How to solder copper refrigerant tubing

Weld copper pipe

How to weld copper pipe? Well you don’t always have to! Soldering implies that copper is soldered with a metal having lower melting point and must be soldered with silver-based components. Refrigeration technicians have reported that a technique called soft soldering can be used to reduce costs. Sweating copper pipe.

Analysing that statement:

  • Soldered copper tubing is installed for refrigeration systems. Solders can be formed with many combinations, Tin/lead and Tin/antimony are not recommended, as they are of less strength. But Tin/silver is a preferable option in order to avoid welding copper pipe.
  • By cleaning, fluxing, and heating a copper plumbing joint we remove any oxidation. Nitrogen is not required to do this, which will reduce the cost in a large scale. The other advantage is that, there is no need to carry the cylinder around with you.
  • On using a Tin/silver to solder the copper pipe we get the advantage of handling a smaller torch with less heat can be used to weld. This implies less weight in carrying the equipment. Another advantage is, less heat means less damage and need to less cautious. The only disadvantage is that they are limited if service temperatures exceed this.
  • Servicing of the equipment is a pain to the user. It is better to follow the instructions and recommendations of the manufacturer. They tend to be conservative in what they recommend and that may be implying to use copper brazing over soldering.

Soldering basics for a sweat connection:

  • Measure the cuts and clean them. Apply flux and spread them but do not apply on the ends, rather rotate the fittings.
  • This action will allow the flux to spread on the inner surface of the fitting as well. The type of flux depends on the type of metal used.
  • Light the torch and move the torch. The movement of the torch is suggested strongly to avoid over heating of the parts. The heated parts will make it easier to melt the flux.
  • Move the flame away from the joint. When the temperature is correct to melt the solder, stop applying heat directly. You are now sweating copper pipe.
  • Continue copper soldering by touching the solder on the copper fitting plumbing joint section, until a ring is formed by the solder material. The silver solder will make joining the refrigerant copper tubing and components a much easier process.

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