Leaky joint, very old water pipe


Old 05-07-04, 05:17 PM
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Leaky joint, very old water pipe

I have a very slow leak at a joint in some old, totally immovable water pipe, immovable meaning that I cannot turn the threaded male pipe in either direction. Is there something I can apply to this area that will surely stop the leak? Thanks. Here's a picture:


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Old 05-07-04, 06:53 PM
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The good news is you have a problem that money can solve.

It looks like a valve on galvanized lines so I'll call it that.

If you try to tighten the nut just under the handle which looks like where it is leaking, you will probably have a bigger problem real quick. I have snapped the packing nut several times and nothing good comes out of it.
Turn the water off to this valve. You need to take the handle off the stem. This makes the assumption the screw holding the handle comes out. This also makes the assumption the handle comes off in one piece. Then removing the packing nut and place 3 to 4 wrapps of teflon tape around the valve stem and retightening the packing nut, will stop the leak, most likey. Use a liberal amount of oil or wd-40 on the valve to help with loosening and tightening the packing nut.

If you want to replace this valve....you will have fun with old galvanized pipe.

2 side notes.

When you are done, and the water is back on, flush the lines as best as you can out of the bath tub or hose bib without hose attached. Any time old galvanized pipe is disturbed, worked on, looked at, it makes dirty water for a few minutes as things break free inside the pipe.

I also notice the valve is at an angle. You don't see that too many times in residential work but there is a good reason for angling a valve from vertical. When water leaks around the packing gland, it doesn't just sit there and build up minerals around the stem making it hard to impossible to turn off or work on. The guy that put that valve probably knew that or was just tired of making it water tight. This is one ray of sunshine on your problem.

More questions, other pics different angles, post or ask and someone will answer you.
Old 05-08-04, 02:19 PM
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Thanks for the quick response. Actually there is no valve there though it looks like one in the picture. It is just a connection to a pipe below and one behind it that is just capped. The leak is in the red or rusty area in the picture. I cannot turn the pipe because the connection above it will not turn either--ultimately it leads to the under sink valve. I have heard of some sort of plumber's epoxy--will that work, just applying something like that over the joint?
Old 05-08-04, 03:30 PM
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I haven't seen anything that goes on top of water piping that cures pressure leaks.

Those threads that make that connection are slowly deteriorating and the leak is the result of this matter.

Sometimes leaks like these clog themselves up and stop, but normally not the case.

If you have high water pressure, a cure would be installing a PRV, but for reasons of protecting the whole system, not just to stop a leak in your water lines.
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