Leaking Threaded Connection

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  #1  
Old 06-19-06, 06:54 AM
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Leaking Threaded Connection

I think I know the answer to this already (No), but I'm just wondering if there is a product out there that will stop an extremely tiny leak without having to take things apart. I have some brass fittings that are screwed together using teflon tape. I have one of those leaks that drips about once every 10 minutes. Very frustrating. It will be a real pain to take everything apart again, and if I do, I'm putting it back together with thread sealant instead of tape, but I'm just wondering if there is anything I can goop onto the joint to stop such a tiny leak without taking it all apart. Thanks for any help.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-19-06, 12:43 PM
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If this is a compression fitting, have you tried giving it one last turn?

Other than that, some leaks that are that slow sometimes close up on their own. Not always but most times they calcify shut.
 
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Old 06-20-06, 08:23 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I can't give it one last turn. It has another compression fitting joined to it that would have to come loose before I could turn it and to take that loose, I have to drain my hot water heater. Also, it can only be tightened in full revolutions as it has to line up with that fitting.

Anyway, I think you are on to something with the calcification idea. I noticed yesterday that it already seems to be reducing to be even less frequent. I had another similar leak about a year ago on something else that quit after a couple of weeks. I'm going to leave this one for a couple of weeks and see if it's still a problem.

I just hate this stuff that has to screw together and get other stuff sweated to it before you can ever pressure test it!
 
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Old 06-30-06, 09:29 AM
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Consider doing nothing for about two weeks except catch the leak in a vessel. This may allow this very slow leak to seal via natural corrosion. If not successful, then it’s back to starting over. Make sure that the male and female threads are clean. A minimum combination of both thread sealant and Teflon tape is suggested.

Here are some Professional Grade thread sealants, Slic-Tite Paste with Teflon.
http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.aspx?zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz=272

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  #5  
Old 07-08-06, 08:50 AM
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Thread sealant - yes or no

It seems like I read that sealant should not be used with copper pipe fittings and care taken to avoid overtightening. However, my encounters working with copper connections, installing a water heater and an outdoor faucet, is that they invariably leak without the use of thread sealant and strong-armed tightening. Man, its frustrating when you reassemble something three times because of a tiny drip.

Is sealant a must on copper fittings?
 
  #6  
Old 07-08-06, 09:09 AM
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On a threaded connector (any type) that screws into another fitting, sealant should be used. Pipe threads are tapered and actually are a mating surface. Thread "sealants" lubricate the threads so they fully seat. Compression fittings have a ferrule that mates and forms a seal. The threads on the compression nut are for pressing the ferrule firmly onto the other surface and preventing leaks. They should not need lubicants. The main problem I have seen with compression fittings is that while being installed, the ferrule is permitted to slide forward towards the fitting and does not seat correctly and the nut cannot pull it forward enough to seat properly. Good luck.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by M. Under Bone
It seems like I read that sealant should not be used with copper pipe fittings and care taken to avoid overtightening. However, my encounters working with copper connections, installing a water heater and an outdoor faucet, is that they invariably leak without the use of thread sealant and strong-armed tightening. Man, its frustrating when you reassemble something three times because of a tiny drip.

Is sealant a must on copper fittings?
Not sure where you read that sealants are not to be used on threaded copper fittings. I see them as no different than an iron pipe fitting in terms of need.

Teflon tape is my sealant of choice. Rarely do I have problems using tape.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 09:41 AM
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Thanks For Clarification

Thanks, I'm not sure where I encountered that information. It may have been in one of my home improvement nightmares that wake me up at 3 am: Like the one where I'm trying to finish a roofing job in the pouring rain, and the shingles are melting as fast as I can nail them. But most likely had something to do with my work-related reading disability - it's called skimming - and I missed the part where it mentioned threading with a teflon fitting or insert
 
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Old 07-08-06, 11:10 AM
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All of the silly DIY shows on television will show the use of teflon tape and/or paste sealants on threaded connections that make the seal via a ground joint (galvanized unions), ferrule-type compression fittings, flat and coned slip rings (DWV fittings and slip washers on rigid faucet supply lines) and also the rubber O-ring or coned ends of flexible faucet supply lines.

I cringe and yell at the TV every time I see one of these so-called "experts" giving this bad advice.

Bottom line: If it is a tapered pipe thread, regardless of the material, it needs a sealant/lubricant. If the sealing surface is NOT a tapered pipe thread it does NOT require a sealant/lubricant.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by furd
Bottom line: If it is a tapered pipe thread, regardless of the material, it needs a sealant/lubricant. If the sealing surface is NOT a tapered pipe thread it does NOT require a sealant/lubricant.
Not only would it not require a sealant but the use of one is often the cause of leaks. So beyond not requiring one, they are not to be used in those types of fittings.The seal is effected by other means.
 
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