Freshly soldered joint leaks; what now?

Page 1 of 2  
I spent a good while yesterday after noon with the spiders and snakes under my house replacing some valves that the last plumber had installed in the wrong sequence so that it was impossible to blow the lines clear before the first freeze of the season. The new valves are now in place and seem to be fine but I found that some very awkward places as I worked towards the outside faucet leak at the unions.... maybe three out of more than a dozen that I did. So what do I do now?
I can easily blow the lines clear now but I'm reluctant to negate any more work than I absolutely have to in order to correct the problem. None of these leaks are gully washers... just drip, drip, drip... but I know I will not be able to live with them. What is the best way to fix the leaks? I'm talking about 1/2" copper lines and fittings.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 1 May 2008 11:11:45 -0400, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:>I spent a good while yesterday after noon with the spiders and snakes under my

The best and surest fix is the one you are dreading. The leaking joints need to be separated, carefully cleaned, fluxed, and resoldered.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Damn. I was really, really, really hoping you wouldn't say that. Thanks for answering so quickly.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 1 May 2008 11:24:54 -0400, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN"

Just look forward to the satisfaction of knowing you did it right!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just finished installing a hot water recirculation loop, and making other changes to my copper plumbing, so I know all about the spiders and other creatures of which you speak. I don't envy you, but it's worth getting this right.
You can try reheating and applying more solder. This works 1 time in 5, but it's worth a try. Otherwise, you have to take it apart and do it over.
One thing I have found is that if a solder joint doesn't leak when new, it probably never will. But if it drips, even a little bit, the leak will worsen with time, sometimes quite rapidly.
Regards, John.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Gee, y'mean that Mighty Putty as hawked on TV by Billy Mays won't take care of those leaks? <G>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Mays
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Maybe if you put it across his mouth!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He's right. I had a dribbler but in an easy to access location. I tried reheating, fluxing from the outside and using way more solder than necessary and it still took 5-6 tries to close the hole. In hindsight, it would have been easier to cut the tee out and put a new one in complete with three straight unions to make up for the shortened pipes. The finished joint looks like crap too but I can't clean it up or it might leak again. Who cares, it passed inspection.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
pipedown wrote:

It is indeed far less work to take two minutes to clean and flux all the joints before soldering and then be sure you use enough solder, that it is to rework even one bad joint.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sometimes, you can wire brush it good, dab on some flux. Very low heat, and sneak in some more solder. It's never pretty after all that rework.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Old copper is miserable, to resolder. I know, done enough. The last time I worked on old copper, was 3/8 soft copper, water line. I used stick brazing, and 15% silver. Not for the faint of heart.
You're right, they need to be cleaned and redone.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On May 1, 10:11am, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:

Use Map gas and try to add flux and resolder first, I had an idiot use propane on big pipe and all I had was leaks, a pro came in with Mapp, flux, and solder and no more leaks on a commercial water heater with 1.5" pipe 10 years ago, maybe it just never got hot enough the first time to flow the metal.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

Hi, Quickest way is redo them after cutting the joint. Sorry to say it but poor workmanship! Clean, flux, heat properly and flow the solder. If water drops are present near the joint stuff a piece of bread to soak it up. When your water starts to flow break will dissolve and come out of faucet/taps.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony Hwang wrote:

I know it was poor workmanship. I'm a rookie when it comes to soldering joints and these were in the crawl space under the house. Not enough headroom to kneel and my arms weren't quite long enough to lay supine and still reach comfortably. I consider myself fortunate I didn't catch anything on fire.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

Hi, Piece of shhet metal can be used for flame shield while soldering. I know I've been there and done that. LOL. Doing it first time right is easier said than done. Nowadays most is done with PEX and crimping ring.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote in

Absolutely Mortimer! The rest of us in here were born with a fear of fire and the ability to sweat fittings. :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh, yeah? I LOVE fire. I had pyromaniacal tendencies as a child but was able to keep a lid on them. Fortunately, I never got into arson.
The ban on outdoor burning in the city, the waning of youth and a couple of potentially BAD gasoline accidents over the years, including one fire, put it all behind me.

Uh, OK. Like Mortimer here, I promise to bare my soul and tell you when I have sweat my FIRST fitting.
I was the only 16-year-old I knew that had his own mechanic. No joke. He and I met in grade school.
I am now blessed with the genuine, life-long friendship of a gentleman that, among MANY, other things, is a good plumber. The other night, he and I (mostly he) replaced my sister's water heater. Thanks, JP.
--
:)
JR

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 1 May 2008 23:17:36 -0400, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:>Tony Hwang wrote:

I have one of those trigger spray bottles from the Home Depot that I use to wet down wood behind where I'm soldering. I also have a thin sheet of aluminum that I sometimes use as a shield if the joint is really close to the wood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That reveals the care, and probably good technique, of a craftsman.
If you take the time to do this while working under professional conditions (on the clock), more the better with "hats off" to whomever is paying you for allowing you the time to care.
I suspect that many plumbers already have leather gloves with them and, after sweating the joint, simply STUB OUT any little fire they MAY have started. Most such locations are usually little more than a little, black soot on the wooden member.
As the utility worker denizen of many a crawl space, I cannot tell you the number of "torched", wooden members I have seen adjoining a plumbing joint. I do NOT, however, recall anything particularly bad. It's more unsightly than anything else, really - as long as they extinguish whatever they may have inadvertently ignited.
I assume the code requires protection of adjoining members when soldering a plumbing joint.
--
:)
JR

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.