Hot Topics: When Do You Trust Your Plumbing Repair?

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Maybe you know how to solder and maybe you don’t. You found the original problem and fixed it, and your new pipe joints look good. But what if they leak the moment you turn your back? How long to you wait to know if you did a good job? The Forum times it out.

Original Post: solder joint question

zmike Member

I did some solder joints and it’s been 2 days, knock on wood no leaks that I can see. When is it safe to close up the wall? Is 2 days sufficient time to monitor?

Highlights from the Thread

PJmax Group Moderator

If you had a leak you'd know in minutes.

czizzi Forum Topic Moderator

Run water to make sure you have expelled any air in the pipes and then check. Clear the joints of any flux and check by both visual and by wiping a finger and looking for any sign of moisture such as a reflection on your finger. I have also wrapped toilet tissue around the joints and come back. If moisture is present, you will see it on the paper.

Handyone Forum Topic Moderator

A bad solder joint will spray out water through pin hole leaks. It is very obvious and usually not your best day. It can cause serious flooding if not contained immediately after noticed. The water will continue to spray out or leak until pipes are drained.

The best prevention is to ensure joint is hot, flux is hot, and solder flows freely. If you attempt to apply solder and it sticks or doesn't flow, it's not hot enough.

zmike Member

So how long would you wait before closing up the wall?

Handyone Forum Topic Moderator

You can close up the wall immediately after checking for leaks. If a joint is not leaking directly after turning water back on, chances are it will never leak.

guy48065 Member

I suppose you could "raise the bar" and pressure test with air & a gauge--monitoring over time like you do for gas pipe testing. I would only bother if the damage caused by a potential leak would be very inconvenient or very expensive.

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