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Need To Solder A 18 AWG Wire To Copper Pipe

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  • Brad Levy

    Connections like you are describing are usually done with clamping terminals, rather than solder.

    Search for "ground clamp", "copper pipe ground clamp", or "copper pipe earth clamp".

    I would clean the pipe and the wire with light sanding before clamping, to expose bright, clean, un-oxidized copper.

    If you feel it is imperative that it be a soldered connection, instead of screw clamp, then your challenge is going to be the very high thermal conductivity of copper pipe, which will drain heat away from where you are trying to solder to it. That is why plumbers use blow torches instead of soldering irons - to get enough heat. Be aware that you don't want to use the solder sold for plumbing, though, because it is the flux for plumbing solder is more corrosive.

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  • Boss .

    I have used the following technique for soldering a wire to a copper pipe.

    Using a solid copper wire, flatten the end and form roughly to the shape of the pipe.
    You will probably need an extra pair of hands for the soldering stage...
    Using a blow torch heat the pipe so a small amount of solder will flow (now up to temperature)
    Heat the end of the copper wire while still keeping the pipe hot, position on the tinned spot on the pipe, remove the blow torch and apply solder, reheat as necessary.

    As for flux, I have had no problems with plumbers potable pipe flux which is water washable.
    I also used lead-free plumbers solder.

    I learnt this technique from jewellery making for soldering silver wire to a sheet silver object with silver solder, this is much more tricky as the silver melts about 50C above the point the silver solder melts.
    You may benefit from another technique based upon this which is to apply the flux and silver solder pieces around the wire in contact with the pipe while cold.
    Use one of those "third hand" crocodile clip aids to hold the wire in position and then heat the pipe until the solder melts.  Jewellers flux does not appear to be corrosive.

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  • Richard Caldwell

    Thanks, guys ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

     

    I will visit the hardware store to get some potable pipe flux and lead-free plumbers solder to try. Did you use the plumber's solder or regulated electronic solder to solder the wire in place?

    Here is a link to what the  final design will look like:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/suy6puzk94rscpx/Dart%20Project%2011%20Shock%20Pony%20Yellow%20Feamle%20Banana%20Jack.jpg?dl=0 

    The main body is 3D printed.

     

    I plan to use an 18 AWG wire or should I use a larger gauge wire?.

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