True or False? If sweated joints don't leak right away, they won't ever leak.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by petrie, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. petrie

    petrie New Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    Thus far in my limited soldering experience I have only had one leaky joint. And it was a major screw up on my part. I had soldered a 3/4 tee on the hot water line leaving the Water heater. 1st dumb thing was I forgot to open the outdoor spigots so water would stop draining , and then the vaccum in the pipe would let loose a little and more water would come. I did the bread trick without realizeing I need to open the outside valves. Furthermore I had been in a hurry and forgot to clean the fitting.

    Anyways I soldered the rest of it and put water too it and no leak. until 20 min later I notice a drop on the floor. Anyways if was slow, like a drop every two minutes, I decided to ignore it as it was dripping on an unfinished basement floor. Eventually it stopped. And it stayed stopped for about 2-3 weeks. Then it started again.. about a drop every 5-10 seconds. So I made plans to fix it on the weekend.

    Anyways I get home at 9 pm from work the next night and I've got water spraying out of the joint on the top and a pencil stream out the bottom. Luckly I had all the stuff for a repair and by 12 I had fixed my leaks. This time I opened ALL faucets and water drained out fast and I was able to work with a completely dry bread necessary.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  2. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Aug 13, 2013
    True or False? If sweated joints don't leak right away, they won't ever leak.

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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    A cold solder joint might hold for years, then, one inopportune bump, and it fails catastrophically - Terry has reported that at least once, and I'd expect most pros have seen it at least once.

    Water in a solder joint during the process of making it is a recipe for disaster.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I'd expect most pros have seen it at least once.

    My most memorable one was a 22 year old joint inside a cabinet. The homeowner dropped a can of peas and it hit the elbow, which fell off the tubing and flooded the kitchen before they could get the water turned off.
  6. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Jul 30, 2008
    The granite state
    I'm gonna say yes

    Job security LOL
  7. yngwie_69

    yngwie_69 New Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    Prince Rupert, BC
    funny thing is to! ive seen 1/2 copper joints 1/8" of the way in and held for over 20 years
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    And I've seen joints that weren't even soldered that held for a while until things were drywalled and painted.
    And when they start leaking, it's a mess. I think sometimes it's just the flux holding things up. When that washes out, all bets are off.

    This joint below was soldered. It looked like a poor repair of a previous leak.



    The homeowner was away, so the 1/2" pipe in the garage was running down the driveway and down the street, causing a sheet of ice before someone finally call the water district, who came out and turned the water off at the meter.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
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