If the home features copper plumbing, the homeowner should learn how to fix it. This knowledge will come in handy if a repair is needed or when new plumbing lines must be run to a fixture. Sweating copper sounds like a difficult project but this job is actually quite fun!
You will need:
• Copper fittings
• Copper pipes
• Copper tubing cutter or hacksaw
• Flux brush
• Flux (solder cleaning paste)
• Propane or propylene torch
• Lead-free solder roll
• File or ¾ or ½-inch wire-fitting brush
• Copper cleaning brush
• Work gloves
• Safety goggles
Step 1: Put the copper pipe into the vice and use a copper tubing cutter or hacksaw to cut the pipe to the correct length.
Step 2: With the file or a wire-fitting brush, remove the burs that remain on the cut edge. Take care not to touch this area, as the small pieces of metal could become lodged in your skin. Wearing work gloves is a good idea.
Step 3: Use a special copper cleaning brush to clean this end of the pipe. Clean the pipe until the surface appears bright all around and then clean inside the copper fittings that will be used.
Step 4: Use the flux brush to apply the flux (soldering paste) inside the fittings and to the cleaned end of the copper pipe.
Step 5: Attach the fitting to the pipe end and put on the work gloves and safety goggles. Apply the propane or propylene torch flame to the middle of the fitting. This will heat both the pipe and fitting ends simultaneously. Do not apply any heat directly to the area that was fluxed.
Step 6: Solder joints together with the flame. Only a small amount of solder is required around the entire circumference of the pipe.
Step 7: Use the towel to wipe off any excess solder.