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Old 08-09-2004, 03:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I have a leak below the bathroom sink at a T junction where the hot water pipe from the water heater splits off to the bathroom sink and shower faucets. The drip seems to be coming from the connection, not from a hole in the pipe. I took out the wal of the closet to get a better look at it. It is very close to the cold water T junction also, and the wall of the fiberglass cupboard. I am concerned about heating the junction with a torch to take it apart. Will I have to redo all three sides of the T, because they will all get hot if I am heating one side? Also, what do you use for a heat shield, is this something I can get at the hardware store?
My first 3 leaks were splits where I cut out the pipe. My forth leak was a joint. I too had to remove a single pipe from a T. This can be done without ruining the other two connections. The key is to make sure the "old" connections are "cleaned" using a wire brush or sand paper to remove as much of the old solder as possible. You can get the joint to re-sweat if it is clean enough.

I don't have any experience with adding solder to the same joint, but it wouldn't hurt to try it first.

Malconium is correct, you want to drain the water if at all possible.
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Old 09-15-2004, 07:52 PM   #16
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I finally got around to tackling my leak today. I was unable to get all the water out of the pipe, and ended up removing the leaking pipe from the junction, which I was able to do without disturbing the other pipes. I installed a new bathroom faucet while I was under there. Then I cut off a quarter inch of the copper pipe, which was pretty rough looking, sanded it clean and shiney, bent it to fit back into the T, cleaned out the T and made sure they were all dry. I put flux on, heated it up with a torch, and applied the solder, sure enough it pulled it all around the joint, and smoothed out so it looked like the other good joints. I was feeling pretty proud. Then I let it cool and applied water pressure. The term 'fountain' comes to mind! Suddenly water was squirting, spraying, and dripping everywhere around that joint! I'm dissapointed to say the least - what did I do wrong?
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Old 09-15-2004, 10:05 PM   #17
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Ok, I took a couple hours off to cool down, and went back out and tried it again. I did the same stuff as last time, but made sure I heated the pipe really well and put more solder all around it. Let it cool off, and now - apparently no leaks! I'll have to go sit out there with it for a while to be sure, but I might have actually fixed a plumbing problem with my own two hands (I'm so proud)! Thanks for the advice on how to do it!
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Old 09-15-2004, 10:17 PM   #18
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Make sure you do not touch the cleaned copper with your fingers. The oil from your skin will not allow solder to stick. Heat the work, not the solder. When the work is hot enough then apply solder to the work.
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Old 09-15-2004, 10:23 PM   #19
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I definitly touched it with my fingers the first time. That's probably the problem. The second time I sanded it all down to shiney copper, wiped it with a rag, put on the flux, assembled it, and started heating it up. Now that I've done it a couple times, it probably wouldn't be too bad to do on the road if I had to. Too bad we had to put up with that leak from Colorado to Oklahoma and back!
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Old 09-30-2004, 12:22 AM   #20
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Well, my fix lasted one short trip to the repair shop (for an axel checkup) and when I turned on the water at home it was dripping again. So tonight I pulled it apart and this time cleaned the inside of the junction as well with a dremel tool until it was shiney, and the outside of the pipe, being careful not to touch anything, and fluxed and soldered everything back together again. It's watertight again. We're taking a short trip in a week or so, so I guess we'll find out if it can survive the five hours on the road. I am determined to fix this leak myself!
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:51 AM   #21
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Steph, yes you have to clean everything, the pipe and the fitting it goes in. That was probably your problem causing the leaks. You should be good to go.

I have to fix two leaks in mine that I "repaired" with hose. One came off at Ft. Wilderness last week I am going to replace both runs of copper up to the kitchen area.
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:58 PM   #22
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I found a repair on the tub facuet made by the PO after it came apart, he used vinyl hose and a couple of small pipe clamps, the copper tubing came out of the hose and ran the water tank dry. I put the joint back together and used a piece of radiator hose over the tubing and used some big hose clamps to get it good and tight.
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:30 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Well, my fix lasted one short trip to the repair shop (for an axel checkup) and when I turned on the water at home it was dripping again. So tonight I pulled it apart and this time cleaned the inside of the junction as well with a dremel tool until it was shiney, and the outside of the pipe, being careful not to touch anything, and fluxed and soldered everything back together again. It's watertight again. We're taking a short trip in a week or so, so I guess we'll find out if it can survive the five hours on the road. I am determined to fix this leak myself!
Hang in there....sounds like you're going to get it right soon! Sometimes it just takes a few tries.
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Old 03-03-2005, 05:16 PM   #24
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Just so you know, I did finally get it fixed. One the third try I think. Now I am about to reassemble the pipe I had to remove to do the floor repair. When I took it out I discovered two patches like Gene describes. I'll be putting those back together with rubber tubing and hose clamps. Both of them are too hard to access to bother with the copper soldering, otherwise I'd fix them right. I don't want to set my new floor on fire!
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Old 03-03-2005, 06:44 PM   #25
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stefrobrts

Make sure you use "water hose".

Typical rubber hose will put a rubber taste in the water system.

Andy
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Old 03-03-2005, 06:58 PM   #26
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Will do! The old system used a bicycle inner-tube for the connection from the filler neck to the tank! I think I'll try and find some water hose to replace that too!
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Old 03-03-2005, 07:04 PM   #27
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Steprobrts

Let me know if you can't find it.

I will send you some.

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