Q. Dear Tim, I love reading your column in my local paper. Several months ago, you wrote about which plumbing pipe might be better for water lines, copper and PEX. You briefly mentioned a new tool that eliminates the need for soldering copper. I’d like to know much more about this method of making leak-proof copper connections. How does it work, how fast is it, and would you depend on a copper connection that doesn’t rely on solder? – Brandy S., Spokane A. I received several similar questions from readers who were intrigued by my quick mention of this newer method to create leak-proof connections between copper water supply tubing and copper fittings. For decades, the gold standard of making leak-proof joints when installing copper tubing was solder. As a young plumber in the 1970s, it’s what everyone did. The issue is it takes effort to prepare the copper, heat it up, melt the solder and allow it to cool down. Soldering also is risky. Ask any firefighter, and he’ll share at least one story of a house fire created by a plumber or DIYer who allowed the torch to set the house ablaze. As with many things, new ideas and technology debut and disrupt the landscape. Such was the case a...