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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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