Very Slow Leak at Shower Valve

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by HR, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. HR

    HR New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Hello,
    Just finished installing a new 4 way shower valve. Used copper all around with Brass fitting screwed onto the valve assembly with teflon tape. Have not done that much soldering but that worked out perfectly.
    Trouble is at the threaded hot water supply fitting at the valve. I tighted these fittings up about as much as I could , but a very slow leak was apparent later the day of installation. Not a big one, at about 2 drops a day. Trying to figure out a plan.
    Couple things I have considered. Thinking of heating up the the copper piping at a joint to loosen up the fitting and tighten the bolt, but I don't want to compramize that joint.
    Or cold I heat up the brass fitting at the valve and apply some solder to the threaded fitting. I am concerned this may be too much heat close to the valve.
    Or should I just cut the pipe and start from scratch on this one fitting?
    Any ideas would be much appreciated.
    Thanks.
    Rob
  2. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    Cut the pipe, but put back together with a coupling (no stop, if nesessary)...don't start from scratch.

    My non-pro approach is to use a generous application of teflon pipe dope on those connections that "have to" be right the first time.
  3. HR

    HR New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks Ted.
    That is probably the best bet. Little tight on space , but it will probably work.
    Also read on another post (search on leak) that if there is a slow leak on a brass fitting it may sort itself out.
    Cheers,
    Rob
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I don't like to rely on it "sorting itself out" because it is just as likely to "unsort" itself later!

    Metal threads should go hand tight plus 2 to 3 turns with a wrench. Tape,or dope, and lots of guys recommend both. Mainly, I suggest not TOO MUCH tape. Just 3 to 4 turns of the paper thin white tape, or just 2 turns of the heavy tape (like the yellow gas tape).
  5. HR

    HR New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks Jimbo...Sounds like it's cutting time!
    Cheers
  6. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    Soldering close to a male adapter can cause it to leak. It's best to make the nipple as long as possible, sweat it up and let it cool before screwing it in to the valve. Then wrap a wet rag around the the adapter before soldering the next joint.
  7. HR

    HR New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks much. This is a wealth of information for the DIYer.
  8. steelydanfan

    steelydanfan Plumber

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    I've found that teflon paste applied on top of 3 wraps of teflon tape to be the way to go for such connections. Also do the wet rag wrap in certain situations. Good luck with the fix.
  9. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    I installed a Price Pfister customer supplied tub/shower valve today. Since it was bought at a BigBox, it had the female threaded sockets. I sanded the sockets and male adapters then wrenched them tight and soldered them. That way I don't worry about that joint leaking from the heat.
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