Being able to solder copper pipe is one of those gritty skills like being able to drive a manual transmission or wire a light fixture that are not often used but come in really handy sometimes.
Before you tackle a solder onto your supply lines take a scrap piece of pipe, and practice with a cap or other fitting a time or two to get a feel for the process. And start with the torch dialed back a bit so there’s less chance of overheating the joint.
Over the years I’ve found that any leaks after soldering have been due to one of two things: Poor preparation of the pipe meaning I didn’t do a nice even sanding or the pipe was dented or gouged preventing a watertight seal after soldering. Or, paste flux issues: either my paste flux was old and suboptimal or I overheated the joint.
With good prep and a little practice any handy homeowner can solder copper pipes! And let me tell you that crafting a well-soldered copper joint is highly satisfying. Not unlike landing a silky smooth upshift or turning on that brand new light for the first time I suppose. Let me know if you find soldering as enjoyable as I do!
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