Copper Union Leaks

Help! I am installing a water heater and can t get the copper unions on both the hot and cold side to stop leaking. I have tried triple threads or more of teflon tape and Rectorseal no. 5 but still no luck. Do the threads have to be dry when I apply the thread glue? Do I have to apply glue to the female threads too?
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It is the union leaking at the threads or is it the sweat joint?
What is this tread glue, Rectorseal no. 5 and Teflon tape stuff?
In any case, I am going to guess the problem is they are not aligned properly or all the junk you are trying to use is causing the problem.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

The union leaks at the threads. I am not sure what a sweat joint is. The unions are soldered.

Does either the pipe dope or the Teflon tape have to be applied dry? There is a problem with a leaking gate valve that makes it hard to join the cold side dry unless the gate valve is replaced.

Now that you mention it, the two halves of the unions are not directly over each other but off centered. I will realign and clean the threads thorougly.

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If you dont know what a sweat joint is, you should not be messing with the plumbing. Do yourself a favor. Shut off your water main, shut off your electricity, shut off you gas, and call a professional. After the pipes are fixed, sell the house and move into a cave. I'm serious.....
YOU ARE TOO STUPID TO LIVE IN A HOUSE !!!!
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snipped-for-privacy@my.com
Stormin Mormin with another crappy post
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Try the plastic or steel union. Those guys are much smarter.
wrote:

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The threads simply draw the parts together; they do nothing at all to contain the water. Some people like to put teflon or dope on them as a lubricant, but it is a matter of convenience. However, it can't be right to put as much junk on them as you did.
Each half of the union has a smooth part; they are forced together to give the union. They have to be clean and smooth and come together perfectly, or it doesn't work. Again, some people like to put dope on them; others do not. (I don't, and have never had a problem.)
You mentioned the two pieces were not perfectly in line. If the union can still draw them together, that does not matter, though it is certainly preferable to have them in line.
Soldering and sweating mean the same thing.
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Do not put any tape on the threads of the union. AS the previous poster replied these are only there to draw the two smooth faces of the union together, puttng pipe dope or tape on these threads will prevent the union from being drawn fully together and thus cause a leak. after you take all that crap you put on the threads off, you can try putting a coating of a pipe dope (i use hercules grip, but anything similar will work in this case), on the face of the union so when it draws together it will make a better seal. Of course, if they are not lined up straight you are wasting your time.
good luck
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Any tension away from straight alignment will set things up for failure. You could try Teflon tape on the coupler face, and tape the threads to facilitate a snugger fit. Hey, there's a better way, IMO. A two-part epoxy called Copper-Bond. You practice a little first, use a Q-tip stick instead of the flat ones they provide, and use a "repair coupler'. It's a coupling without a ding in the middle. You have the two pipe sections touching, slather the epoxy onto both of them, slide the coupler, with adequate epoxy on the inside down on the first one, then slide it up halfway onto the upper pipe. Handy to have a mark or scratch to mark the point. Twist the coupler, smooth away excess, and it's done. Spoken as a user of a torch for 30 years, till I discovered Copper-Bond.

to
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Michael Baugh wrote:

<snipped>
<snipped>
The OP said there was a problem with the water shutoff, so chances are the parts to be joined will be wet.
Does that Copper-Bond epoxy work in that kind of situation?
What's the cure time on the stuff, before you can manhandle the piping or repressurize the system? If it's more than a minute or so that might explain why soldering is still the first choice of professionals. "Time is money in the plumbing business.."
Jeff -- Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"If you can keep smiling when things go wrong, you've thought of someone to place the blame on."
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You aint supposed to apply nothing to the unions. Learn how to tighten them TIGHTLY, or call a plimber ..... IDIOT
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