How to fix cracked copper coupling in drain pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jonnyblaze, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. jonnyblaze

    jonnyblaze New Member

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    Jun 9, 2020
    Location:
    New York
    cracked coupling.jpg

    Long story short I’m a total novice, first time DIYer. trying to learn new things in quarantine. I had a leak behind the wall, after messing with it a while found that it was coming from an old epoxy putty job on the drain pipe from the master bathroom. My buddy works for con Ed and suggested using foam (which I did against my fathers advice), but the leak came back about a month later. So I removed the foam (cursing my own stupidity the whole time), cut away some more sheetrock to get a better angle and finally was able to remove the putty exposing this beauty. My dad who’s been advising me on this suggested getting it good and clean and taping it? I also had someone suggest cutting it out and putting on a fernco coupling, but there's very little play, so I'm concerned I won't be able to slip it to get around the pipes. Keeping in mind I have no prior experience or useful skills, and barely any tools (but I do have the internet and you fine ppl!) what do you suggest is the best way to repair this? Thank you!
     
  2. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Replace it.
    Don't have basic tools? Either buy them (you will need them in the future) or hire a plumber...in the meantime don't use this fixture, to stop further water damages.
    Watch youtube "how to" vids.
     
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  4. jonnyblaze

    jonnyblaze New Member

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    Thank you for the advice. apologies for the stupid question, but when you say replace it, what do you mean? Do you mean sweat it out and solder a new coupling? Because that will definitely require bringing in a pro.
     
  5. Helper Dave

    Helper Dave In the Trades

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    Wisconsin
    Sounds like that's what he means. Hire a plumber, though. No offense, but that area doesn't look like it'd be easy to work in at all, especially for a novice.

    And band-aids will never fix that. They'll only lead to more serious damage.
     
  6. jonnyblaze

    jonnyblaze New Member

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    Yup. Just made the call. He’ll be here in a couple hours. Thanks for the advice. You’re right the space is tight and I’d have a lot of anxiety trying to patch it then closing the wall knowing it’s only a short term fix.
     
  7. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

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    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
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    New York
    Con Ed had one of the best lead wiping schools in America the phone company came in a close second

    A decent Con Ed employee would have cleaned the copper and closed the gap with a small hammer and used 60 -40 Bar solder
     
  8. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    gradualy start some diy on things you might be more confident. cant hire everything out. and cant do everything yourself
     
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  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
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    Bothell, Washington
    What fixture in the home is being drained into that? If you plan on using a torch, more wall will need to be removed. Have plenty of water on hand or a fire extinguisher if you have an open flame there.

    They do make a tape that might seal there. The worry is that the line further down is also corrupted.
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
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    Bothell, Washington
    Okay, way beyond my pay grade on that. Lucky for me I see less of the copper DWV and fittings. Around here when a home gets that old they bulldoze it and start over with a new, larger structure.
     
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    So much for sustainable buildings...I know, the US isn't really into that. WHen I lived in Germany, it wasn't unusual to find homes that were 3-400 years old, or older. Talk about a nightmare to try to bring in utilities or update things! THe same family living the the same house for generations as it gets passed down.
     
  12. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

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    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
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    Terry, When repairing a split copper line that a torch would be impracticable to use this is why I suggested "lead wiping"

    I had an a home built n the very early 1900's with a brass/ copper alloy waste and brazing or soldering was not an option or tearing up the ceiling or floors

    I heated solder in a ladle and after preparing the cracked waste line I was able to wipe the solder to adhere to the piping
     
  13. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York

    Rather then "doing it my self" I think how long it will take me and how much my time is worth

    Can I reroof a house or even make minor repairs yes without any doubt as I am third generation of roofer before I decided to go into plumbing

    So I figured let someone else make a living and hired a roofing contractor

    Same with painting

    A painter I hired charged me $3,800 to paint 10 rooms it took him 4 days

    When I installed 43 roof drains in 7 days for Merrill Lynch I made $4,914 per day over the cost of materials ($34,398) in 7 -6 hr days in the 1980's

    Yesterday I went out and water jetted 9 storm drains for $350 each took almost 5 hours

    I would have to stop my DIY repair and go to a job and come back etc

    People must place a value on their time

    I even told Marty Silverman at General wire a lot of so called plumbers have no idea what their time is worth

    Some imbecile in my area was offering "free video inspections of their main sewer"


    I charge $375 per half hr plus traveling time

    My reason is No doctor or offers a FREE colonoscopy and says "if we find something then we charge"

    The equipment is expensive , the insurance company wants to be paid regardless if you want to work for free and the offence staff needs to be paid as well as the rent and other items related to overhead

    My top employee is in America for just 6 years and working for me for 4 years two moths ago I gave him 49% stock in my company as he bought in several million dollars of new accounts

    He bought 2 houses one is a three family for income and the other is to raise his family yesterday he told me he bought another multi family home

    He hired painters, electricians a roofer etc

    Imagine a couple comes to America with both in their late 20's apply for citizenship they learn to speak English and already they made over a million dollars in 3 years

    Think outside the box, hire those who will do it better faster and give a guarantee

    Most normal plastic surgeons would never dare change a flat tire and the reason is obvious


    I had signs on my trucks "We repair what your husband tried to fix"
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
  14. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Agree with that, Nothing wrong with " wont do it yourself". for multitude of reasons. Totaly get your point kinda like Brad Gates pickin up trash on the beach waste of time it cost him like 500 bucks to pick up . he could pay 2 guys damn good money to spend the day at it.
    there are a lot of people that make lots of money and do things they want for other reasons a little farther outside the box, exercise, accomplishment, challenge. for the money saved thats "inside the box". but valid point lets not forget the obvious
     
    Sylvan likes this.
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