In this video, Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains some general soldering techniques and how to connect water piping.
SUBSCRIBE to This Old House: http://bit.ly/SubscribeThisOldHouse.
Richard Trethewey sits down to explain how to solder and what goes into the process. Something we take for granted is modern plumbing. We have access to clean hot and cold water with a flip of a faucet handle. While PEX has gotten some recent popularity, copper piping is still industry standard for residential plumbing. Soldering is the process used to connect copper pipes together. Richard explains while soldering can be dangerous if not done carefully, the average homeowner could do it themselves. He defines what soldering is and explains how he does it, step by step. Richard also shares what he believes the future has in store for soldering.
Time: 30 minutes or less
Skill Level: Moderate
Safety glasses [https://amzn.to/3AXlfsF]
Igniter (if torch doesn’t have one built in) [https://amzn.to/2Y3OfjE]
Pipe cutter [https://amzn.to/3F3ZLwH]
Pipe cleaning tool(s) [https://amzn.to/2XXdxjz]
Deburring tool [https://amzn.to/39SM9G4]
Steps for soldering
1. Shut off water and make sure all the water has emptied from the pipes you are working on. Let the pipes dry before soldering or the connection won’t take.
2. Measure and cut the pipes to length using a pipe cutter. Have a bucket ready to catch any remaining water.
3. Clean the inside of the fittings with a wire brush. Clean the outside of the pipes with a wire brush or emery cloth. Clean up the inside of the pipes by removing any burrs that resulted from cutting the pipes.
4. Add flux to the inside of the fitting and the outside of the pipe.
5. Connect the pipe to the fitting. Making sure it is all the way in.
6. If you are working around wood, use a heat shield. Richard keeps a spray bottle of water handy to wet any wood that will be close to the flame.
7. Put on safety glasses while using a blow torch. Gloves are recommended in case you accidentally touch any hot surfaces.
8. Hold the torch on the opposite side of where you plan to apply to solder. Wait a few minutes to allow the pipe to heat up, and then gently touch the pipe with the solder. If it quickly wraps around the entire connection, then it took properly. If it did not, continue to heat the pipe up and try again.
9. Wipe down the excess solder with a rag.
Where to find it?
To solder, Richard explains that you need solder, flux, a blowtorch, a pipe cutter, and a pipe cleaning tool. Depending on the location of the work, protective items, such as a spray bottle of water or a flame shield, may also be needed. All of these items can be found at home centers and plumbing supply houses.
Looking for more step by step guidance on how to complete projects around the house? Join This Old House Insider to stream over 1,000 episodes commercial-free: https://bit.ly/2GPiYbH
Plus, download our FREE app for full-episode streaming to your connected TV, phone or tablet: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/pages/streaming-app
About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. Ask This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House:
Celebrating Craftsmanship | Soldering Basics | Ask This Old House