How to solder copper to brass – The sweat connection

Soldering is technique which involves a metal with lower melting to join a metal with higher melting point. Copper is often used with brass fittings and soldering them involves the use of some tools, they are:

  • Propane or Mapp gas torch
  • Heat shield- To prevent from getting burnt though handling with correct tools should do the trick.
  • A mirror (optional) – Required in intricate work where the other end can’t be seen from the work perspective.
  • Soldering wire- The solder material in wire.
  • Flux- Used to provide a firm solder between copper and brass and prevents the insides from oxidation. Oxidation prevents the solder from sticking to the brass and copper.
  • Cleaning brush How to clean copper pipe – To remove burs. Sand paper will work too, but cleaning brush will do a better work.

Soldering basics: How to solder copper fittings to make the sweat connection

  1. Measure the copper pipe and the brass fittings. None of the fittings should be large or too tight. Correct fit is the first step in getting a neat solder.
  2. Remove the burs using a 3/4 inch cleaning brush. A shiny look on the outside should do. The shinier the better.
  3. Apply the copper pipe ends with flux and even out the application with brush strokes.
  4. Take the brass fitting and screw them down onto the copper. The screwing motion is to let the flux stick to the insides of the brass fittings as well.
  5. Soldering copper pipe: Before soldering the joints are to be heated to a point where the metal glows. Light up the torch and start heating the metals. Move the torch in a way that will help the heat spread evenly. When heated too much the metal starts glowing in a red shade. This would mean you have to let the metal cool down a bit before you solder.
  6. Sweating pipes: Once the correct temperature is been attained, place the solder perpendicular to the joint. This is to let the solder flow into the joint. Touch the tip of the solder wire at the point where the joint is and keep moving it along the joints. The solder wire will melt itself. Follow the path with the torch to ensure it has stuck.
  7. Once all the gaps are filled in with the soldering wire let the metal cool down. When it is still warm wipe off with a wet rag to remove any excess solder running along.
  8. Congrats- You now know how to solder properly and how to solder copper pipe!

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