pin hole leak in copper t join


I've noticed a pinhole leak in a copper "T" joint in our basement. The leak is coming from the bottom of the "T" and it appears to be the solder that's leaking, not the copper. Is it ok to just "sweat" some more solder into that joint to stop the leak or should I be replacing the entire "T"? Cutting the "T" out and redoing everything to get rid of the leak seems painful ...
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mattb wrote:

These previous threads have addressed this
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_thread/thread/a3a92fdde44e5edc/73e342c3e4232646?lnk=gst&q=leak+copper+joint&rnum &hl=en#73e342c3e4232646
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_thread/thread/e33780695c2c960f/09d1696186ad9d9e?lnk=gst&q=leak+copper+joint&rnum=1&hl=en#09d1696186ad9d9e
cheers Bob
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First you must get all the water out, sometimes not all that easy. You may have to cut a coupling in. You can try and reheat the T re solder it. When the pipe is hot put flux on it. If this dose not work then you might be better off replacing the T . It might just be a case of bad prep, missed a spot with flux something on the pipe if you do pull the T spend some time cleaning pipe ends and T and make sure you cover it all with flux.
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Replace all the plumbing in the house. If you have one leak, there will be more.
wrote:

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On Sat, 23 Dec 2006 10:56:56 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@someISP.com wrote:

He really should just buy a new house, if the plumbing is wearing out everything else will be too.

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It is difficult to get all the water out of the pipe to get a good solder job. Try it. It may work. Then again, if not, the thing to do is cut it out, and DON"T sweat in another T, but use compression fittings. Cut, cut, cut, put in the new pieces, and wrench them tight. Be sure to get good straight cuts, and don't smash the pipe. You may have to use one of the mini cutters. Just cut slowly, twisting the tensioner one turn at a time, then three rotations around the pipe.
Steve
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It doesn't hurt to try. First drain all the water out of the pipe. Sometimes I have had to hook up my wet/dry shopvac to a lower area and open all the valves in upper areas to get the water out. Keep it running for 15 - 20 minutes, the water will want to move slowly. You may not succeed in removing it all from the "tee", if not you may have to cut the pipe and fit new pipe and fittings in.
Second, clean about 1 inch of the pipe, the full end of the "tee" paying particular attention to the edge of the "tee" where the pipe fits in, you must have clean copper or shiny solder showing. Slather on some flux. Then heat it with your torch. If the water is out of the fitting it will heat up until the existing solder melts, at this point add some more, try to build up a fillet over the edge of the "tee" and along a bit of the pipe. If you succeed, you will have sealed it. Sometimes the lead-free solder will not work well, I find adding some older lead/tin solder will help seal the joint. The inside of the joint is full of lead-free solder, so little will ever come in contact with the water.
Let it cool, close all the valves and turn on the water, open each valve one at a time to let the air out. Check your joint for leaks. Hopefully you will have none.

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On Sat, 23 Dec 2006 12:54:09 -0500, "EXT"

A wife with a big mouth usually sucks out the water faster than a shop vacuum. Especially if you draw a picture of a penis on the end of the pipe.
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wrote:

Often the cause is insufficient cleaning prior to soldering. Over the years I've had good luck draining, heating and pulling the joint apart then recleaning and resoldering. You may have to cut the tubing to the left or right of the T to get it to drain completely but you can rejoin the cut sections with a coupling. BTDT.
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