Will small leaks in brass fittings eventually stop?


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Old 03-02-20, 09:21 PM
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Will small leaks in brass fittings eventually stop?

I just installed my water heater and expansion tank using a brass tee, nipples, and 90. I put teflon tape on the threads and cranked down as hard as I could so the tee and 90 line up and right when I fired it up, there are just some small drops coming from the connections. Do those normally stop after a little bit or do I need to tear that apart and make it tighter or use something else to seal? I literally just finished this about a half hour ago so I will see what is going on in the morning.
 
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Old 03-02-20, 09:51 PM
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The one and only "small water leak" that I occasionally have that stops is the o-ring seal on my whole house water filter,

A leaking pipe needs to be repaired, Id suggest teflon pipe dope vs teflon tape!
 
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Old 03-02-20, 11:04 PM
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Ok, I'll take it apart tomorrow and reassemble. What exactly is Teflon pipe dope? Is there a particular brand of it or will it just say Teflon pipe dope on it? Would you put tape first then dope?
 
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Old 03-03-20, 04:17 AM
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Adding pipe thread sealant over the teflon tape will stop the leak. However this will require disassembly. Also the silver pipe at the top of the tee appears to be a compression seal and not a pipe thread. Is there a sealing washer inside the silver nut and are its threads compatible with the NPT (national pipe thread) threads of the NPT coupler? I also suggest supporting the expansion tank from above because the pipe threads below should not be used to support the added weight when it fills with water. Also, is the silver pipe flexible enough that it isn't putting a strain on the connection with the tee?
 
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Old 03-03-20, 04:19 AM
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It's just standard sealing dope, available everywhere.

They are interchangeable, but I find more leaks with tape than dope!
 
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Old 03-03-20, 04:46 AM
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This is why I hate NPT fittings when dealing with T's and 90's. The point where it is tight and not leaking often is not where the fitting needs to be pointing. Sometimes you can get away with more wraps of Teflon tape or by switching to pipe dope. Unfortunately the most reliable way I've found is to tighten the snot out of it. Often this requires bigger wrenches and pulling a muscle. Every plumber has a pair of really big pipe wrenches with names like "Big Bertha" and "Ox" that don't get used very often but sometimes monster sized wrenches are needed.

Once in a while I just get different fittings and try again. NPT fittings are tapered. They get tighter the more you tighten them and how well the fittings mate together depends on the manufacturer's equipment. While this is generally a negative it can sometimes work in your favor as getting different parts can make fittings get tight at different rotational positions.
 
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Old 03-03-20, 06:45 AM
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Ok, I'll just disassemble, put tape and dope, and crank it down. I have a pretty big pipe wrench somewhere around here. So I guess you can't overtighen them then?

As far as the silver flex line, it does have a washer and it is not leaking at that connection. There is now pressure on it with that bend (is it OK to have it bent like that because that is the shortest length I could find?). I don't like the tee supporting the weight of the tank either which is why I have those blocks under it to take the weight off of the tee.
 
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Old 03-03-20, 07:29 AM
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is it OK to have it bent like that
Just be aware that any kind of corrugated pipe like that has a huge impact on flow, they are very restrictive compared to a smooth pipe, doesn't mean it's bad but the cost of convenience.

 
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Old 03-03-20, 07:31 AM
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One supplemental thought-

If you are on a private well, and have hard water, then YES, small leaks will be self-sealing.

I happen to be on a ridge of hard shale, the local water isn't just "hard" (high Ca++ and Mg++)
but it is actually high in "rare earth elements" (various odd minerals).

In my situation, dripping pipe generally self-seal in about 4 months.
 
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Old 03-03-20, 09:16 AM
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Just be aware that any kind of corrugated pipe like that has a huge impact on flow, they are very restrictive compared to a smooth pipe, doesn't mean it's bad but the cost of convenience
Ahhh ok, makes sense. My water flow seems fine so I guess that is not a problem. I just meant as far as them breaking or bursting if they are bent too much. I have seen some bent a lot more but I guess I am just paranoid Thank you.
 
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Old 03-03-20, 09:17 AM
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Some earthquake prone areas require the use of flexible connections so the water heater can move during an earthquake without breaking a water line.
 
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Old 03-03-20, 05:13 PM
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Just thought I would report back. I took it apart, put pipe dope on everything, and cranked it down hard. No leaks!
 
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Old 03-04-20, 04:14 AM
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Good job! Plumbing can sometimes be frustrating but you got it.
 
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Old 03-04-20, 04:32 AM
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Plumbing can sometimes be frustrating
Sometimes ??? I enjoy most things I diy but me and plumbing have a hard time getting along. About the only thing I dislike more than plumbing is paying a plumber
 
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