8 tips for soldering copper pipe

8 tips for soldering copper pipe


Today at the House of Hacks, we’re going to
cover eight tips for soldering copper plumbing. [Introduction] Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers. Harley here. We’ve been talking the last several episodes
about soldering and this is the third in the trilogy where we’re going to be talking about
tips for soldering copper plumbing. If you’ve already subscribed to House of Hacks,
I just want to give you a great big THANKS for joining me as we go through this creative
journey that we’re on together. If you haven’t subscribed, I’d encourage you
to go check out the channel and see if it’s something you’re interested in. Tip number one is to use a tubing cutter. This is a medium sized and this is a little,
tiny, baby one. The advantage of this one is it gets in small
places where you may be constrained on space. This one is the one I prefer though because
it’s bigger and you have more leverage. You’ve got more leverage on the handle where
you’re turning the knob to tighten things down and you also have more leverage when
you’re turning the tubing cutter around. Get one of these if you’re going to be working
with copper tubing to any great extent. They’re really easy to use. They make a really nice, clean cut. They make things go a whole lot faster. Tip number two is to remove the burrs. There’s two easy ways of doing this. The first is to use the part of the cutter
that comes with the tubing cutter. It has a little triangular piece that you
can ream out the burrs with. The other is to use a rat tail file. These work equally well if you use either
a tubing cutter that doesn’t have a burr remover or if you’re using a hack saw to cut it. Tip number three is to clean the pipes. You want to make sure it has a bright, shiny
surface on it. The way that I prefer to do that is to use
one of these little brush tools that are designed for pipes. It has two sizes: 3/4 and 1/2 inch for the
two most common pipe sizes. And it has holes for getting the outside of
the pipe and it has little brushes that fit on the inside to clean out the insides. If you don’t have one of these brushes, emery
cloth works really well too. It’s just a little bit more of a pain to use. Tip number four is for those situations where
you’re working on plumbing that has already had water put in it. Of course you want to turn the water off first. Make sure there’s no pressure on it before
you cut into it otherwise you’re going to have a big mess. But sometimes there’s residual water that
remains in the pipes that’s hard to get out. And any water that happens to be in the pipe
will pull heat away from the joint, it’ll vaporize and make the whole job much more
difficult. A great way to get around that is a little
piece of bread. All you have to do is take this and stuff
it in the pipe. Push it up as far as you can with your finger. Make sure it’s got enough in there to be packed
in there pretty good and that’ll keep the water from coming down into your joint and
after you’re all done, the water, turn it back on, will just wash it all away. It’s a great way to keep water from interfering
with your plumbing joint. And then you can slather butter on the rest
of the bread and take a break to have enough energy for the rest of the project. Tip number five is to use flux. It might be a little tempting to try to get
by without it but you really don’t. This makes the project work a whole lot better. Tip number six is to have a fire extinguisher
or water on hand. You don’t want to be burning down the house. Tip number seven is for those cases where
you’re working around wood or other combustible materials. Make sure you have a heat shield. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just a bit of metal that will keep the heat
away from the combustible material. And be sure to use pliers to hold it. Otherwise it may get hot and you may end up
burning yourself instead of the house. Tip number eight. Once you’ve turned the water back on, you
need to be sure to check for leaks. A great way of doing that is to use a piece
of tissue paper or toilet paper. Both will work equally well. You just rub this around the joint and it
will change color and swell up if you have any water leaks. A great way of doing that. Thanks for joining me on this creative journey
we’re on. If you’ve already subscribed, again I want
to give you a great big thanks for supporting this channel and for going along on this journey
on a continuing basis with me. If you’re new to House of Hacks, I believe
everyone has a God-given creative spark. Sometimes this manifests through making things
with a mechanical or technical bent to them. Around here at House of Hacks, I like to do
things out of wood, metal, electronics and photography. So if you’re interested in these kinds of
projects, how-tos, tutorials, that sort of thing, I’d encourage you to subscribe and
I’ll see you again in the next video. Until then, go make something. Perfection’s not required. Fun is!

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