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Red_Menace
poking around since 1978
join:2001-11-03
Littleton, CO

Red_Menace

Member

Re-solder existing copper fittings

I have a leak in a hot water line (3/4" copper) going to the kitchen that looks like it has been there for quite a while - the drywall ceiling below it finally soaked through. I've soldered new pipework, but this is in a low spot and kind of hard to get at, so is there any trick to re-soldering when there is still some water in the pipe and I can't disassemble the fittings? Or maybe a different repair method?

shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
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join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
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shdesigns

Premium Member

Had an issue at my dads studio. Was doing some destruction/construction. Had a plumber fighting water dripping back up a long pipe.

We were eating lunch. He said gimme a piece of you sandwich. Handed him some and he stuck a hunk of bread in the pipe and soldered it.

He said the plug lasts a few minutes.

If you cant get them apart, you can cut them and sleeve.

Other than that, the only way I know to get the water out is with an air compressor.

Red_Menace
poking around since 1978
join:2001-11-03
Littleton, CO

Red_Menace

Member

The pipe follows a heating duct then does a 90 behind it and drops down to go through the joists. It looks like it was done before the flooring went in, so there really isn't any room to work - can just get a hand in there. The air compressor is a good idea, though.

robbin
Mod
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX

robbin to Red_Menace

Mod

to Red_Menace
Very hard to re-solder a joint without dis-assembly. IF I were going to try it I would get some good flux and try to get it to wick into the heated joint. Try to flex it so it moves a little and then add solder. You MUST remove all water or the joint will fail. I always use an air compressor to blow out the line but the odds are not very good on an existing joint. It really needs to be taken apart and cleaned.

Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium Member
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30

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to Red_Menace
said by Red_Menace:

I have a leak in a hot water line (3/4" copper)

is there any trick to re-soldering when there is still some water in the pipe and I can't disassemble the fittings?

The only trick is to take it apart after shutting the water off, letting it drain, then dry the pipe and start all over fresh after cleaning all the fittings again. Finish by soldering it all back together like a new joint.

FiReSTaRT
Premium Member
join:2010-02-26
Canada

FiReSTaRT

Premium Member

You'll need to take apart and resweat. Bread's a good idea. Don't use the blue stuff, go with mapp - hotter flame, more effective when it's wet.

tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium Member
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA

tp0d to Red_Menace

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to Red_Menace
said by Red_Menace:

I have a leak in a hot water line (3/4" copper) going to the kitchen that looks like it has been there for quite a while - the drywall ceiling below it finally soaked through. I've soldered new pipework, but this is in a low spot and kind of hard to get at, so is there any trick to re-soldering when there is still some water in the pipe and I can't disassemble the fittings? Or maybe a different repair method?

Short answer.. no. The existing leak has fouled the joint, and solder will not adhere to dirt. If you cant heat it up and take it apart to clean and resolder properly, i`d change the line out with a piece of pex.

-j

Jon
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join:2001-01-20
Lisle, IL

Jon to Red_Menace

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I used copper bond epoxy to fix a pin-hole leak in a joint about 4 years ago. Been fine ever since. They have it a lowes

norbert26
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join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

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If worse comes to worse since you are having trouble getting at it is there anyway you can reroute the pipe. In other words cut the pipe at an accessible location and rerun the pipe. If it ever leaks again you would be able to get at and repair it in the future as well.

Coma
Thanks Steve
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join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand

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said by tp0d:

i`d change the line out with a piece of pex.


+1

Jack_in_VA
Premium Member
join:2007-11-26
North, VA

Jack_in_VA

Premium Member

Yes by all means if you don't have the skills and knowledge to do the job just change it out to something else? That's assuming the skills and knowledge for doing that are present.

If you can't do it would it not be simpler just to call a plumber?

cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
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to Red_Menace
Shut off the water, open the valve at the end of the pipe and then at the lower level. Water will drain by itself. You can always use a shop vac for extra flushing.
If you can heat it properly and apply enough flux you should be able to fix it w/o any issue.

chmod
Premium Member
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL

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Changing it out to pex is silly. There is nothing wrong with copper. Trying to solder an existing fitting thats leaking that you say is on a low point is going to troublesome. I usually replace the fitting instead of trying to resolder. If you insist on trying to resolder turn off the water and open all the faucets in the house if you have none below where your repair is you may as well go another route. Cut a section out use couplings/fittings to tie it back together and let the water drain from your low spot so you can resolder.

Coma
Thanks Steve
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join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand

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to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

Yes by all means if you don't have the skills and knowledge to do the job just change it out to something else? That's assuming the skills and knowledge for doing that are present.

If you can't do it would it not be simpler just to call a plumber?


In a previous life I had the skills and in this life I still retain the knowledge.

. . . and owning 5 houses, I have a plumber on speed dial.

Red_Menace
poking around since 1978
join:2001-11-03
Littleton, CO

Red_Menace

Member

Click for full size
The garage is on the lower level so I can get to it from there, it's just in a bad spot (the upper 90 on the left). Don't know if there is enough flex to get it apart (the pipe is against the joist on the right), but it will drain if I can.
averagedude
join:2002-01-30
San Diego, CA
9.8 2.2

averagedude

Member

I had a similar but different issue in my father-in-laws house.
I had a really hard time with water in the line that I could not get completely get out...
Then I had an idea, I used a shop vac.
With the whole house water shut off, I attached the shop vac to the sink that the line fed (duct tape with aerator off). Then I opened up a sink upstream of the leak.
Basically, I used the shop vac to suck the line dry, and it worked.
I was able to re-solder the failed joint.

waterboy
@verizon.net

waterboy to Red_Menace

Anon

to Red_Menace
1. Cut section out and replace with pex tubing.
(Chances are none of those joints are soldered well.)
2. Cut out up and downstream fix 90's and add couplings(or compression fittings) where cut .
3. Cut out and use flex suppy line, like type for water heater if 3/4", and appropriate compression fittings. And never light the torch!

