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Fix Hot Water Pipe

Posted by Mike C on May 4th, 2003 08:55 PM
In reply to leaky hot water pipe by Hoa Le on May 4th, 2003 08:07 AM [Go to top of thread]


If this is copper pipe, you might want to try fixing it yourself. If you've never soldered copper pipe before, you will need a few things and some extra pipe and fittings to practice on. You'll need a tubing cutter, a propane torch, silver solder (solder made for drinking water pipes), flux, sandpaper and a wire brush (to fit inside the pipe/fittings). All of this stuff can be found in the plumbing section at Home Depot or Lowes. Usually, you can buy short pieces of copper pipe (2 foot, 1/2" diam) to practice on. Buy a few elbow fittings and try soldering them to the practice pipe. You must first sand the o.d. of the pipe end for about an inch length (you need to see bright, shiny copper) and wire brush the i.d. of the elbow fitting. Cover these areas with a liberal wipe of flux, then slide them together. Start up the torch and try to evenly heat the joint. You'll hear and see the flux boil. Roll out several inches of solder and poke the end of the solder on to the heated joint. When the joint is hot enough, the solder will melt and wick into the joint. That's it! Some like to wipe off the excess solder with a wet rag before it hardens for a neater looking joint but it isn't necessary. If you do try to fix your pipe near the floor board, be careful not to start a fire with the torch. You may need to position a steel heat shield or a wet rag to prevent flame from burning wood nearby. One other thing, you must be sure and get all of the water out of the joint you are repairing. If there is any water sitting near where you're soldering, it will act like a heat sink and prevent you from getting the joint up to temperature (ask how I know..) Good Luck.

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