How to solder plumbing

Is it hard to solder copper pipe?

Soldering copper water supply lines is not a difficult skill. Even a rookie can learn to solder leak-proof joints in 30 minutes. The process is simple—if you follow a few basic guidelines. In this story we’ll show you how to solder copper quickly and easily.

Can I solder a pipe with water in it?

Don’t try to solder pipes with water in them. Soldering a joint in pipes that contain even tiny amounts of water is nearly impossible. Most of the heat from the torch goes into turning the water to steam, so the copper won’t get hot enough to melt the solder . Stop the trickle of water with a pipe plug.

What kind of solder do you use for plumbing?

Acid core solders are most often used in plumbing applications to join metal pipes or sheet metal. Rosin core solder is also fabricated with a hollow core inside the solder wire, but the flux used is a milder variety made of rosin, which is a solid form of resin derived from conifers such as pine.

Do you need flux to solder?

Additional flux is unnecessary for most applications, but using additional flux still may make the solder easier to work with for some tasks. When selecting flux core solder , it is important to use rosin core solder for electrical applications. Acid core solder should only be used for plumbing applications.

How long do you have to wait after soldering copper pipe?

Be sure to wait until the solder has cooled (2-3 minutes) before pressurizing the line to avoid the solder cracking due to a quick change in temperature.

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Can you use too much flux when soldering?

If you are using normal solder wire, it contains all the flux you need. If you are soldering copper pipe for example, excess flux will simply probably not compromise the joint, but will simply drip away.

Why is the solder not sticking to copper pipe?

the solder is hot enough, but the copper is not hot enough. Heat the copper more before applying the solder . If you’re using a good flux, then the copper isn’t clean enough. It needs to be cleaned with steel wool, it must be shiny clean on the outside of the pipe .

Can you overheat copper pipe when soldering?

Overheating is a major problem when brazing or soldering copper pipe because the flux will burn (become oxidized), stop working, and become a barrier to tinning. In addition, a heavy oxide can be formed on the pipe itself, preventing a bond from forming between the filler metal and the pipe surface.

Can I solder over old solder?

He CAN heat the existing solder to melt it so additional solder can be added to “cover up” the leak, BUT it will still be a bad joint because the problem is INSIDE the joint, not at the surface, and without flux, among other things, the new solder WILL NOT penetrate into the joint.

Does solder flux go bad?

Flux cored solder wire has a limited shelf life determined by the alloy used in the wire. For alloys containing more than 70% lead, the shelf life is two years from date of manufacture. But in our personal experience, this kind of solder seems to generally work just fine, even many years past its nominal shelf life.

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Why do plumbers use bread?

” Use the bread to stop the leaks,” says Larry. According to Larry, the plumber , when you need to solder a copper pipe that has a leak, first stuff it with a tightly rolled pie of fresh white bread ! Fresh bread is the key, he insists. The bread will stop the leak long enough to get the soldering done.

What’s the difference between electrical solder and plumbing solder?

Perhaps the key difference between electrical and plumbing solder is the type of flux used in each application. Flux is used to clean the metals to be joined, removing any oxidation and preventing any from forming. Typically, electrical solder contains rosin core flux; plumbing solder uses an acid-based flux.

What do you use flux for when soldering?

The flux also protects the metal surfaces from re-oxidation during soldering and helps the soldering process by altering the surface tension of the molten solder . Flux is made up of a base material and an activator which is the chemical that promotes better wetting of the solder by removing oxides from the metal.

Why does my solder not stick?

Flux removes oxidation from metals, and it’s crucial because solder won’t stick to oxidized metals, and metals oxidize very quickly at soldering temperatures. 3. Not enough heat: A 15 Watt iron is fine for small chips, but any larger connectors or wire bigger than 16 gauge will cause problems.