I'd do #3.

Your welcome!

nunya
LXI 483
MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO

1 recommendation

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Pex-schmex. Call a real plumber. I'd be willing to bet they could have it fixed in 20 minutes.

I'm no plumber, but even I see the easy way to fix it. Two sawzall cuts and make a new "funky" piece on the ground. Slide it in, solder in place.

One thing I've learned (which is probably true in every trade): Trying to re-use shit costs more money in labor and frustration than replacing it.

VioletVenom
Lets go Gators
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join:2002-01-02
Gainesville, FL

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Always sharkbites. »sharkbite.com

robbin
Mod
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX

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Can you mark the photo to indicate which joint needs to be fixed.

Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium Member
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30

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said by VioletVenom:

Always sharkbites. »sharkbite.com

Looks cool, but what does it do after 20-30 years?

»youtube.com/watch?v= ··· ehHMHCdk

rchandra
Stargate Universe fan
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join:2000-11-09
14225-2105

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Sharkbite?

Jack_in_VA
Premium Member
join:2007-11-26
North, VA

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to nunya
said by nunya:

Pex-schmex. Call a real plumber. I'd be willing to bet they could have it fixed in 20 minutes.

I'm no plumber, but even I see the easy way to fix it. Two sawzall cuts and make a new "funky" piece on the ground. Slide it in, solder in place.

One thing I've learned (which is probably true in every trade): Trying to re-use shit costs more money in labor and frustration than replacing it.

Getting repair information from computer keyboard plumbers is also ineffective and costly. Call a real plumber if you don't have the skills to do the job yourself.
49528867 (banned)
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL

49528867 (banned) to Red_Menace

Member

to Red_Menace
said by Red_Menace:

The garage is on the lower level so I can get to it from there, it's just in a bad spot (the upper 90 on the left).

Unless you have a b-tank and a few heat pads and a lot of experience with sweating copper don't "f" with that plumbing, a propane or even a MAPP torch is going to take too long to get things soldered up and with that much wood, you are asking for some real problems once it flames up.

If you insist on DIY’ing it, cut it back to the left of the runner by the insulation and between the ninety above the electrical box and the black insulation, and replace all of the piping and the nineties with thoroughly sanded and fluxed parts, you cannot simply replace or reuse the leaking fitting, as by the time you unsolder it you will have fucked the neighboring joints due to heat migration.

Oh, do keep a few buckets of water on hand and or have the fire department standing by.

Wayne
49528867

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to Doctor Olds
said by Doctor Olds:

Looks cool, but what does it do after 20-30 years?

It will be fine, Sharkbites work very well, they are just too expensive for most work.

Wayne
49528867

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to Doctor Olds
said by Doctor Olds:

Finish by soldering it all back together like a new joint.

No sir, once disassembled all the joints need to be hot wiped to remove as much of the residual solder as possible, then sanded or brushed until bright, refluxed and then and only then re-soldered.

Simply taking a fitting apart and re-soldering it is a sure way to have a leak, maybe not now, but sooner or later it will leak.

Wayne

ENawn
@wideopenwest.com

ENawn

Anon

Do you work for a pex supplier? A btank? There is nothing in that picture that cannot be taken care of with some mapp gas and a heat shield. Nunya is also right, a little preconfiguring and the job is even easier.
49528867 (banned)
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL

1 recommendation

49528867 (banned)

Member

said by ENawn :

Do you work for a pex supplier?

No, but I have done a lot of plumbing and don't post anon, now consider this by the time the OP buys all that is needed to do this work and smokes the flooring, a plumber might just have been a good investment, and then there is something called the value of ones time, but thanks for your worthless advice...

Wayne

Red_Menace
poking around since 1978
join:2001-11-03
Littleton, CO

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I was hoping for an easier way to do the repair, but it is looking like a complete redo is in order. The current plan is to saw the 90 next to the joist, which will also work for draining since it the lowest point (and about the only place where there is room to saw), then take everything out. I wonder about fitting all the tools in there, but have heat shields and a couple of fire extinguishers standing by...

robbin
Mod
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX

robbin

Mod

It would really help if you pointed out the actual joint which needs repair.
ethylene glycol vs propylene glycol shockwave flash is not responding chrome www speedtest centurylink net craftsman lawn mower brake cable how to turn off saddle valve gas fire pilot light keeps going out westell 7500 default login me tv directv channel what causes smoke alarms to go off red top battery autozone comcast speed test lies winzip evaluation version free download eco air pellet stove wireless cable receiver comcast the google safe browsing service is unavailable safari door hinge to stop door slamming verizon reward card visa direct tv universal remote setup sienna timing belt replacement cost comcast local office numbers windows 7 unidentified network wired ac condenser fan motor cost fencing screws or nails riding lawn mower carburetor cleaning bright house internet speeds fios set top box prices verizon fios sports pass harbor freight solar battery what oil additive quiets lifters how to plumb a kitchen sink with disposal and dishwasher blue hawk push fittings how much brake fluid do i need for a flush