Leaking Copper Joint

Greetings all;
My brother-in-law just bought a approximately 30-year-old house. Had a number of plumbing problems I was able to fix. However, a leaking "T" joint in standard half-inch copper pipe has resisted all my attempts at repair. I have done the typical intensive sanding, fluxing and re-soldering several times with no success. This had always worked for me in the past. All pipes, etc. look in good shape.
Any other suggestions as to how to stop this leak without having to soldering another "T" and corresponding connectors into its place. Thanks.
Bill
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"I have done the typical intensive sanding, fluxing and re-soldering several times with no success. Any other suggestions as to how to stop this leak without having to soldering another "T" and corresponding connectors into its place. Thanks. "
What exactly do you have? Normally a soldered tee is all there is to it and there are no "corresponding connectors." If it's just a regular T, I would not have tried resoldering it several times. I would have just replaced it.
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joint
I
pipes,
You probably overheated the joint. Best bet is to cut it out and redo it.
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Seen a few 'Ts' that had minute (read almost microscopic) holes in them, hence, good joint soldering still leaks. As Trader4 says, replace it.
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far. When it is suggested to replace the "T", does that mean to heat it sufficiently to pull it out of the pipes and then put in a new one, or to cut the pipe on all three sides and use a joiner on each side to connect the new "T". I've never tried to remove and then replace a "T" before so I'm open to any tips one might have. The joint is reasonably accessible and there is no residual water left in the pipes once the water is shut off and all taps opened.
Bill

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and
joint
you did not pull the joint apart how do you know there is no water in it? Now if your ready to do it right. It is best to pull the T if you can do it without cutting pipe that's best, less joints. Heat it up soften solider pull apart one joint at a time. Now if the solider dos not melt there is water in the line, then you have to make a cut in pipe. ( or you could drill a hole in center of T to drain ) Once you get the T out place it on the ground and Peen it with a hammer until flat, That will take care of thinking of reusing it. Now on all the pipe ends heat them up melt the soilder and wipe with a rag fast to get as much solider as you can. Sand all the joints reflux and solider. If you had to cut a pipe to remove T get a SLIP coupling's to put it back together make sure you center coupling on joint., mark pipe with felt marker pen. Nothing to it Good luck.
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Bill Lee wrote:

<snipped>
If you're real lucky you may find there's enough "give" or spring in the piping going into that T to permit you to reuse one or more of the original pipe ends after you heat the T and pull them out (or it off) of them or it.
If you can pull a pipe end out, clean the old solder off it by heating it 'till it's molten and then wiping it off with a wadded cloth. Then use abrasive paper or a wire brush to clean up the pipe end as close to bare copper as you can get. (Use a pocket mirror to check the backside if you can't see it directly.
If you have to cut the piping because there's no slack to work with, then make the cuts about 2-1/2" from the ends of the T and use stubs of new copper pipe and "slip couplings" plus a new T to replace what's there.
Slip couplings have no stop ridge inside them so they can slide completely onto a piece of pipe and then be slid back down onto the end of the pipe it's being joined to. Tou have to eyeball or measure things to be certain that the slip coupling is centered over the joint before soldering of course.
When soldering plumbing, cleanlyness is next to Godlyness, so make sure you wire brush or sandpaper everything to be soldered (including the insides of the legs of the new T.) 'till they're shiney, and don't forget to wipe a film of plumbing flux on all surfaces which will receive solder.
Heat the joints 'till the flux bubbles and then apply the solder where the pipe enters the fitting. If you're doing it properly the solder will pull into the joint by capillary action and run all around it. If you doubt your prowess, practice on the bench with some spare parts until you feel confidant you can handle "the real thing".
HTH,
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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and
joint
Cut it back 5 to 6 inches from the Tee and use couplings.
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joint
I
pipes,
do is replace the fitting. What I do if it is in a tight spot and to replace is major pain I will sill- floss it . ( SILVALOY 15 15% silver ) With Map gas you can do up to a 3/4" joint. Basically you get the joints red hot, no flux, put Rod to it, the solider will burn out. For a novice I would suggest replace the fitting. If it was leaking there could be something in the copper. Like I said I have had this happen I don't like using old fittings. Also if there is the smallest amount of water it will leak even a drip, Stuff the pipe with bread to stop water.
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Wouldn't getting it that hot cause the other joints in the T to melt and fail? Last spring I had to replace a broken pipe in a tight crawl space. My new joints were fine, but then nearby ones fell apart. I screwed with it for an hour, and just as I was about to give up in disgust, it miraculously all came together. But I didn't even get it as hot as you suggest.
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Depends, it can. If they are made properly, they may melt and just go back together again. One trick is to keep the other joints cooler by clamping on vice grips to act as a heat sink or a wet rag.
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an
Common sense Braze all the joints on the T
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I'm a little confused. In your original message you imply you had the T out and prepped it and then tried re-soldering (at least that's how I read "intensive sanding, fluxing, .......". Yet then below you are asking how to remove the T. If all you did was try to re-solder the T in situ and didn't get a good clean on the inside of it, it's probably going to leak. I had a similar problem recently and after a bit of research, I decided to cut it out and put a new one in. That would be your best bet. Cheers, cc
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Thank you all for your great advice. I'm now sufficiently educated to go ahead with this project. <grin> There definitely is enough play in the pipes to enable the removal and installation of a new "T".
Bill

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