Can anything stop a slow leak without disassembly?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by chiguy, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. chiguy

    chiguy New Member

    I think I know the answer to this already (No), but I'm just wondering if there is a product out there that will stop an extremely tiny leak without having to take things apart. I have some brass fittings that are screwed together using teflon tape. I have one of those leaks that drips about once every 10 minutes. Very frustrating. It will be a real pain to take everything apart again, and if I do, I'm putting it back together with thread sealant instead of tape, but I'm just wondering if there is anything I can goop onto the joint to stop such a tiny leak without taking it all apart. Thanks for any help.
  2. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Are you sure you wrench-tightened it properly?

    You can *try* any kind of sealant like silicone caulk. But I think it'll create more mess and won't work for very long. Water supply is under pressure, and the only effective seal is some kind of physical compression that the threads provide.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    I would suggest that no type of caulking or sealant per se applied on the outside would have any effect whatever.

    The product which will work, and is listed by the manufacturer as permanent, although I would consider it emergency, temporary, is the epoxy-embedded fiberglass wrap, by Rector seal and others. It will not look real pretty, and you will have a hard time EVER taking that joint apart. There is a time and place for everything. This is America. You decide.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    How long has it been dripping? If you are reluctant to disassemble the joints, then wait a while. Brass fittings will often seal themselves after a day or so, as long as it is in the open where you can check it in case it ever starts leaking again, which will not normally happen. If it doesn't then you can take it apart, because you will not find any "patch" that would be safe to use for anything other than a temporary fix.
  5. chiguy

    chiguy New Member

    Thanks for the replies. The answer to how long been dripping is immediately after getting it put together. I'm all over your idea. Just leave it a few days and see if it stops. It seems to be reducing already so it may not be a problem. I can always take it apart if need be as it is on an assembly at the bottom of my hot water heater and open for easy access. I just don't want to take it apart again as I have to drain the tank to do it! I hate this stuff that screws together and gets other stuff joined or sweated to it so that you can't tighten it anymore before you can ever pressure test it!
  6. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Columbus, OH
    Give it a day or two and it might just do you a favor! You could also throw a union or two on the end so you can remove it for disassembly in the event it does leak.

    What's it for?
  7. chiguy

    chiguy New Member

    I knew someone was going to ask that question. I was trying to avoid going there because it would just complicate things.

    Anyway, the answer is that it is for the widget that connects my hot water heater to the desuperheater in my geothermal system. You unscrew the drain valve out of the hot water heater, and screw this piece back in its place. It has connections for the old drain valve you just removed, and then out and in connections for hot water to flow through the desuperheater. The in connection returning hot water to the tank was the one with the tiny drip. That's the answer.
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