copper pipe leak in ceiling

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by cats4nat, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. cats4nat

    cats4nat New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Hey to all!
    New to the Forums....love all types of forums.....have helped us out of many a rock and hard place!

    We found a leak in basement ceiling. :eek: After removing 2 ft x 2 ft part including wet area. We found copper pipe ...1 of 2 pipes.....is leaking slowly by dripping but enough to get ceiling wet and damaged. Area of leak on pipe is not near a joint or anything....just from small area of the pipe between two floor beams or joist? in ceiling .....about 6 inches of piping between the two beams. House is 25 years old however.

    Here is the $22 question....
    How easy to repair pipe.....and with what? I am thinking another piece of piping and soldering?! Any other suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Dave
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Your are thinking right. You don't want to do a fix that ends up leaking again only to ruin another ceiling. Cut out the bad part and soder in new parts.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Just to add to Cass's comment. Once water has been applied to a soldered joint, you can't just resolder it. You must cut the bad joint out and redo it. If you can get side or back and forth movement on the pipe. it should be pretty easy to put a short piece of pipe with a coupler on each end on the two ends you cut. Just measure carefully.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Yes, cut out some pipe and replace. Repair couplings, which do not have an internal stop, make this fairly easy.

    For peace of mind, it would be nice to try and find the "reason" for the leak, so that you can fix anything which might cause it to recur. Look for any place where a pipe might be rubbing against a knot in the wood , or might have been dinged by a hammer or nail during construction. You will not always find something. So fix the leak and don't lose any sleep.
  5. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    solder leak

    It could have a bad batch of copper pipe that the plumber used when the house was built or the plumber may have left the origenal flux on and didn't wipe it off. Over time it may eat through the copper.

    All of your copper pipe may have come from the same batch of pipe.

    Unless it looks bad, I would just take care of the leak.

    In an area like yours I sometimes will use a copper x copper x female iron pipe tee so as to let the water/steam escape while soldering and use a brass plug in the branch of the repair.........
  6. RJ

    RJ New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Use Sharkbite Connections. All you have to do is cut the pipe and push the fitting on.
  7. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Messages:
    1,317
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Could also be the water. The town I live in (Cape Coral, Florida) no longer allows copper, must use CPVC or PEX. Something in the water causes corrosion inside the pipe. As a matter of fact all houses (that I've seen) with copper and are over 10-15 years old will need a repipe in the near future.

    BTW - pretty nice forum here. I'm a plumbing designer for 6 years (not plumber! ;) ) for a mechanical engineer. The code and design stuff I have down pretty well but I really try to learn and relearn actual construction issues and practices.
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