Shower Valve Solder Leak

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Hillel, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Hillel

    Hillel Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    It appears that our master shower has a leak in the solder to the pipe which goes to the shower head. You can see the leak shooting out as a tiny jet in the picture below. This was installed by a professional plumber two years ago. There is not much room to work with the pipe above the valve in the open hole from the shower handle. Can this be re-soldered in place by just adding solder? The alternative would be to cut the wall from the closet behind to have enough room to cut the pipe, pull it out, solder it fresh, and insert a repair coupler.

    Shower Valve Leak.jpg

    Thanks,
    ---Hillel
     
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is no such thing as a simple "small" leak. The only way it can leak is if the entire joint is compromised and poorly done. It has to be removed and redone.
     
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    When we pull bad joints apart, often there is a lack of solder inside the joint. Trying to add solder outside of that joint is like patting someone on the back and expected to fix an ulcer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    A leak like that, once it has water contaminating it, like was said, needs to come apart, be thoroughly cleaned, and then resoldered...you will not be able to get solder to flow properly with the contamination.

    IT could have been caused by not fully cleaning the joint, overheating it and burning the flux, not heating it enough or evenly, and probably a few other reasons. A valve body has a fair amount of mass, and if you do not move your torch around to get it from all sides, the solder may not flow properly to fill in the joint.
     
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