Any qiuck fix for copper leak?

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Jason Hunter

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A copper pipe supplying my outdoor tap has a 1/4" split in it an inch before the hose connector. Is there any way to seal the leak or do I have to cut the pipe and put on a new connector. How do I do that. Do I need a professional? I have to wash my truck. :D

Mike Swearingen

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On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
Yes, you need to cut the burst pipe off with a tubing cutter, and sweat (solder) a new female threaded copper fitting onto the end of it in order to screw in a new 10" or 12" frost-free hose bibb.
Whether or not you need to hire a plumber or not depends on your experience and aptitude.
If you DIY, you will need a tubing cutter, sandpaper or emory cloth, a propane torch, flux and lead-free solder.
If your hose faucet pipe is going through a layer of cinderblock and brick facade, get a 12" frost-free hose bibb and a half-inch copper female threaded fitting.
Turn the water off, and allow all residual water to drain out of the line.
Insert the frost-free hose bibb into the outside wall hole so that it sticks in beside the pipe. Mark the pipe about 1/4" to 1/2" beyond the threaded end of the hose bibb.
Cut it there with the tubing cutter, and clean the end of the pipe with sandpaper or emory cloth.
Also sand the inside of the female fitting. Put flux on the inside of the fitting and on the end of the pipe and slide the fitting all the way onto the end of the pipe.
Heat the fitting, not the pipe, and touch the end of the solder around the edge of the fitting until it pulls the solder all the way around the base of the fitting. Do not overheat it, or it will melt it out.
Wrap 2-3 flat wraps of teflon tape clockwise only around the male threads of the frost-free hose bibb as the threaded end faces you, and then screw it into the pipe until the word "TOP" appears on top of the octagonal part of the bibb next to the threads.
That should put the hose bibb at the appropriate place right side up outside the wall.
Screw two screws into the wall in the hose bibb notches on the outside of the wall. Should be good to go.
Good Luck!
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Gary Swart

In the Trades
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Yakima, WA
Just a short addition to Mike's excellent instructions. As he said, apply heat to the fitting not the pipe, and touch the solder to the fitting. I want to stress that it is the heated fitting that melts to solder, not the flame from the torch, and it is the flux that makes the molten solder flow into the joint. When the solder flows, remove the heat and allow the joint to cool naturally without moving the joint. While it is still warm, you may wipe the excess flux from the joint with a damp rag, but do not apply water to the hot joint to hasten the cooling process.
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