I had a new hot water heater installed yesterday with a auto-shutoff
valve for the water heater installed on the cold water piping. The
valve had a female threaded end for the incoming water and a mail
threaded end for the exiting water of the valve. The plumber had to
cut the cold water pipe back to make room and then he soldered on the
proper threaded pipe ends to that he could connect the valve to the
pipe. The end where the water goes in is fine but the other end has a
very very slow seepage leak. It is so slow that it barely creates a
water bead and when it does drip, the water droplet dries before
another one has a chance to drop.
Since the valve is now threaded on both ends with peices of soldered
piping, I can't remove it to check the seal created by the teflon tape
on the threads. Is there anyway to stop the leaking while it is in its
stationary position on the pipe? Will the mineral deposits from the
water seal the slow seepage on its own (I Have seen this occur on other
types of copper piping thread joints) ?
I had the same thing happen on my cold water supply for my washing
machine. some moron tried to seal the problem with a bunch of glue or
caulk or something...all it did was leak around it. I had to replace
that section of pipe to stop the leak.
You're leak sounds minimal... I wouldn't touch it...especially if it's
leaking slow enough that the water evaporates before it goes anywhere.
Makes me think though, that maybe the plumber screwed up other stuff
along the line and that's all you can see. Might be best to look at
anything else he did.
Wow - the vote is 2 to leave alone - sound easy enough :-)
The elbow joints the plumber put in appear to be soldered well. It is
just the threaded joint where the stop valve was installed. Luckily,
the seepage is on the exiting side of the valve so if the leak should
ever worsen, the water detector will automatically shut the water off
to the heater.
Interestingly, there were hard mineral deposits on the hot water exit
pipe joint on the copper flex-tube. There must have been a seepage
when the older water heater was installed and it sealed itself with the
mineral deposits. The seepage returned there last night as well but
after a few hours, it was bone dry. I am hoping that the same occurs
with the joint that is currently seeping.
Since so far everyone has told you it's not a big deal, I'd feel confident
in calling the plumber and asking his opinion. Can't hurt. And if he says
don't worry about it, you might just want to send him a note confirming your
conversation if the leak gets worse instead of self healing from the mineral
I will also agree you can safely leave it alone and minerals will
"heal" it. Of course if you want the job done right, it probably just
needs to be a little tighter or more teflon tape or pipe dope. I
found over the years that using BOTH teflon tape and pipe dope (on
troublesome fittings) cures the problem. If there is a union above
the valve (should be), it would not be that tough to remove that
section and re-dope and tighten.
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