HOW TO SOLDER PAINTED COPPER PIPE – Plumbing Tips

Posted by in Plumber Talk, on July 20, 2017


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This video covers the basics of how to solder painted copper pipe. This can be a problem if you do not use a proper cleaning cloth and burn the paint away before soldering. We show you how it’s done!

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Hold tight, and welcome to today’s Plumberparts.co.uk video. Today we’re gonna be looking at a really simple thing, it’s something we’ve been asked by a few people over the last couple of weeks, mainly apprentices, I’d say, I dunno. But the question is, “how do you solder pipe that’s got paint on it?” Or, how you’d like to say it, “how do you solder painted copper pipe?” It’s a fallacy, the answer to this question, because you can’t solder painted copper pipe. That’s the thing, alright? So I’ve got some old copper pipe that’s got some paint on it, we’re gonna pop it in the vice now, and I’m gonna show you the quick method of cleaning it, getting it prepared so you can solder it, but this also works for compression fittings, and also push-fit fittings, and all different types of stuff. Clean pipe is a good way to go. So I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope you enjoy the facts that we’re now currently in K, when it comes to image quality but hopefully in a couple weeks’ time, we’ll be in K. (clap) Anyway, enjoy the video! Hold tight!
Before we continue, as well, don’t worry, I am going to be getting a wide-angle lens soon, so you can see all of this, okay? So anyway, look, we’ve got some old pipe here, as you can see, it’s been painted. What I’m gonna do is, let’s just cut a bit off here now, grab a pipe slice. I can wring a bit off there. By the way, yesterday I was at PHEX, the plumbing and heating exhibition down at Chelsea Football Grounds. And that was a good laugh, loads of people getting really drunk so my kind of people. Great to see some of you down there, as well, enjoyed every minute, it was great. The people who had their photos taken with us, send some in, maybe, unless you wanna keep them for personal use.
Anyway, right, so here we go. As you can see, this new space that we’re gonna use is incredibly clean. God damnit. So the first thing you need to realise, right, is that you cannot be soldering onto this stuff here. This horrible paint and that is going to stop any of your solder properly running around and getting a lovely cling to the copper underneath, and even the copper’s dulled, so I’d recommend you do this to pipe that doesn’t even have paint on it, it just needs a bit of a clean. So this is the way I always do it.
The first thing that I always find really helps is basically, you heat this beast up a little bit, okay? You see all that paint crackling on there? Now that is gonna make this come off so much easier than what it did before. So that’s the first thing. Right, now, sometimes you can grab the pipe here, with just a small set of grips, okay? And as you ring round this, okay, and some of this, quite a lot of this excess paint will come off. The best thing to do, I always find, is to grab yourself a beautiful bit of emery cloth. Oh my God! Look at that emery cloth! Now we’re going to wind it right about now. Look at that. Cleaning it down like you’ve never seen it before, oh my God, that is amazing. See how clean that is? See how clean that pipe is underneath? You get all round the pipe, okay, we’re gonna give it a really, really good clean now, a really good wipe-down.
So as you can see here now, this pipe is completely clean, and it looks amazing, and it’s ready to be soldered onto. So, just gonna quickly cut another bit of pipe off. Sometimes, you’re not going to be able to get a torch round it very easily, or something like that. You know, to get this sort of paint off, and sometimes as well, the scorching can look a little bit shabby. But let’s face it, the customer you’re really gonna work for is probably goona wanna paint the pipe in the area you’re working on anyway. Now, for particularly stubborn bits of paint, sometimes you’re gonna need a file to get it off. So you can file around here like that. Just be careful when you’re doing that, to not file a flap on the side of your pipe, ’cause that could be an area where solder can’t fill, and it could cause a leak.
We’ve cleaned that little bit there, our little run of emery cloth still going strong, so that’s okay. Look, I mean, emery cloth is the one. A lot of other plumbers also use dish-scouring pads, they can do. See, look at that, that is absolutely amazing. Two beautiful lovely clean bits there. Always take a look around the back.

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