View Full Version : pipe repair
12-26-2008, 10:53 AM
trying to make repair on 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 x x 3/4 tee fitting 1" joint leaking on fitting, drained down system but still have small amount of water in pipes. anyway to resolder this joint without cutting into pipes and installing valve to stop flow of water?
12-26-2008, 10:56 AM
white part of wonderbread should buy you enough time to solder the joint. It would then dissolve in the system when the water is turned back on.
What's the 1" joint?
Best to read some of the threads on soldering copper pipe first. You'd be surprised of the do's and don'ts.
12-26-2008, 11:07 AM
12-26-2008, 12:04 PM
You will have to cut a pipe, and drain the water.
Heat and pull off the fitting.
Clean and flux
There is no short cut here.
12-26-2008, 12:10 PM
I think he said that the valve wasn't closing all the way and he still had some water flowing that was preventing the pipe from heating up enough for the solder to melt. What would you do in this situation?
12-26-2008, 12:18 PM
There is no mention of a valve in his post, only that he can't drain down the water enough to heat the fitting.
As plumbers, we see this all the time.
And the first time we see it as young pups, we try to heat it anyway.
When we find that doesn't work, we spend the rest of our life cutting the pipe and pulling the fitting off so we can clean, flux and solder it.
If you need to drain a house down quickly, open "all" of the faucets in the home. If you don't, it will take hours longer.
There is no short cut for the fitting.
Once it has had water in it, and it has leaked, it needs to be pulled.
12-26-2008, 12:23 PM
I have had a little success in helping a branch drain faster by blowing air into it from one of the fittings.
There is usually some way to stop the flow of water, either by intercepting it before it gets to the joint, or shutting off the entire building. But you will not be able to just "resolder" the joint. Once water has leaked through it is is contaminated and you have to take it apart and redo it as a new joint. Which means you will probably have to cut it apart anyway.
12-26-2008, 09:05 PM
1" was typo meant the 3/4 was where leak is at. thanks for posts looks like going tohave to drain down building unfortunately no shut offs anywhere to isolate the T fitting.
What contaminates joint once it leaks minerals in water?
12-26-2008, 10:41 PM
As everyone is telling you, you can't just reheat the fitting and jam more solder into there. You need to cut out that fitting and as much tubing as necessary to get the joint installed and soldered properly.
As GabeS said, if you are having problems with residual water in the lines leaking out into the joint that you are trying to work on after you have shut off and drained the system, you can use some white bread (not the crusts, and certainly do not use brown bread) to create a blockage in the tubing to hold back the water temporarily. The bread will break up once you pressurize the system...just be sure to leave the aerator off of whatever fixture that line leads to so that you can flush out the bread particles.
Or, better yet, if you have access to a wet vac, you can cut into your pipe, and put the vac over the line for a few minutes and suck the residual water in it out.
The water itself does the contamination. Once the flux is washed, or burned, off the solder has to make contact quickly, otherwise the copper starts to oxidize and has to be recleaned and refluxed.
12-27-2008, 09:11 AM
And when you are soldering, you can't isolate it completely.
There has to be an open end for the expanding air to escape.
If you don't provide that, then it will find a way on the last joint you solder, blowing out the solder and causing a leak.
You have to have something open, like a faucet.
But since you have opened up all the faucets to speed the drain down, just leave them open until you are done soldering the last joint.