leak in 1/4 soft copper water line - fix or replace?


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Old 11-16-06, 07:54 PM
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leak in 1/4 soft copper water line - fix or replace?

I was searching in the forum for an answer to this but could not find anything specific.

Due to our refrigerator being moved back and forward many times, the 1/4 inch soft copper line was bent too often and leaks now. There is a pretty big hole where it was bent. Do we have to run a completely new line from the main supply or is there a way to repair a soft copper line?
 
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Old 11-16-06, 08:40 PM
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It's pretty easy to cut out the damaged section and repair it - though it takes a tubing cutter to do it properly ($10.00 or so plus another $5.00 for parts). Available at any big box store or hardware store.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 08:59 PM
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thank you thezster, I hope the bucket will do it for tonight ;-)

Once I cut the tube with the cutter, how do I get the pipe back together? Would I need to solder it and/or are there fittings? Is it soldering just like a "normal" copper pipe?
 
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Old 11-16-06, 09:17 PM
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Wink

Id say you have two ways to go here.Turn the water off and cut out the hole in the line get a 1/4" compression union and just tighten it up.
Or like most water lines to the fridge now are plastic.Get it long so it can make like 2 big loops You can buy it at the big box store. You would cut the two nuts off the copper line and use them You need 2 sleeves to slip into the plastic tube and 2 compression sleeves. Go right in where you took the copper line off.
 
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Old 11-17-06, 04:46 AM
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The compression union method is pretty easy, and using plastic makes it less likely to break down the road.... Either way, you'll need to cut the tubing "square and clean" - so it will fit through the compression fittings - which is why I recommend getting a cheap tubing cutter (they work well short term). Cut the tubing, clean the burrs, insert through the compression nut, then the compression ferrule, then tighten onto the union. Tighten lightly at first - then turn on the water - finish tightening only enough to keep any drips at bay.....
 
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Old 11-17-06, 06:12 AM
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I would fix the copper with compression fittings, it may also be a good place to add a valve.

If you go with plastic, don't use the cheap polyethylene ones. My experience has been over time they lose their plasticizer and become brittle. Then x yrs down the road they form cracks and leak in an out of the way location. Then when you discover it and go to shut the water off, you find they also cheaped out and used a saddle valve. Then the saddle valve leaks worse when you try to turn off the water. Unfortunately I've seen this scenario several times.

good luck
 
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Old 11-18-06, 04:33 PM
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Thanks everybody for your responses. Unfortunately, it did not go that smooth in the beginning. I tried the compression fittings (with a valve), connected it to the copper and added a plastic tube on the other side. Everything went fine on the Plastic Tube.

However, I was not able to get the fitting connected properly to the copper :-( I used a pipe cutter and the compression fitting seemed to fit on there, but it would keep leaking; I tried it about 10 times. Maybe I damaged the compression after the first few times; I have no idea. I guess that is why we need professional plumber. Would not work whatsoever.

I finally got tired of it and replaced the complete copper pipe with a new plastic one. Everything works fine now. Thanks for your help again!

Ben
 
 

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