Plumbing Tubes: Tips on Good Workmanship

Maksal SABS 460/0

hard drawn copper tube together with the capillary solder system is in many cases the most cost effective and the system which offers the highest reliability.


  • NEVER use Acid core, Resin core or Lead solders.
  • NEVER melt the solder with the flame.
  • NEVER overheat a tube and fittings. Always test by removing the flame and applying the solder. When at the correct temperature the solder will be drawn into the joint.
  • WHEN soldering a tube to a tap first remove the washer.
  • WHEN male or female iron to copper fittings are to be used it is good practice to solder the joint first before screwing in the fitting. This prevents burning of the PTFE tape or hemp used on the thread.
  • ALWAYS feed the solder from the bottom up to the one side and then up the opposite side and not down from the top when soldering large size joints above 54mm.


  • ALWAYS use MAKSAL EVERFLUX for best results.
  • ALWAYS solder joints the same day you flux.
  • ALWAYS use flux sparingly - apply with a small brush.
  • ALWAYS wipe off residual flux after soldering.
  • ALWAYS flush system on completion of soldering.


  • Discourage the practice of annealing 460/0 tube in order to bend especially when a cross- over is required.
  • Discourage the use of fittings with short socket depths (Table 11, section 3.1.4).
  • A joint cannot be re-heated and pulled apart if there is water in the tube.
  • Repairing a nail hole: Cut a slip coupling in half (lengthwise), clean off burrs, apply flux and place over hole, hold in place with thin wire, heat and apply solder feeding around full circumference.

Remember when making cost comparisons the only effective comparison combines all the costs of the system, tube, fittings, extras and labour. One should never cost and compare individual items e.g. Tube alone.


To assist plumbers and specifiers, Maksal conducts training sessions on the correct use of copper tubing. Major points covered are:

  • Specifications for Copper Tube
  • Performance of Copper Tube
  • Joining of Copper Tube
  • The Capillary Solder System

Maksal will also assist in other areas such as specifying and site inspections covering materials and workmanship.


It is recommended to use the integrated MAKSAL SYSTEM of:

  • MAKSAL Copper Tube
  • MAKSAL Everflux
  • MAKSAL Fittings
  • MAKSAL Solder
for optimum results.

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