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Old 03-25-2008, 07:29 AM   #1
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Leak in my newly soldered copper piping


Just finished adding a tee off my main house line in the copper tubing. Then I noticed that I have an extremely tiny leak (one drip per 15 seconds with line pressure at 50 psi) at a difficult to get to tee I soldered in.

Question... if I drain the line complete of water and open up the valves in close proximity can I just reheat and add more solder or does the whole thing have to come apart?

Thanks in advance!

Mike

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Old 03-25-2008, 09:01 AM   #2
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Leak in my newly soldered copper piping


Ayuh,...

The Reason it's leaking is because you didn't get it Clean enough,.....

Taking it back apart is the only real Answer to fixing it....

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Old 03-25-2008, 09:49 AM   #3
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Leak in my newly soldered copper piping


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondo View Post
Ayuh,...

The Reason it's leaking is because you didn't get it Clean enough,.....

Taking it back apart is the only real Answer to fixing it....
Not necessarily... it could be a cold solder joint, particularly if it was hard to get to as he mentioned.

Does the solder that you can see around the joint bead up? or does it appear to flow freely? I would lather it up with flux real good and try reheating it (after draining the pipe of course :-). You may or may not need to add more solder depending on how much excess solder is already on the pipe.

I would only disassemble the whole thing as a last resort.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:53 AM   #4
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Leak in my newly soldered copper piping


period. if you try to reheat in-place, you will just be spinning wheels. been there, done that.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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Leak in my newly soldered copper piping


i would clean the outside ( yes I know but trust me ) really well, reheat, flux the heck outta it, heat well and see if solder will run into joint if so then its good otherwise ya gotta take it apart.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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Leak in my newly soldered copper piping


Thanks for the replies... to describe the solder joint for better clarification... I would say it is NOT smooth or an even flow around the pipe. It has raised clumps of solder and a rough appearance.

So I guess I know the worst case scenerio... guess there would be no harm in attempting the unassemble repair first.

Steps I will take per advice from those above:

1. Drain the pipes as well as possible.
2. Clean the exterior as well as possible
3. Heat the fitting
4. Add flux liberally
5. Heat until the solder solidifies... be prepared with more solder to add
6. Air cool
7. Cross my fingers!
8. Turn on the water
9. One of the following:
A. Have and ice cold beer
B. do steps 10-50 and take it all apart

I'll let you know what happens... thanks in advance!

Mike
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:18 PM   #7
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Leak in my newly soldered copper piping


Quote:
Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
period. if you try to reheat in-place, you will just be spinning wheels. been there, done that.
I've been there done that before too. Never had to rip it apart yet.
Clumps and a non-smooth joint usually indicate you didn't use enough heat.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:12 PM   #8
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Leak in my newly soldered copper piping


Hey Everyone ~

I've had myself several beer...
Thanks everyone! I'm feeling pretty good...
especially after the beers!

This forum is great for us newbie plumber DIY

Mike J

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Last edited by Mikej-22; 03-25-2008 at 10:15 PM.
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