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-   -   pinhole leak in cast iron elbow for water heater. (http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/pinhole-leak-cast-iron-elbow-water-heater-129121/)

tractorfarmer 01-07-2012 12:38 PM

pinhole leak in cast iron elbow for water heater.
 
Of course it isn't in a strait piece of pipe, but in the 90 degree elbow. Is soldering it or even welding a good fix? I am trying to stay away from replacing it and I don't want to rely on super epoxy. Any ideas?

Bondo 01-07-2012 12:46 PM

Ayuh,... Solder won't stick to cast iron, 'n welding it causes it to crack elsewhere...

The only real Fix, is to replace it...

how 01-07-2012 12:54 PM

Just not worth it.
Cast iron for a water heater is a bad idea. If by water heater you mean a domestic hot water tank that is being constantly refilled by oxygenated water, then more pipe problems are coming. If that leak on the elbow is from the threads then when you remove it you'll find much of that portion of that fitting to be paper thin.

harleyrider 01-07-2012 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tractorfarmer (Post 815367)
Of course it isn't in a strait piece of pipe, but in the 90 degree elbow. Is soldering it or even welding a good fix? I am trying to stay away from replacing it and I don't want to rely on super epoxy. Any ideas?

Pay me now..........or pay me later, either way I get your money.

joecaption 01-07-2012 01:00 PM

Any steel pipe used in a plumbing system is a bad idea. It will rust from the inside out. It will at some point plug up or leak.
Use brass and if all the old pipes are steel I strongly suggest replacing all of it with PEX.

biggles 01-07-2012 01:28 PM

roll of rubberized electrical tape and wrap it as tight as possible without snapping the tap eye ball where the pinhole was and tighten over with a raditaor clamp but plan on changing it if it is leaking there and thre is other cast iron pipe others might be on their way....thats house water pressure so you know...cut a piece of auto radiator hose and half that then clamp that at least it will handle the hot water at the pinhole...

plummen 01-07-2012 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tractorfarmer (Post 815367)
Of course it isn't in a strait piece of pipe, but in the 90 degree elbow. Is soldering it or even welding a good fix? I am trying to stay away from replacing it and I don't want to rely on super epoxy. Any ideas?

Where is this cast iron fitting used on your water heater?
Only cast iron fittings im aware of are used for Drain/Waste/Vent piping,are you referring to a threaded steel fitting?
Again where is it used on your system ?:)

ben's plumbing 01-07-2012 06:38 PM

save yourself the pain just replace the fitting as others have said not a good idea to have iron on water piping...

beenthere 01-07-2012 06:45 PM

Yep, just replace it.

tractorfarmer 01-08-2012 03:02 AM

It's in an old style radiator system. It must have had a large boiler. The main pipe is about 3 inch, but when the newer oil furnace was installed, they put a reducer on the 3 inch down to about 1-1/2. It's all threaded steel and cast iron fittings. The pressure is about 30 psi. And in decent condition for being almost 100 years old.

Thanks for letting me know solder won't stick to steel. I guess a new elbow and a union coupling is the best solution then.

biggles - After failing with epoxies and everything I had in a tube, I tried the self sticking rubber tape. It didn't seal good with the rusty cast iron. So I added a pipe clamp and cut about 1/3 off of a synthetic wine cork and put that on top of the pinhole. Then tightened the pipe clamp. I think that gave me some extra pressure on the one spot. It still looks like it might be dripping very slowly, but should get me through the next few cold months. I'm going to get the pipe parts and have them here just in case.

bobelectric 01-08-2012 06:29 AM

I would like this post to be moved to the plumbing site.

plummen 01-08-2012 12:12 PM

If its on a boiler system id say its posted right where it belongs :)

tractorfarmer 01-08-2012 01:04 PM

It is for a heating system, but I see where bobelectric would think I might get more help with the post in plumbing, since most of the steel pipe is used for that. Or is it? I would think the only use for it these days is gas lines.

beenthere 01-08-2012 01:37 PM

Its HVAC piping, its where it should be.

tractorfarmer 01-10-2012 10:15 PM

Well I have the new 90 degree elbow, union, and 2 short pipe sections all ready to be installed. I'm just hoping to make it thru the next few cold months before I have to drain the system.


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