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Old 02-24-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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What would cause all the joints to open?

When I got my AS, all of the copper lines had bursts in them, in multiple spots. Additionally, all of the joints - 'T's" and elbows under the sink and all the way back were undone, as if someone had taken a blowtorch, heated the solder and pulled it out getting ready to do a complete redo of the lines.

When I asked the PO about it, (weeks after he had payment) he said that it was fine the last time he used it, and he had never unhooked the plumbing.

Any thoughts? He's as confused as I am. It's like the antifreeze was acid and ate through the solder and then exploded in multiple spots on the line.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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Errrrr!!

It sounds like AS did a poor solder job on the lines. The joints held up under water pressure but blew apart because they froze. Looks like a good time to upgrade to PEX tubing.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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It sounds like AS did a poor solder job on the lines. The joints held up under water pressure but blew apart because they froze. Looks like a good time to upgrade to PEX tubing.
wow. hard to believe it could do that. I guess the solder got cold and brittle. Since some of the fittings were frozen high, the PO must have left the system pressurized.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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Sweat soldered copper will pull apart when the water inside freezes. The joints aren't especially strong, not nearly as strong as flare fittings.

Especially with some burst lines too it was pretty clearly frost damage.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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It sounds like AS did a poor solder job on the lines.
Really?! I don't think so...they probably held up just fine for 40-some odd years until the #%@!* PO failed to winterize it properly. How can you still blame Airstream after all these years...seriously?!

I agree with Jammer's assessment and your conclusion robwok...

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Originally Posted by robwok View Post
...the solder got cold and brittle. Since some of the fittings were frozen high, the PO must have left the system pressurized.
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Sweat soldered copper will pull apart when the water inside freezes. The joints aren't especially strong, not nearly as strong as flare fittings.

Especially with some burst lines too it was pretty clearly frost damage.
Solder is much softer than the copper it holds together...if the system is going to fail, it's going to do so at the weakest point...the joints. Clearly, the system was not drained if both the joints & some of the pipes themselves popped.

However, as you pointed out TG, the end result is the same...

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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Looks like a good time to upgrade to PEX tubing.
Even with PEX though, you still have to winterize...it's just not quite as sensitive.

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Old 02-24-2011, 01:56 PM   #6
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Yup - I agree with Jammer. The PO didn't winterize and when the lines froze they burst in any number of places. I think your PO screwed you; he knew what the deal was.

Good luck - Pat
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:16 PM   #7
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I think your PO screwed you; he knew what the deal was.
Ab-so-lute-ly! I guess he didn't really outright lie when he said...
Quote:
...it was fine the last time he "used it", and he had "never unhooked the plumbing".
The last time he "used it"...he left it "hooked up" to a water source, he knew that if he "used it" again, (aka "to winterize it") it would leak. So of course, he hasn't "used it" since...it didn't work!

Unfortunately, you are now stuck with the problem!

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Old 02-24-2011, 02:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by robwok View Post
When I got my AS, all of the copper lines had bursts in them, in multiple spots. Additionally, all of the joints - 'T's" and elbows under the sink and all the way back were undone, as if someone had taken a blowtorch, heated the solder and pulled it out getting ready to do a complete redo of the lines.

When I asked the PO about it, (weeks after he had payment) he said that it was fine the last time he used it, and he had never unhooked the plumbing.

Any thoughts? He's as confused as I am. It's like the antifreeze was acid and ate through the solder and then exploded in multiple spots on the line.
The water lines froze, simple as that.

To confirm that, measure the diameter of the copper tubing near the failed areas.

You should measure either 3/8 or 1/2 inch.

What I believe you will find, is that those dimensions have increased.

That being the case, a complete tubing replacement is the only long term real fix.

Andy
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:31 PM   #9
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Yup - I agree with Jammer. The PO didn't winterize and when the lines froze they burst in any number of places. I think your PO screwed you; he knew what the deal was.

Good luck - Pat
The PO was very nice. He knocked $300 off the price when we were doing the walk through. He honestly didn't know the lines were busted. I had planned to go with pex regardless of the shape of the lines, so I wasn't hurt to see it, just confused. Pex is easy to snake through, my real concern is any issues with the drainl lines or elbows. Didn't really want to tear things apart to replace those.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:02 PM   #10
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Sorry, Rob - I'm sure he's a nice guy and all that. But since you've had a freeze, you have much more than a $300 discount to spend. But we buy these things to work on them, right?

There's a lot of good help on this forum if you can manage the search functions. And there's help for that too.

Maybe I'll get to see you and your project one of these days.

Pat
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:06 PM   #11
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Yeah Rob, as everyone has said, the pipes froze .......................duhhh to the PO. As far as the drains are concerned, pull out all of the traps, as they have likely cracked. I have seen this many times, the drains appear to work, however tiny cracks in the trap will allow water to weep out & ultimately rot out (more of) the floor

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