What is Soldering?

As noted, soldering is a bonding technique in which molten solder joins two metallic surfaces by applying a melted filler metal (solder) to the joint. As the solder cools, it solidifies, producing a solid mechanical bond.

When soldering pipes, valves, and fittings in a plumbing application, it is essential to produce air-tight and water-tight connections that withstand high pressure and temperature. This process can involve different types of solder in one of three techniques: soft soldering, hard soldering, and brazing.

How to Solder: Tips to solder joints or pipes successfully

Now that you understand solder and soldering, you may be wondering about proper techniques. Once you have all the tools to achieve a perfect solder, the general steps are to prepare materials, heat the joint, apply solder to the joint, and cool and inspect the soldered joint.

However, before starting the soldering process, avoid these five common mistakes for a leak-free joint.

1. Gather your materials

As previously discussed, you must determine the solder type necessary for your application. Once you know the appropriate solder, decide which flux and pipe-cleaning tools you need. Learn more about pipe cleaning and flux in sections three and four.

6. Cool, inspect, and clean

Once the soldered joints are thoroughly cool, examine each to ensure it is smooth, consistent, and free of any flaws. Use warm water and soap to remove any excess flux from the pipe. Due to its acid content, excess flux will continue eating away at the pipe, causing it to patinate.

For further guidance on soldering techniques, check out our video tutorial on How To Solder Copper Pipes.

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