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Soldering pipework. (a brief guide).

Before you begin you will need some additional equipment:

Blowtorch or pipe soldering iron.

Heat Mat.

Solder.

Flux and flux brush.

Fire extinguisher.

Abrasive strips.



Blowtorch.

There are two ways to heat everything up, a blowtorch or an electrical pipe-soldering tool. Most plumbers will use the blowtorch. But for the amateur this will require some practice. These allow flame adjustment from high to low. The nozzle is very very hot so care is to be taken. Highbury Plumbers use blowtorches.

Heat mat.

To prevent fire and burn marks you will need to use a heat mat. This is made of a fireproof material. Used in conjunction with the fire extinguisher. You can buy these with a pre-cut hole in them for wrapping around pipework.

Solder.

Solder is an alloy of metals designed to melt (and seal the joint) at a relatively low temperature at least by comparison with other metals. This is lead free.

Flux.

This is a paste that helps the solder to run freely around the joint. The solder will melt in blobs if this is not used. A Highbury Plumber will always use flux.

Process.

Clean the pipework with an abrasive strip. Make sure all is smooth. Spread flux around the joint and pipe. Put the two pieces together. Never solder just one end of the fitting, always make sure it is connected to the pipework and then solder the entire piece. Heat up the pipework (the temperature is usually right when the copper starts to become discoloured) and apply solder to the joint. The solder should run around the joint evenly. Leave the joint to cool down then clean it with a damp cloth to remove any flux residue. You should be left with shiny copper and a tiny ring of solder neatly around the joint.







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