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Vertical Copper Pipe Soldering Tips

Vertical copper pipe soldering can be tough.

Particularly if you’re new to soldering, but the tips in this tutorial make it much easier.

Plus, you’ll see how to safely solder copper pipes inside bathroom walls.

Let’s dive in!!

Vertical Copper Pipe Soldering Supplies

Here are the supplies I use to solder copper pipes:

  • Bernzomatic MAP Gas
  • Mag Torch Classic
  • H-20 Water Soluble Flux
  • Acid Brush for Flux
  • Oatey Safe-Flo Solder
  • Emery Cloth
  • Nylon Grit Pads
  • Ridgid Deburring Tool
  • Type L 1/2″ Copper
  • Flame Protector Pads
  • Ironclad Gloves

Don’t worry, you’ll see how to use all these supplies to make perfect soldered copper joints.

How to Prep Copper Pipes for Solder

The first step to prepping copper pipe for solder is to use emery cloth followed by a nylon grit pad.

How to Prep Copper Pipe

This process cleans the copper pipe and makes it shine.

Next, deburr both the inside and outside of the copper using a reamer. I like Ridgid’s pipe reaming tool because the slim size fits inside walls.

How to Deburr Copper Pipes

Also, use a wire brush to clean the inside of any fittings.

Finally, apply water-soluble flux to both the pipe and the fitting. I recommend only applying flux to the first 1/2″ of the pipe.

How to Apply Flux to Copper Pipe

After sliding the pipe and coupling together, remove all the flux from the copper pipes. This last step ensures solder will only flow up into the fitting via capillary movement.

How to Solder Vertical Copper Pipes

Oatey’s Safe Flo lead-free solder is one of the best options for beginners.

Best Solder for Copper Pipe

First, it’s lead-free, which is super important to stay within code requirements.

Second, create a 1/2″ hook on the end of the solder if you’re using 1/2″ copper pipes.

How to Add Hook to Solder

This provides a visual gauge of how much solder is being used during the sweating process.

The general game plan is to pre-heat the first 1/2″ of the copper pipe, specifically the bottom pipe. Then heat the bottom cup of the coupling.

In addition, if you’re new to soldering, use a flame protector pad inside walls. This prevents fires and well worth the $15; also, have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case there’s a fire!!

This short video shows tons of vertical copper pipe soldering tips and is well worth the 3 minutes!

What’s Next

Hopefully the copper pipe soldering tips in this tutorial help you with your project.

If you’re installing a Delta shower valve and using copper, this other lesson is invaluable.

Do you need help with your bathroom remodel?

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Soldering Quick Tips