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Why do I need to use flux when soldering metal plumbing?

Copper Pipes for PlumbingCopper tube is widely used to transport both gas and liquid through many modern plumbing systems and it is an extremely durable material. It provides complete flexibility in terms of length and size and is available in both copper coils and copper lengths dependent upon the plumbing project and the layout of the installation space. Soldering is a great skill to learn and once mastered it can be useful for various plumbing repairs and maintenance.

Solders and Fluxes for PlumbingOf course, most homeowners seek the advice of a professional plumber for repairs and maintenance given the many skills required for certain elements within heating and plumbing systems. Soldering copper pipes or copper tubes rely on capillary action in order to create and form a well-sealed joint.  Soldering is the actual procedure of joining or connecting two metals together by use of the solder alloy. It is important to solder any plumbing or heating pipework to a high standard, as faulty solder joints can lead to extensive equipment failure.

The key focus of the soldering process is to achieve a leak-free, solid joint that is completely sealed, providing a long term result. Reliable solder connections can only be accomplished with truly cleaned surfaces and this is the job of flux. There are many fluxes and solders available that are suitable for both lead-free and lead-containing solder alloys. Applying these will allow for quick, easy and flawless joints and will help to create a well-sealed bond, providing a long term pipework system.

It is common for metal to react with air, especiialy when heated. This is why it is important to treat the copper pipe before any soldering begins and soldering flux is an ideal solution. It is actually formulated to remove any oxides from the metal before you solder and will also prevent the copper from oxidizing when heated, ensuring that the copper pipe and the solder can dissolve into each other to create an extremely tight seal.

Without forming this firm bond between both materials the plumbing joint is likely to corrode easily and the seal could break apart causing numerous problems, from small leaks to bigger leaks and pipe bursts that may cause extensive damage to the household.

Some fluxes are also water-based which means they are suitable for pipes that are connected to drinking water outlets.  Lead free solder and flux must be used in such circumstances for health and safety reasons. If you are unsure about what plumbing supplies and accessories you might require always seek expert advice before you attempt any installation. This ensures you follow all safety regulations and makes for an efficient, clean and easy installation process.

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