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Old 02-06-2016, 09:57 PM   #1
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Question on water leak from rusting pipe tee fitting


I just noticed water is leaking out from the rust on a tee fitting along pipes by the main water shutoff. It wasn't as likely to be noticed because I had it somewhat covered with pipe insulation. See photos.

If I'm not mistaken, it was not rusty before I insulated it, otherwise, I would suspect things could eventually go bad (before the insulation).

So two questions:
  1. Other than concealing the problem longer, could putting insulation over the fitting have partly contributed to this rusty leak?
  2. What would cause such rusting on the tee fitting? I think it looked ok when I last saw it uncovered.

As a result of this recent leak, the plastic piping below is discolored.

FYI, most of the piping there (insulated portion) is copper, with one or two fittings that are not like this tee.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:54 AM   #2
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The dissimilar metals is causing the issue.
That tee should have been brass, not steel.
Also good luck trying to get that main line gate valve to shut compleatly of now or in the future.
There always going to be trouble at some point, should have been a ball valve.
Also would have been far better off with a brass ball valve to shut that PVC line off attached to the bottom of the tee with a brass nipple.
Those PVC ball valves always stick over time.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:04 AM   #3
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most likely that Tee had a sand hole when it was casted and the leak started when the galvanized coating didnt cover the hole anymore, either flaked off over the void or cracked and as the rust grew it , it just got bigger..either way time to replace it and try and use all of the same material...
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:58 PM   #4
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Thanks all for the insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Also good luck trying to get that main line gate valve to shut compleatly of now or in the future.
There always going to be trouble at some point, should have been a ball valve.
Curious though, are gate valves the standard install, at least on old homes? This house was built 1959 and in a utility hookup in mobilehome park I used to live in, it was also a gate valve.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:04 PM   #5
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Used to be used yes, are they ever going to work, no.
The stem is going to leak, the gate is not going to seal and leak, stem may even break off and not do anything.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daluu View Post
Thanks all for the insight.



Curious though, are gate valves the standard install, at least on old homes? This house was built 1959 and in a utility hookup in mobilehome park I used to live in, it was also a gate valve.
My shut off is a gate valve- installed in the mid 50's. Works like it was brand new.
Same with my galvanized water pipe. I'm fortunate to have very good water though.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:33 PM   #7
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Galvanized rusts from the inside out. It is a ticking time bomb, waiting to go off and cause a huge waste of water and leak.



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Old 02-11-2016, 11:46 AM   #8
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Just found my water pressure is back at 90 psi, need to readjust again, had done that 4 years ago. Would this have likely contributed to the accelerated deterioration of that tee fitting?
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daluu View Post
Just found my water pressure is back at 90 psi, need to readjust again, had done that 4 years ago. Would this have likely contributed to the accelerated deterioration of that tee fitting?
Nope, dissimilar metals is a bigger issue,...

That fittin' oughta easily hold a couple hundred psi,....
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:39 PM   #10
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Question on water leak from rusting pipe tee fitting


Quote:
Originally Posted by daluu View Post
Just found my water pressure is back at 90 psi, need to readjust again, had done that 4 years ago. Would this have likely contributed to the accelerated deterioration of that tee fitting?
Nope. It would just contribute in blowing out water at any weak spots that have thinned out from corrosion inside the pipe.

Old Galvanized is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Some people have left for the weekend and have come home to flooded out Basements or homes if on a Slab, because the old Galvanized water piping finally went off.

In your case because it looks like it feeds a sprinkler system. You have it easy to fix. Just have to get everything you need and then spend a day removing all of the old Galvanized and replace with Copper. You can order from amazon or another company that sells the manifold if it needs to be replaced also and get it shipped to the home, instead of spending half of the day standing in the plumbing asile making sure that you have all of the parts that you need.




Last edited by gregzoll; 02-11-2016 at 06:42 PM.
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