Fixing a small leak in a copper pipe

Old 09-19-06, 04:25 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Red face Fixing a small leak in a copper pipe

There is an ever so slow leak in a copper pipe in my living room ceiling from the pipes leading to the bathroom above. I had to cut out a small portion of the ceiling (4" x 4") to get to the pipe since it was too low to reach from the bathroom above.

The leak seems to be coming from a 90 degree copper fitting close to the ceiling, but difficult to get to. The pipe comes through the stud, jets out about an inch, and makes a 90 degree turn north toward the bathroom. The leak seems to be coming from the northern portion of the elbow.

Can I sweat an already existing copper fitting if I drain the water out of the system? I would rather not replace the section of pipe because of the difficult location. I would have to take down half my ceiling to get to this area and with the stud so close, this could potentially be a big job.

Any suggestions?

Old 09-20-06, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 117
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Ive never had any luck trying to re-sweat a union as you described. I spose you could try it but I think you are gonna have bite the bullet here and tear out some of the ceiling to you can do the job properly. Good luck.
Old 09-20-06, 05:24 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I thought so. Thank you, Steven.
Old 09-21-06, 11:50 PM
bsmt_dwellers's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 70
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
what about using some waterproof epoxy

or the stuff they use to plug up radiator leaks.......If the leak is as small as you say, I would try that first
Old 09-23-06, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 236
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I would try resweating the pipe before I did anything else. May not work but what have you got to lose. While I wont reccommend this not to long agong I cam across what was suppoedly a temporary repair that had been in place for over 30 years. Someone fixed a leak like yors with a piece of split automotive heater hose and a couple of waterhose clamps. Sure enough as soon as I removed the patch a needle fine jet of water shot out. I cleaned and fluxed the area and applied a little solder seemed OK. my situation was different , this was an exposed piece of plumbing that I could monitor for something in the ceiling I would probably do a better job.
Old 09-24-06, 03:50 AM
bigfred's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 376
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I realize that this is a real old thread, and by now doctorjay has no doubt long since resolved this, but there may be others who read this so I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth.

I had copper pipes that got pin hole leaks for years. As a temporary measure I bought some of those water hose screw clamps and cut some small pieces of an old tire inner tube I had and screwed the clamp over the piece of rubber to stop the leak. This worked fine. I probably had 10 or 15 of these temporary patches before I replaced all of the copper pipe with CPVC a year ago.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: