How to Remove Burrs in Copper Pipes

What You'll Need
Metal nail file
Steel wool
4-in-1 tool
Cut copper pipe
Face mask
Goggle glasses
LED flashlight

When doing any type of plumbing work it is important to use copper pipe instead of other metals because it is the best and most conductive. It is also very expensive but the expense is worth it. Doing your own plumbing work around your home will save you money but can also cause headaches. Working with copper pipe seems simple enough but there are some minor issues to think about when using it in plumbing. One of the biggest problems is after you have already gone through the problem of cutting the copper pipe. Once the copper pipe is cut look inside the piece at the cut end. You will see small shards of copper inside the tube. These burrs can cause a weld to go wrong. The article below will explain how to remove these burrs found on copper pipe.

Step 1 – Clean the Pipe

Before you can weld copper pipe together you need to sweat it, and this does not mean what it sounds like. Sweating a copper pipe does not mean making it wet under heat, but means to clean it. In order for a weld to be strong the ends of the copper pipe have to be shiny. This is done almost to the point where it appears that there is no more copper showing. Use steel wool and rub the ends of the copper pipe until shiny. The ideal finished area will be roughly ½-inch to 1-inch down the length of the copper pipe. Do this for both ends. This is a process that can take some time but it is worth it in order to get a strong weld.

Step 2 – Remove the Copper Pipe Burrs

Burrs always appear along the cut ends of the pipe and are on the inside due to the friction caused by the saw. It literally magnetizes the copper and the burrs are drawn to the inside. To remove the burrs is a process because you cannot see what you are doing. Sticking your finger inside the copper pipe to see if you got them all could leave you with copper shards embedded in your flesh. The easiest way to remove these burrs is by using a metal nail file. Insert it inside the copper pipe and at a slight angle begin sliding it over the lip of the pipe. Do this vigorously around the circumference of the opening. Use the LED flashlight to inspect your work and repeat as needed. Make sure you use a facemask and protective glasses. Inhaling copper can seriously damage your lungs. Getting copper in your eyes can severely damage them as well.

Step 3 – Inside of the Pipe

Now that the burrs have been removed you can finish the preparation of the copper pipe. Use the 4-in-1 tool and insert it in the ends of the pipe. Use is to create the same shiny surface as you did on the outside of the pipe.