How for fix a small leak in a vertical connection of half-inch copper

Users who are viewing this thread

Mcgee22

New Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
98155
I discovered a tiny leak in a vertical connection above a shower posi-temp valve. Can I heat and add more solder to that section, or does the whole assembling from the posi up to the shower head need to be reconstructed? This was installed along with converting all steel pipe in the house to copper just under 1 year ago... so very new work.

showerLeak_web.jpg
 

LLigetfa

DIYer, not in the trades
Messages
7,100
Reaction score
457
Points
83
Location
NW Ontario, Canada
I very much doubt that you could ever get solder to stick with corrosion and mineral buildup in the joint.
 

Mcgee22

New Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
98155
I very much doubt that you could ever get solder to stick with corrosion and mineral buildup in the joint.
Thank you for responding. I was afraid of that. I would like to avoid having to tear our a wall, since there is tile on both sides. Aside from finding a very very small plumber :) Is there a way for me to reach in and redo it? I can reach the posi and pipe. Maybe I remove the vertical section and replace with pex?
 

Sylvan

Still learning
Messages
2,499
Reaction score
596
Points
113
Location
New York
Clean the joint with steel wool and a liberal amount of paste flux like La- Co or utility flux (sos)

Heat the fitting all around and the capillary action to draw the allow in and just add a little more solder and use a rag to wipe the excess off
 

Fitter30

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,872
Reaction score
459
Points
83
Location
Peace valley missouri
Joint has to come apart cleaned resoldered. Might just be easier to use new fittings. Always clean fittings and pipe wearing cloth gloves the oil on your skin will keep the solder from flowing over the oil and flux won't clean it off.
 

LLigetfa

DIYer, not in the trades
Messages
7,100
Reaction score
457
Points
83
Location
NW Ontario, Canada
I would like to avoid having to tear our a wall, since there is tile on both sides.
Why can you not do the repair from the back side where the camera took that picture? You just need to shield any flammable material.

There exist slip couplers that can slide up and down to not have to spread the joint to fit a conventional coupler.
 

Sylvan

Still learning
Messages
2,499
Reaction score
596
Points
113
Location
New York
I think you will need to cut that out and do a new joint. Whatever flux had been there before is now gone.
I did a lot of jobbing in my 55+ year career and normally I try to use paste flux, heat the joints add more flux as the joint starts to melt and the majority of the time the solder will flow into the fitting. It is worth a try before taking everything apart

I had a problem on a highrise and the 4" copper riser had a soldered coupling . Hercules had Swif solder 95 -5 and when I could not find it any more I used bar solder (I know it is not lead free) but it did stop the leak. Looked a little sloppy but it stopped the leak.

I have one of these for my Swirl Jet tips so I never scorch the wall

https://www.zoro.com/rothenberger-f...O1DqWZnkJH2sgB2JPNtnOQigRTv4kgqkaAoSgEALw_wcB
 

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
2,673
Reaction score
696
Points
113
Location
Iowa
I agree with sylvan I have done this before. It can be tedious and frustrating, but if you can get it clean and remove the water which might take a couple heatings, you can add flux and add solder. You can get a joint to stop leaking. I've added onto copper assemblies and watched the old solder melt out of a joint and added more to it also.

I would say it's not a guarantee but it can be done.
 

LLigetfa

DIYer, not in the trades
Messages
7,100
Reaction score
457
Points
83
Location
NW Ontario, Canada
I did a lot of jobbing in my 55+ year career and normally I try to use paste flux
I grew up on paste flux and was soldering for my father before I was a teen. It was only later in life when I used liquid flux (could not find paste locally) that I ever had to go back and repair a joint. What I found out the hard way, was that liquid doesn't afford you as much wait time between application and soldering. When stacking a bunch of fittings, if too much time passed, a joint could oxidize and not take the solder. I found that I would have to pull the joint apart and clean it up before I could solder it. I've learned to not stack too many and only do a few at a time, planning out which I could leave for last.
 

Mcgee22

New Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
98155
I think you will need to cut that out and do a new joint. Whatever flux had been there before is now gone.
I was afraid but expected this to be the case. Is there a trick to doing this, like building outside of the wall. Since the connection to the posi is threaded, perhaps I can build that section with the 45, and then reinsert the longer piece up to the showerhead, and then I would only have one solder to do inside the wall. This of course with the knowledge that I am learning to solder this afternoon from YouTube. — Aside from that... what time can you stop by?
 

Terry

The Plumbing Wizard
Staff member
Messages
29,688
Reaction score
3,252
Points
113
Location
Bothell, Washington
Website
terrylove.com
This is on the non-pressure side up to the shower head. It would be okay to use a male adapter there and push fittings, maybe with a bit of PEX so that it bends and then you would just need the male adapter and a coupling.
Just skip the soldering for this one.
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
5,711
Reaction score
1,281
Points
113
Location
92346
I judge it by several factors sometimes I just cut it out but if I can drain water easily I've soldered up leaks without taking anything apart it can be easy but it can be a son of a gun too
 

Mcgee22

New Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
98155
Why can you not do the repair from the back side where the camera took that picture? You just need to shield any flammable material.

There exist slip couplers that can slide up and down to not have to spread the joint to fit a conventional coupler.
Well... why can't I repair from the backside. Often hindsight is 20/20, I followed and existing wall line that was about wide enough to contain the original drain pipe, other plumbing and electrical. Then... I tile the walls on both sides. I hindsight... I should have ignored the original wall like, and made the wall 3 feet deep. Oh well. Pex as Terry mentioned would probably work great. Just need to get the tool, and determine if I have truly have enough access to do the fix. Probably most difficult will be re-securing up at the shower head.
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
5,711
Reaction score
1,281
Points
113
Location
92346
Turn water off pull cartridge let water drain take a piece of sheet metal (I use scraps of single wall vent connectors to protect wood and flamables) spray area with squirt bottle and re burn the joint flux and shove solder in. that would be my first choice but if it doesn't work go to plan b
 

Mcgee22

New Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
98155
Turn water off pull cartridge let water drain take a piece of sheet metal (i use scraps of single wall vent connectors to protect wood and flamables) spray area with squirt bottle and re burn the joint flux and shove solder in. that would be my first choice but if it dosent work go to plan b
 

Mcgee22

New Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
98155
Thank you for responding with this helpful advice. I will give this a try I think, and hope I don't loose the neighboring joints... or burn down the house. :)
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
5,711
Reaction score
1,281
Points
113
Location
92346
Thank you for responding with this helpful advice. I will give this a try I think, and hope I don't loose the neighboring joints... or burn down the house. :)
For me it looks pretty easy like I said protect the wood don't want to force you into my way . I find sheet metal helps to bend around and get in there
 

Mcgee22

New Member
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
98155
For me it looks pretty easy like I said protect the wood don't want to force you into my way . I find sheet metal helps to bend around and get in there
Well, I called two plumbing places... and both want to cut out the wall. So... I am going to torch it, and if it works great. Then perhaps follow Terry advice of connecting PEX up to the shower head if I can.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks