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Soldering Copper Pipe Basics

+ Noisy Pipes / Water Hammer Fix

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Alright so today on Repairs101 I’m going to go over the basics of soldering copper pipe by cutting into an existing water line and installing an air chamber cushion to fix noises known as “water hammer”.

OK safety first. Do not use solder containing lead like I have here for plumbing to the kitchen, bathroom, garden or barn. It’s only to be used for heating systems and plumbing to machinery.

Tools of the trade

Now you’ll need a pipe cutter. They have one cutting wheel and two idlers and the pipe gets cut by increasing the tension to the cutting wheel bolt and circling the pipe.

Now once you’re sure you’ve got all the water out of the system you’re going to want to thoroughly clean all of the points that you’re going to apply solder to using some fine sandpaper. Including the ends and the insides of brand new stuff, too.

Solder paste or flux does a couple of different jobs. It’s going to remove oxidation. Prevents further oxidization of the surfaces that are going to be joined and it draws solder onto those surfaces.

Once you’re thoroughly coated in flux – fit it all together and then wipe away the excess paste. So the pipe creates a chamber of air trapped above the flow of water. When a shock is created by the sudden stop to the flow of pressure water. The water compresses the trapped air and releases its energy in doing so. I use propane generally but you can use oxy-acetylene, Map gas or even butane.

I like a nearly clear flame with a blue tipped center. Heat the parts evenly until the flux starts to boil. Then it will be hot enough to liquefy the solder. While some fluxes may require acetone to clean up. Water soluble solder paste should clean up with just a wet rag. Alright, thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe!

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