How To Solder Copper Pipes


Copper is a durable, clean material for plumbing that can be joined using solder for a leak-free connection

Solder Copper Pipes

Copper pipe has been used for plumbing for a long time because of its many great qualities, including durability, flexibility, resistance to bacteria and ease of installation. Copper pipe is also environmentally friendly since it can be recycled.

This guide will show you how to use solder to connect copper pipes to ensure no leaks.


Prepare inside of fitting
Prepare inside fitting - Solder Copper Pipes

Ream the inside of each fitting with a wire brush.

Clean outside of pipe
Clean outside of pipe - Solder Copper Pipes

• Use emery cloth or steel wool to clean the outside of the pipe.
• Use a deburring tool or the handle of a pair of pliers to deburr the inside of the pipe.

Apply flux to pipe
Apply flux to pipe - Solder Copper Pipes

• Apply a thin layer of lead-free soldering paste (flux) to the end of the pipe using a flux brush. The paste should cover about 1 inch of pipe.
• Insert the pipe into the fitting, making sure it is tight against the bottom of the fitting.
• Twist the fitting slightly to spread the flux.

Unwind solder wire
Unwind solder wire - Solder Copper Pipes

You will need 8 to 10 inches of the wire extended from the spool. Bend the first 2 inches to a 90-degree angle.

Heat the fitting
Heat the fitting - Solder Copper Pipes

• Light the propane torch.
• Hold the tip of the flame against the middle of the fitting for 4 to 5 seconds or until the soldering paste begins to sizzle.
• Heat the opposite side of the fitting to ensure the heat is evenly distributed.

Touch the solder to the pipe
Touch solder to pipe - Solder Copper Pipes

If the solder melts, the pipe is ready to solder.

Remove flame from fitting
Remove flame from fitting - Solder Copper Pipes

Quickly insert ½ to ¾ inches of solder into the joint.

Clean the fitting
Clean the fitting - Solder Copper Pipes

• Wipe away the excess solder with a rag.
• After the pipe and fitting have cooled, install the pipe, turn on the water and check for leaks.
• If the joint leaks, take it apart and resolder it.