I am totally finishing my basement (seven rooms) including installing a
bathroom. I want to be able to say I did it all myself. I have installed
about 50' of half inch copper with seven stopvalves and about 25 joints
(straight, T's and L bends). I used presoldered joints. With some
trepidation I opened the hot and cold stopvalves and found that just one of
the L joints had a very slight leak. The whole system is not an artistic
success but it is functional (except for the leak). The L joint is about 2"
from one wall and 3" from another (it is in a corner) so that seeing behind
the joint is not easy.
How should I deal with this? I know I have to drain the water from that
part of the system. Do I need to remove the L joint and replace it? Would it
be possible to apply flux to the two pipes and then add extra solder?
Would appreciate any suggestions.
Looking behind the joint is easy with dentist mirror. IMO, best thing to
do is to remove the joint and redo it with new one. And if this is your
first time at it, even if there is no leak now.... Good luck.
Actually plumbers use high compressed air for checking leak when they
finish a project. Clos all the valves, faucets, then pressurize the
eintire run, then leave it couple days. If there is pressure drop,
they have to find the leak before they can commission the system.
Real SMALL leak can take a day to produce a drop of water.
Actually what we do is fill the system with water then put a Hydrostatic
pump on it pump it up to 125 PSI. It is a little more work to fix a leak put
you find them faster. Plus it is much safer. Some systems do require air
only to test them. You only about 15 psi to find leaks, with soapy water.
Clean as much of the area as you can with steel wool or sandpaper especially
the edge of the fitting and the pipe area close to it and flux it well. When
you solder try to build a fillet around the edge of the fitting so that
solder bridges the gap between the pipe and the fitting similar to a cove
shape. I find if I do this when soldering I never have a leak, if I don't
there is a good chance there will be a slow leak.
Drain the water out of the line you might have to cut a coupling in You can
try to heat the area then while hot add flux then add solder. If that works
take the rest of the pre soldered fitting place on floor tap with hammer
until flat close to $2 a pound for scrap.
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