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Old 09-09-2010, 11:32 PM   #1
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leaky new brass fittings at hot water heater


Had to rotate the hot water heater in it's closet as part of the basement remodel. Decided to replace the old gate valve with a new ball valve, and use 3/4" compression fittings to attach the new valve to the existing copper. Never worked with a compression fitting that size, and was worried about leaks at the fitting. Good news - no leaks at the compression joint.

Bad news, leaks just about everywhere else. Bought new dielectric connectors for the top of the water heater, fitted brass elbows to these to allow the s/s flex to attach with a single flowing bend. Leaks where the brass elbow attaches to the dielectric connector. Sealed with lots of wraps of teflon tape. Tightened VERY tight.

Nipple between the compression fitting and the ball valve - leaks.

Nipple between the ball valve and the S/S flex - leaks.

Only place we don't have leaks are at the compression joints, and the ends of the S/S flex which have a rubber washer. Didn't use tape at either of these spots.

All connections are made with plenty of teflon tape, and are very tight. Notice that the threads on the brass fittings are very sharp, and wondering if pipe dope, or a combination of dope and tape would provide a better seal with brass on brass connections. Haven't used dope in ages, and have never had this much leaking using tape.

Thanks!

Last edited by dsoelter; 09-09-2010 at 11:33 PM. Reason: boo boo
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:41 PM   #2
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leaky new brass fittings at hot water heater


could you possibly be over tightening connections that have gaskets, or using teflon where you don't need it?
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:30 AM   #3
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leaky new brass fittings at hot water heater


I don't have any leaks where there are gaskets (washers actually) - at the ends of the S/S flex. Also, no leak at the compression connection.

Leaks are at points where male and female threaded brass fittings come together. All were heavily taped with teflon and tightened very snuggly. Also have a leak where the dielectric connector (galvanized?) and the brass elbow meet. This joint is also taped and snuggly tightened.

I'm thinking that the threads are so sharp that the tape is simply being cut and not sealing. If that's the case, will pipe dope seal better.

Is there a particular brand that is recommended?

Thanks again.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:37 AM   #4
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leaky new brass fittings at hot water heater


i'm thinking the teflon tape was put on backwards. take it all apart, apply teflon clockwise if you're looking at the end of the pipe, put a thin layer of pipe dope on it, then retighten. there is not really such a thing as too tight with iron pipe threads, but you only need about 3/4 of the threads inside the fitting
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
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leaky new brass fittings at hot water heater


Quote:
Originally Posted by dsoelter View Post
I don't have any leaks where there are gaskets (washers actually) - at the ends of the S/S flex. Also, no leak at the compression connection.

Leaks are at points where male and female threaded brass fittings come together. All were heavily taped with teflon and tightened very snuggly. Also have a leak where the dielectric connector (galvanized?) and the brass elbow meet. This joint is also taped and snuggly tightened.

I'm thinking that the threads are so sharp that the tape is simply being cut and not sealing. If that's the case, will pipe dope seal better.

Is there a particular brand that is recommended?

Thanks again.
You are right, brass nipples have a habit of being too sharp, get rid of the tape dope and use something like Rector Seal #5 instead; keep in mind if you keep tightening a brass joint it will stretch and then you are SOL, luck.
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