I have a copper water pipe behind a drywall ceiling. Turns out that when
the ceiling was installed a drywall screw punctured the pipe. Many years
passed until the screw rusted enough and it started dripping, causing a
stain on the drywall ceiling. I listened to the recommendation of a guy on
the HD floor and patched it with a metal epoxy putty. That held tight for
a few years, now the stain is back.
Is there a simple way to patch this by cutting out the bad spot and using
pressure fittings or something similar? I don't want to try soldering in
that confined space. Any suggestions?
If the hole is just a small one created by the dry wall screw, and if
there is room, there is a clamp on device sold at Home Depot that clamps
over the hole and seals the hole with neoprene. You might look into it.
The official name is "pipe repair clamp" which you can google. Here
is an example: http://www.doityourself.com/invt/4010872
I have one of these on a pipe in my basement. When we bought the
house 12 years ago I remember seeing that and thinking, "boy, what a
shoddy repair, I better get to that pretty soon." It's been fine. --
If you don't want to solder it, get someone that can. Given the location,
there is no 100% perfect way to repair a tube in that location that you can
be completely comfortable with. Cut the tubing right at the hole, sweat in
a coupling and be done and be confident it will not leak like a patch could
while you are away on vacation.
My experience is limited to three joints, but I used epoxy for copper three
years ago and they haven't leaked yet. I did it because there wasn't room
for a torch. When I tried to use the stuff last year it had gone bad; so
shelf life is a big strike against it.
Two alternatives besides the other suggestions so far...
There are repair couplings which are same as a standard coupling
except don't have the ridge on the inside so you can cut the pipe,
slide it on, then slide it back over the cut area where there might
not be room/flexibility to get a standard coupling in.
Second, for a very tiny pinhole such as this, simply soldering the
hole itself will be a permanent repair as well.
As for the torch in the area, use a piece of tin behind the pipe as a
heat shield to keep the direct flame from contact w/ whatever and
they'll be no problem.
Some don't have a ridge but have a dimple, pretty small and just at
one point, so make sure you get one with neither.
I wish I had known they had these when I did my water heater.
I keep one of those clamp on things here for an emergency. TWo
pieces, a small rubber sheet on at least one of the pieces, clamp
together around the pipe with 2 (or 4?) screws, or a hook on one side
and two screws on the other. Haven't needed it yet, but I make a lot
of istakes. :)
Sounds like your getting a lot of half ass advice. It sounds like the pipe
is going threw a ceiling joist or attached to the side. The best bet would
be to cut a section out use two slip couplings. If the pipe is running threw
the joist you could cut out a 16" piece so the ends are in the open for
soldering. If it's attached to the side you might have to pull it down
enough to clear the joist or pry it away. It hard to tell without seeing it.
If your not comfortable with solider it If you have it exposed you might
call a plumber to solider it. There's a lot of other tricks, spray the wood
down with a spray bottle, sheet metal shield. You don't want to do this
again so do it right.
Compression fittings (have to cut out some bad pipe) and the
rubber patch can work for awhile.
Something I did awhile back was to cut a coupler length wise.
Clean, flux, and wrap the coupler around the pipe. Heat gently,
and flow in some solder. Worked for me, the once I tried it.
Put some aluminum foil behind the fitting, for a heat shield.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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