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  • Plumbing experts....HELP!

    So yesterday was a great day off. Fixed the carpet cleaning machine, got all the leaves off the yard, cleaned up in the shop some....for once I completed what I planned for the day. Went to bed feeling content.. So that means punishment is on the way, right?

    Sure enough, wifey wakes me up in the middle of the night "Honey, get up; there's a wet spot on the bathroom ceiling!" Trudged up into the attic and found a pinhole in the copper outlet pipe from the water heater. Made a jury rig with a split piece of hose and a hose clamp to stop the leak and rigged a fan to start the drying process.

    Now I gotta fix it. It's all copper up there but I'm wondering if CPVC (or whatever) would be better. Just sweat on a couple of fittings to transition from copper to plastic all the way to the heater itself. Is there a better way? I'm trying to save my pennies for a mill purchase and don't wanna pay a plumber to do something I can do myself. What say ya'll?
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

  • #2
    If you are planning on sweating fittings anyway, why don't you just replace that small section of copper. Or if you cut in the middle of the pinhole and insert a coupling and solder it you will be fine.

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    • #3
      I've used the "new" plastic compression fittings that just slide over the old copper pipe. Quick and easy...you can repair the line even with water in it.
      Just slide the fitting on, tighten the nuts and it's done.
      Russ
      I have tools I don't even know I own...

      Comment


      • #4
        I fixed one the same way you did,rubber and a hose clamp,it's been ten years so I figure it's working fine

        Chances are if you have one pinhole then there maybe more which means re-do the whole system in the attic to be sure.
        I just need one more tool,just one!

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        • #5
          I'm a little foggy with plumbing but i seem to recall that plastic pipe was a
          no-no for hot water. I realize that cpvc is supposed to be good for hot water but i think its not to be used for any kind of drinking water. I'd just replace it with copper myself - but i'm certainly no expert!

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          • #6
            Some twenty odd years ago the firm I worked for tried making a hot water pipe out of plastic nad gave on it as the water caused fisures to be produced on the inside surface in so doing giving it a very short working life!!
            Stick with copper at least you can be reasonably sure it will stay water tight for some years.
            Peter
            I have tools I don't know how to use!!

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            • #7
              Guys...they've been using plastic pipe etc for years now. I was a victim of their first attempt. My bathroom flooded while we where in town. Yup....the hot water line I'd just installed burst.
              That was 25 years ago...things are better now. All the new modular homes etc use all plastic lines.
              My daughter just bought a new one of these homes and I checked it out....all plastic lines.
              I don't think the manufacturers would risk putting a pipe in if it was going to fail.
              We've put plastic patches in a lot of places in the motel we run. Never had a problem. Some of the patch pieces are ten years old now.
              All this stuff is supposedly CSA approved for use in Canada.
              Russ
              I have tools I don't even know I own...

              Comment


              • #8
                Polyurethane 1/2" tubing with one-touch fittngs all the way. Just like in the machines I make. Soooo easy, sooo maintainable, I don't care if it costs a little more.
                Last week at my son's school, they just about burned down the boy's dorm soldering in a new water heater.
                I think a lot of the plumbing trade needs to get past the 19th century.

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                • #9
                  for what's its worth, code has a lot to do with what pipe you use. one of the reasons they don't like to plastic in commercial or multi family res is the poisonous fumes given off if there is a fire. I'd just replace it with a piece of copper and a couple of copper joiners
                  .

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                  • #10
                    I wasnt concerned with it breaking - i just heard that it hadn't been aproved, at least in illinois, for use with drinking water. I assume they were worried about residule chemicals being disolved in the warm water and ingested...?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fasttrack
                      I wasnt concerned with it breaking - i just heard that it hadn't been aproved, at least in illinois, for use with drinking water. I assume they were worried about residule chemicals being disolved in the warm water and ingested...?
                      Right don’t want any of those nasty residual chemicals, however it all right if they load the water up chlorine and fluoride.

                      Personally I would go with Torker’s suggestion and use a coupling that uses compression type fittings. If you try to solder it you must be sure to get “ALL” the water out of the pipes before you start. If there is so much as a trickle of water from a shut off valve that does not shut off all the way, you will never get it hot enough to solder

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fasttrack
                        I wasnt concerned with it breaking - i just heard that it hadn't been aproved, at least in illinois, for use with drinking water. I assume they were worried about residule chemicals being disolved in the warm water and ingested...?
                        Huh...according to your plumbing code it is ok...see page 39. They list all the plastic pipe and connectors that are approved. The ones I'm talking about are approved.
                        http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:...a&ct=clnk&cd=1
                        BTW...to solder the joints you have to use "lead free" solder. You want chemicals? All the old copper pipe was soldered with lead solder. The lead free stuff is harder to use IMO....especially on old used copper pipe.
                        I have tools I don't even know I own...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Have any of you guys ever tried the bread trick with wet pipes? You stuff the pipe with bread and supposedly the bread absorbs enough water to let you get the joint sweated. After the water's back on the "toast" dissolves and goes away. Could be one for Mythbuster's ....

                          SP

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                          • #14
                            i've used the bread and it works....just make sure you aren't trying to push wet bread through a faucet strainer

                            THe best thing is to remove your shower valve and push it through there.

                            I did this last weekend....just use a copper joint, nice and easy. Shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes. The hardest thing is going to be draining the water out without wetting the ceiling too much.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had the same problem about 7 years ago,had about 150ft. roll of copper tubing under the house that gave me nothing but problems.Pinhole here one week,fix it and another would show up a month later,had this old dog chasing his tail better part of a year.I finally had enough and did what Torker recomended,very easy fix and I'm sure it will last longer than me.
                              At that time the poly B tubing was still available and this was the tubing that everyone had problems with in regards to releasing toxic chemicals.This tubing has not been available for potable water for quite some time.It can be easily be identified by it's light gray color.The tubing that I chose is what everybody here calls pex pipe,it is considerably more substantial than the old poly B as well.The compression fittings and crimp rings are available in any well stocked hardware store so availabilty should not be a problem,and as was mentioned earlier it's so easy...no messin with a torch,flux, solder, and sand paper in the attic,never mind soggy bread snacks. Here's a link to the product...http://www.pexsupply.com/categories.asp?cID=25&brandid=
                              I'm sure there are other brands but this is the one that I had good fortune with.
                              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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