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08 March 2007

How To Sweat a Copper Pipe

You will have to have a hot water line leading to the dishwasher. If you do not already have a Tee in the hot water supply underneath your sink this might involve a little sweat-soldering of copper pipes. This is not too hard to do once you have seen it done correctly. I will try to explain it and then place a link for a comprehensive 7 minute vidoe demonstration.

The first step will be to sand the ends of the copper tubing being joined. You can do this with an emery cloth or buy a wire brush made for this purpose. Make sure they are clean and bright after sanding. Then smear flux all over the mating surfaces. This will clean the surface and allow the solder to flow and bond to the metal. Your next step will be to fit the two ends together and light up your torch. You want the inner flame of the torch to touch the copper tubing. The solder will flow from the colder section to the hotter section. Once the pipe is hot enough, you will probably see it smoking and when you touch the solder to it the solder will just melt. Touch the solder to the joint and allow it to flow into and around the joint until it drips out the bottom. Take the heat and solder away and then use a heavy rag to smooth the joint.

We did most of the soldering on top of ceramic tiles on a work bench away from the sink. In this way we ony had one joint to solder while in a tight space. Below you can see the new tee, valve, and threaded connection that we soldered together for the supply line. You should have a valve dedicated to your dishwasher.

Notice, the piece of tile behind the connection. This is what we used to keep from catching anything on fire. You can also use a metal sheet or fire-retardent blanket. Below is a link to the video demonstration.



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trade plumbing supplies said...

Copper's excellent corrosion resistance is an important reason for its choice in so many applications. Solar energy systems, for example, benefit from copper's resistance to both atmospheric and aqueous corrosion.

Plumbing Fittings said...

Copper pipe sweating is now no sweat for people like me! Great thanks for posting this article!

Vinod said...

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