A Practical Guide to Flux

Soldering flux is a vital part of gutter installation and repair.  Simply put, flux is a cleaning agent that reduces oxides from a metal allowing the metal and solder to more easily and uniformly dissolve into each other.  Carbonate of soda, borax, potash, and charcoal were some of the earliest form of flux.  Today, flux is utilized in virtually every soldering job spanning a number of industries including plumbing, gutter systems, and electronics.

The Importance of Flux

Flux can come from both organic and nonorganic materials as well as in both paste and liquid form.  Liquid flux is ideal for fast soldering and offers a strong cleaning agent for oxidized copper.  Paste flux both cleans and fluxes at the same time and is lead free.  Paste comes in a number of options including water soluble and a hot weather formula.

The Right Flux for the Job
Professionals know that the right tools and supplies can make all the difference when it comes to the quality of work completed.  Along with choosing the right soldering iron and tips, it is also important to know how to select the correct flux for the task at hand.  This is often determined by the metal you are working with.

Copper & Brass
When sweat soldering copper and brass fittings, a paste flux works best.  GutterSupply.com recommends Johnson’s Soldering Paste Flux to complete the job.  This product is a grease type paste light in color with a soft composition.  It allows the solder to get deep into the joints without turning the copper green.

Pre-weathered Zinc
If the gutter system is constructed of pre-weathered zinc, GutterSupply.com recommends “ZD-pro” flux.  “ZD-pro” is a liquid flux developed specifically for pre-weathered zinc.  This product strips both the oxide residue as well as the rolling mixture.  Allowing solder to easily flow into the gap, the results are a complete alloy formation forming a strong and durable joint.

Accessories that Help
When working with flux, there are a number of accessories to help you quickly and expertly apply the product.  If working with solid or liquid flux, you may want to use a specially designed flux brush.  They are also useful when applying acid.   Flux refill bottles can be another helpful accessory.  These refillable plastic bottles can be used for touch ups and reworks and offer pinpoint precision in the flux application.

When it comes to your soldering and flux needs, GutterSupply.com has you covered.  From basic soldering iron kits to the latest in equipment and accessories, we have everything you need to get a perfect seam each and every time.  Click here to learn more about the huge selection of soldering equipment GutterSupply.com has to offer or contact us at 888-909-RAIN.

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