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 copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: kurtdahl (MN)

In order to install a new water softener, I had to redirect the existing softener intake and outflow copper pipes. I turned off the house's main water valve, another valve very close to the main valve, and the valve on the intake pipe. I also opened the laundry room faucets and the upstairs kitchen faucet. These steps did not eliminate a slow drip from the intake water pipe. Thinking I might get lucky, I soldered the remaining joints anyway. Once I turned the water supply back on, there was a pin hole leak in the soldered joint. Is there any way I can permanently repair the leak without having to cut out and replace the water pipe? If a C-clamp with a rubber sleeve will work, I'm OK with that. If I have to remove and replace pipe, how can I get the drip stopped in order to guarantee a dry soldering surface?

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: plbgbear (TX)

How long did you let the system drain before trying to solder? Did you trying closing the valve at the meter on the city side. You could have a valve that is not closing all the way. If you close the meter valve and that works you should be able to solder the pinhole with no problem.

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: kurtdahl (MN)

There are two valves; one on either side of the meter. So, I'm shutting off on the city side and just on the "customer" side of the meter. I waited at least an hour and, after a certain period, the drip never slowed or stopped. I could pull down on the pipe and a mini-gush of water would come out -- the drip would stop for a few moments, but then resume.

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

There is no way to properly repair that leak without (A) removing ALL the water from the pipe and (B) taking the joint apart, to reclean and flux both pieces. The water has contaminated the surfaces, and there is little chance that you could successfully get solder to flow where it needs to to make a seal. There is almost NO chance solder will flow as long as there is the least little amount of water in that pipe.

Wish there was an easier answer, but only Billy Mays could solve this one.

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: hj (AZ)

That "drip" is just the outward manifestation of a bad joint which probably has a much greater area inside it that did not solder properly. Once water contacts the "unsoldered" area, it will NEVER solder properly until it is taken apart, recleaned, and refluxed. There are many ways that we eliminate the water, each peculiar to a specific situation, but without knowing HOW your system is arranged we cannot tell you what would be the best way for YOU to do it.

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: hj (AZ)

And he would do it with "super bond putty".

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: PlumberManDan (IA)

Here is what I do, when I have a valve that "just leaks a little", turn it off at the meter valve in the basement (MN) and completely loosen the house side meter nut, place a bucket under it first to catch the water open your outdoor faucet and a faucet on the highest level of the house, let it drain, unsolder the joint or cut the fitting out throw the fitting in the scrap copper box , re-clean, re-flux using a new fitting re-solder.

PlumbCat TM 2003


Plumbermandan

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: sum (FL)

I heard some plumbers sometimes use "bread" to block the drip?

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: PlumberManDan (IA)

Hamburger buns are the bread of choice here if it is a VERY SLIGHT leak, Bread will not withstand any pressure it will however stop water from invading if it is just from a same floor belly in the pipe. It has helped me in a few cases

PlumbCat TM 2003


Plumbermandan

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: hj (AZ)

Does NOT work with a "pressure drip" just one caused by water draining from the piping. A pressure drip will push through the bread, or wash it out, just as it will when the water is turned back on full force.

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: hj (AZ)

I 60+ years in the trade, I may have had to use bread only one or two times, and I cannot remember either of them.

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: PlumberManDan (IA)

HJ, well your just a Plumbing GOD, We now have SUPERPLUMBER and PLUMBGOD. I would rather work SMART not hard. I will use bread if it is called for if not and that is usually the case, why waste the dime

PlumbCat TM 2003


Plumbermandan



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: hj (AZ)

didn't you just agree with me?

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: dlh (TX)

i use it when i have to but it is not often that i do since i know how to get the water out of the pipe.

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 Re: copper pipe pin hole leak at soldering joint
Author: NICK (CA)

I have used bread once in awhile. I think it was Hawaiian bread that worked great. I use my jet swet whenever it is possible.

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