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I've rotated the water pipes coming from the wall. Is this serious damage?

I've rotated the water pipes coming from the wall. Is this serious damage?

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  #1  
Old 04-08-13, 03:46 PM
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I've rotated the water pipes coming from the wall. Is this serious damage?

Hi there,

I'm a beginning DIYer and have just started to "upgrade" from decorating and putting furniture together to trying to tackle plumbing!

Today I was attempting to disconnect an angle compression fitting from water pipes under the sink on the 2nd floor when in an act of what I can only describe of impatience and stupidity I was not careful and began turning the compression fitting which in turn rotated the water pipe coming out of the wall clockwise and anticlockwise. I realised this probably shouldn't be happening but the real implications have only just started to dawn on me now. I can't see if I've done any damage because only the tips of the pipe are exposed from the wall.

Since then, I've fitted the new tap onto the piping and turned the water back on. There is still seems to be high water pressure coming from both pipes and I cannot hear any leakage from behind the wall and there are no signs of water leaking through the ceiling downstairs!

What's the chances that something has seriously been damaged? Can I shut my eyes in ignorance of what I've done or should I do the painful task of opening up the wall to check the piping behind and determine the reality of the situation?

I feel like I know the answer already is to open the wall but am hoping that someone out there will tell me this is not necessary!

Thanks

Amateurpete
 
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  #2  
Old 04-08-13, 04:11 PM
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From your description I am assuming this is galvanized steel pipe with threads.

While there is a small chance nothing serious has happened your feeling is correct that you need to at the very least put a hole in the wall of sufficient size to allow you to see the tee or elbow into which the pipe in question screws into. Generally when a threaded pipe that has been in place for several years is "moved" ,either tighter or looser, it will leak, especially if first tightened and then loosened.

Pictures might help us to help you.
 
  #3  
Old 04-08-13, 11:56 PM
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before photo

Hi thanks for the input. Here's a photo before. You can see the angle joints that I turned and this in turn was turning the copper water pipe in the wall...
 
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  #4  
Old 04-09-13, 05:27 AM
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Are you SURE the copper was turning inside the wall? That would be EXTREMELY unlikely as 99.999% of copper is soldered inside a wall space. It IS quite likely that the compression elbow might have turned on the copper.

Also, using Teflon tape on those connections is absolutely wrong.
 
  #5  
Old 04-09-13, 05:35 AM
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The only exception to what Furd mentioned is if a sharkbit was used inside the wall, which I would assume to be very unlikely unless it's fairly recent reno.

How much did you rotate the pipe?
 
  #6  
Old 04-09-13, 06:22 AM
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"Non-US" location--is it allowed in your part of the globe to use compression fittings inside the wall? Can you find other visible connections (basement or crawl space for instance) to see if all joints are soldered or something else? Possibly there's a galvanized-to-copper adapter behind the wall.
 
  #7  
Old 04-09-13, 07:05 AM
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Looking a little closer at the picture, I realized it wasn't a steel braded line I would expect to see under a sink here in Canada.

Fittings like Shark-bits are acceptable within walls here in Ontario Canada. Myself and many others wouldn't use them there, but they will pass code.
 
  #8  
Old 04-09-13, 03:29 PM
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Hi all, here is another photo from today. I'm in the netherlands. I'm a complete beginner in this and it doesn't help that the dutch advice is mainly in dutch language so its tough to find out the standards for things here in DIY (man it was tough just to find "plumbers putty"!).

I really did think I saw it rotate and I did this back and forth a couple times on each pipe. There still felt like even torque on the pipe and nut as i turned it - so it didn't feel like I had twisted the pipe inside.

I've now swapped out the old elbow piece and connected new water shut-off valves. I've used teflon tape (sorry! but the damned thing just kept leaking) but let me know if this is really going to be a problem. If I'm just not doing an expert job then I'll live with that.

See the photo after the new piece. I also removed some of the plaster around the pipes to see what was in the wall there in case it was easy to open up. I now see that the pipes are sheathed in a hose like covering. I put the water back on with taps attached and I don't hear anything unusual from the pipe - no hissing, no bubbling and no sign of water leaking anywhere. Also tried putting a piece of wood against the pipe and listening through that for sounds. nothing.

What do you think guys - am I in the clear?

Cheers
 
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  #9  
Old 04-09-13, 07:57 PM
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I admit I have no knowledge of how plumbing is done outside the United States and I have no idea of the "hose like covering " might be other than possibly some sort of thermal insulation.

Teflon tape should not be required for the compression fittings but if it leaked before adding the Teflon and does not leak now then I would say it is acceptable. If you cannot see any kind of leakage at the fitting in the wall I would say it is probably okay as long as you can get a good look at that in-wall fitting.
 
  #10  
Old 04-10-13, 04:15 AM
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Being a DIY and new last year to plumbing, I had problems with compression fittings here and there. My biggest mistake was not having enough pipe past the fitting to complete the seal.
This may or may not be your issue, but I know it caught me the first time and man was it frustrating.
 
  #11  
Old 04-10-13, 06:13 AM
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Thanks. I can't see into the in-wall fitting. I'm going to take a gamble that its ok.

Thanks very much for your input and ideas
 
  #12  
Old 04-10-13, 10:34 AM
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What scares me is it appears it could be PEX tubing to a copper adapter--with no crimp on the tubing.
 
  #13  
Old 04-10-13, 12:01 PM
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What scares me is it appears it could be PEX tubing to a copper adapter--with no crimp on the tubing.
Looking at the last picture, you might be correct, which is very scary.
 
  #14  
Old 04-10-13, 03:11 PM
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I'm not sure why you used couplings to install those angle stops. But, if the couplings were leaking, then you probably didn't get them tight enough. If you put a little plumber's grease on the threads first, they will be easier to tighten.

I'm guessing that sleeve in the wall is there to prevent abrasion or corrosion of the copper.
 
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