Seal pipe thread without unscrewing?

I have a threaded water connection (brass into brass) with a tiny leak. It won't even make a drip over several hours, but when I rub my finger on the bottom side, I can feel and see the water that was there. I don't want to close up the wall with it this way, and I also don't want to undo the connection (lots of work and I don't want to disturb the rest of it for fear of worse problems).
I have tried Seal-All, but it remains pliable and bubbles from the leak. I have tried PermaGasket (from my car repair kit) but it's too soft...the water comes on through. I have tried a tape that resembles electrical tape, but you stretch it and then it recovers to make a tight "seal", but the water still eventually comes through.
I have considered turning off the water, draining the section, drying it thoroughly, and applying some epoxy, but before doing this, it occurred to me that you guys may know the perfect solution.
What would you do?
Joe
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Can you drain and solder it?
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John Harlow wrote:

I forgot to mention that I had tried that, but I had some trouble getting the solder to adhere. My best effort seemed a bit....lacking.
Are there special techniques for soldering brass?
Joe
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Clean all surfaces, use flux and the right amount of heat. If there is any water in the line it's not going to work.
I think this will be a hack though. Your best bet is to take it all apart and fix it right. Many times I've spent more time trying to make something work than to simply do it right in the first place.
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I bought a pipe repair kit at my local Lowe's that uses an epoxy for around $10. Basically you soak the strip and wrap the pipe with it and let it dry. Worked like a charm.
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yeah ive seen that stuff. it works.
for a while...
randy

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But for how long with a pipe under pressure? I've used different kinds of epoxy, form the one that suppose to fix engine blocks to the ones specifically for pipe repairs. All stop the leaks for a few days but given enough time, a month or two, they all failed.

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John Harlow wrote:

Problem is....the "right" fix would involve buying a whole new tub valve ($65 or more) to replace this already virtually brand new one. I suspect the problem is that the threaded inlet is very slightly out-of-round due to light tapping (okay, maybe light banging) with a hammer to get it into place.
Believe me...I've learned my lesson...if I had it to do over again, I certainly wouldn't do it again. I will NOT be touching the shower valve I'm going to put in with any sort of hammer-like tool.....esp. since the valve costs 3+ times as much.
I'd prefer a hack to re-buying the valve.
Joe
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can't you just take it apart and put it back together with some teflon tape? Pipe fittings have an interference fit so they seal as you tighten it. If you think you over tightened it and thats why it leaks(because its bottomed out) perhaps some teflon tape will make it seal.
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Kathy wrote:

It's had teflon tape applied each time it's been screwed in (that's a few times) but that doesn't seem to help this problem. When I have unscrewed it previously, the teflon tape has appeared to be virtual nothingness on the thread portions that had had contact.
I had finally had gotten all the soldering done and everything in place and then the next morning I was checking all the joints and found the smallest amount of wetness on this one place. It's like when I run my finger along the bottom of the joint, I feel some wetness and see a strip of water on my finger maybe 1/32" wide and and inch long....maybe a quarter of a drip. It doesn't actively drip, though.
Joe
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Joe S wrote:

Use more tape.
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I'd take it apart and fix it properly. Sometimes leaks will stop as the opening clogs with minerals from the water, but since this is in a wall, you don't know that for sure and cannot check on it.
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<snipped>

This time you'll be paying more attention & get it right. Hang on to the old one & you'll have parts.
Once you close up the wall you'll be glad you did.
Been there, done that. Something similar anyway.

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You will have to turn off the water supply to it, and let the water drain out. If there is water inside, and you are trying to solder the pipe, the water will not allow the metal surface to come up to the proper temperature to be soldered.
After the water is properly drained, carefully sand down the surface to be very clean. Then apply solder flux, and rub it in with a tissue paper or disposable cloth. Add some more flux to make sure that there is a coating of it on the pipe surface where you want the solder to flow.
Heat the area very well with a propane or equivalent torch. Once it is hot enough, apply the solder in a fashion to have it flow around. Add the solder as necessary.
It is best to solder copper pipe. The old steel type of pipe does not solder very well. It is best to use welding with an assetlene torch if it is a steel pipe. It will take a fair amount of heat to do this.
The best way, is to fit new pieces of pipe in, that are properly threaded. You will have to make some new threads on the older pipes that are in place, and use the proper fittings, with the proper sealing tape. This is the best solution.
If you cannot do all this, it would pay to spend the few dollars and have a professional plumber do it for you. They are properly equipped, and must guarantee their work.
--

Jerry G.
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Joe S wrote:

Will you have relatively easy access to it after you're done? Generally tub and shower fittings should be accessible through an access panel in the wall. Often this is in the back of a closet so it doesn't show. If you will have access, and you don't want to fix it the "right" way, you can just put a pan to catch the drips and check it every so often to see if it stops (silts up) on its own. If you will not have access, probably you should bite the bullet and redo it with a new part.
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You might try to surf on over to loctite's website. I've used a product from them several times that you apply after the joints are made. Granted this is for applications on my Jeep and not your valve stuck in a wall so take this advice with a grain of salt. If I remember correctly, the stuff I used was in a green tube but I don't remember the loctite number on it. I've seen it in auto parts stores. Cheers, cc

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Loctite and some other manufacturers sell a wicking sealant that will use capillary action to seep into the gaps of a loose fitting.
http://www.shipstore.com/ss/html/LOC/LOC29000.html
http://www.higherpowersupplies.com/page/HPS/PROD/VM-112367
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I must gently agree with you. Uh, should I say more than that? Well, I guess this is usenet.....
"D'uh!"
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Christopher A. Young
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Is it a cold faucet? Might be just condensation.
Try teflon, and then a dose of Rectorseal #5 thread sealant. I have been taught to use that combination when I do water pipes. works nicely.
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Christopher A. Young
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I've had -trouble- getting the solder to stick sometimes no matter how well I cleaned up the pipes. Once while replacing a water htr. I got frustrated with the solder and got my oxy-acetylene and my HVAC rods and 10 min. later the job was history! Barrie

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