside of the fittings with a small brush.
  • Fit all the pipe and fittings together and fasten in place if necessary with a piece of strapping or pipe clamp.
  • Ignite your torch and hold the flame about a 1/2 inch from the fitting. If you are soldering a vertical fitting start at the bottom because heat will rise and melt out the solder if you don't.
  • Place the end of the solder to the fitting and when it melts you should see it go all the way around the fitting. Remove the flame and touch up the fitting with solder. Repeat for the rest of the fittings.
  • With a wet cloth wipe away the excess soldering paste and test your work by slowly turning back on the water.