If you are a willing but slightly nervous DIY enthusiast you might believe that a task such as soldering a copper pipe might go badly wrong with your lack of experience, but jobs like this are rarely as challenging as you first fear.
Here are some reassuring words to help you put a soldering iron in your hand with a greater degree of confidence and start applying some fixes like repairing a pipe, knowing that you are going about it in the right way.
Learning how to do it properly
As is the case with so many DIY jobs, there is a definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about doing a job like soldering a copper pipe.
If you can take on board a few tips to help you understand the difference and avoid the common pitfalls along the way, you should not have fears about whether your handyman skills are up to scratch.
If you need tools and accessories for a job you can always get them online and delivered to your door quickly, and the same thing can be said about guidance and following a step-by-step guide if you get stuck.
Protecting the joints
The actual art of soldering accurately is something that you can soon pick up and improve your proficiency with once you tackle a few jobs.
The key point to remember is that it always pays to learn a few tips about how to prevent something going wrong as well as learning soldering techniques.
One of those useful tips is preparing for soldering by protecting joints from melting.
The way to prevent accidental damage to a nearby joint is to wrap a strip of damp cloth around the joint you are not soldering so that you reduce the risk of melting and weakening it while you apply heat nearby.
Working with a modern torch
You will now be working with a lead-free solder since the old lead version was banned and it would be wise to remember that the new version does tend to melt at a higher temperature.
The reason why that’s relevant is that if you are using a MAPP gas torch it will burn hotter than propane. This makes them a more efficient choice as a soldering iron as they should only take about ten-seconds of heating before working the solder into the joint, but it does mean that it’s easier to overheat a joint with a MAPP torch in your hand.
Be mindful of this and if you find that the flux turns black and the solder refuses to flow into the fitting, that is a sign that you have overheated the joint.
Use new fittings for best results
If you want to achieve the best result with your soldering and reduce the risk of a leak developing the best way to do this is to invest in new fittings rather than being tempted to recycle.
It might go against the grain to buy new fittings but you will get better results and it probably won’t take you as long to complete the task either.
Practice makes perfect, so the only way you are going to improve your DIY skills like soldering is to get stuck in and learn the right way to go about it.