hot water heat leak

I've got a pin hole leak in a copper pipe on my hot water heat sytem.
Murphy is my partner. So, of course, the leak is right where the pipe
goes through the floor and you can't get at it. A proper repair is going to mean removing the radiator above, cutting out a whole section of pipe and replacing.
To avoid this job, does anyone suggest some sort of goo to just apply to the surface of the pipe? Other easy fix?
Karl
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On 11/19/2010 5:12 AM, Karl Townsend wrote:

I've repaired pinhole leaks with a piece of inner tube and a band clamp but that's not going to work in your situation. If it were me I'd bite the bullet and call a plumber. You'll be out a hundred bucks, it'll make him happy, and you can get on with your life without the stress. Mouse
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$100 plumber job? Where the heck do you live? Here, $100 is what we pay for them to show up and ask questions.
I'd estimate total costs for that fix here to be $300-450.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com Production Tapping: http://Production-Tapping-Equipment.com / Flagship Site: http://www.Drill-N-Tap.com VIDEOS:
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Karl Townsend wrote:

Sucks to be you. Unless there is evidence of mechanical damage, that means the pipe is rotted from the inside and will probably start leaking somewhere else pretty soon and maybe even burst. Also it is probably about as fragile as eggshells so getting a good proper repair even if you take the floor up is problematic.
In similar circumstances, I've just drained down, cleaned the pipe gently with wire wool and soft soldered a piece of copper foil over the hole. There are also various epoxy pipe bandage products, but for those you will need access right round the pipe.
With luck, it *MAY* get you through the winter so you can do some major pipe replacement work in the spring, but I'd make sure all valuables that are vulnerable to water damage are moved out of your ground floor, or stored well off the floor and wrapped in heavy plastic.
--
Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
ianm[at]the[dash]malcolms[dot]freeserve[dot]co[dot]uk
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Karl Townsend wrote:

Might wanna be more descriptive. You didn't say joint, so one may conclude that it's in a section of pipe. You didn't mention damage, so one might think nobody nicked, poked, drilled into it. So, why is it leaking? If it's corrosion, there may be a weak spot much bigger than the CURRENT leak.
Weigh the cost of water damage against the hassle of fixing it right.
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Karl Townsend wrote:

Cutting out a section of pipe and replacing it *is* the easy way to do it. Once you have some experience soldering plumbing you'll realize this and just cut and replace the offending section rather that spending 3X the time trying to band-aid it.
You need to at least partially drain the loop so there is no water in the area you are working on. Get one of the little fiberglass heat shield cloth squares to use to back the work area and avoid torching the wall, floor, etc. Have a damp rag available to wipe excess solder from hot joints for neatness. A pair of channel-lock type pliers is essential if you try to un-solder any existing connections.
They make couplers that do not have the center dimples / grove and allow you to slide them fully onto a piece of pipe before aligning with another pipe and sliding over the joint. Make a mark on the pipe so you will know when the coupler is centered. A good lead-free paste flux and some abrasive cloth are essential in getting a good joint, especially on existing pipe. Use lead-free solder as well, likely all you'll find these days anyway.
Don't skimp on pipe cutters, get something decent like Rigid and in both full-size and the mini ones which you can use in close quarters. One of the mini-hacksaw handles is also helpful for areas too tight for even the mini tubing cutters. Don't bother trying to use a propane torch, only use MAPP or MAPP equivalent and use a good trigger-start torch like a Bernz-o-Matic TS4000. Don't be tempted to use oxy-acetylene, it's too hot for soldering (good for brazing), plumbers sometimes use air-acetylene, but not O/A generally.
Use only type L pipe, not the thinner type M. If you have a pinhole leak and it's not from mechanical rubbing damage, you may well have a lot more places ready to go unless you are lucky and it's a manufacturing defect in one spot. BTW, it's a "hydronic" heating system.
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wrote:

Lead free is not required on non-potable water - and lead solder is a LOT easier to work with in this application.

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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

You won't find lead solder at the big box stores, and in my experience the lead-free solder works equally well on potable water copper pipes or hydronic heating copper pipes.
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wrote:

Or equally poorly.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I guess if you're still trying to use Propane or are just bad at soldering plumbing. I use MAPP and have never had any problem with the lead-free solder or lead-free flux paste, and I've replumbed entire houses.
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wrote:

I use map or air/acet torches and still prefer leaded solder. The newer lead-free stuff IS better than the earlier stuff. A lot likely has to do with the newer flux.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Perhaps you get different stuff up there. I'm still using the big tub of lead-free no-korode paste flux I bought around 1989 with no issues at all. I've gone through a few spools of solder since then and haven't noticed a difference.
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On Sat, 20 Nov 2010 22:58:54 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I didn't think you could still get leaded solder. Where do you buy it? Preferably online so I can order some to have on hand
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On Sun, 21 Nov 2010 10:51:39 -0600, Karl Townsend

I still have most of a 5 lb spool.
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Karl Townsend wrote:

It's better to learn to use the solder that you will be able to get the next time you need it, and particularly so you don't end up using the lead solder the next time you have a potable water plumbing fix to do. The Lead free solder works fine, I've used it numerous times for more than 20 years without any problems.
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The water main to my house is lead, what difference would lead-free solder make :-)
Mark Rand RTFM
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Mark Rand wrote:

Not much. So that's why the folks I have to deal with in the UK are a bit "off"... I hope you use a good filter in your house...
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McMaster... 7667A12
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wrote:

I shoulda known. McMaster has everything.
Thanks karl
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The advice about replacement of the section of tubing is the easy repair, is correct.
Soldering copper tube and fittings isn't difficult to learn. Buy at least a couple of handfuls of fittings and a section of tubing and practice on fittings facing in all directions.
Use all the proper standard practices.. cut the tubing with a tubing cutter, deburr the end ID burr, shine the tubing end and the inside of the fitting (should actually produce bands of fine scratches for the capillary action), emory cloth is commonly used for the tubing ends and a properly-sized round wire brush is the easiest method for the fitting openings. Special round wire brushes are sold for shining tubing ends, too (these brushes work like battery post cleaners). Keep the shined ends clean. Apply a thin flux coating to both parts immediately after shining the solder areas and fit the two parts together.
The proper temperature isn't highly critical, and the end of the solder touching the fitting near the connection will be the best indicator of the proper temperature. The flux will sizzle as the temperature gets close to the solder's melting point. The flame is applied to the back side to give the best visibility while watching the joint draw in/wick-in the molten solder. Feed in the solder, remove the flame and carefully swipe the joint with a clean, damp cotton cloth/shop rag. Extinguish the fire if you sat the lit torch where you shouldn't have.
Safety.. I always try to have a reliable trigger-spray bottle full of water within reach, and a fire extinguisher only a couple of steps away. Specially-treated mats are available for using as a shield over wood and other flammable materials near connections to be soldered. I find thin aluminum roofing flashing to be very versatile for using as heat shields.
After doing a couple of practice joints, take 'em over to the bandsaw or grab a hacksaw, and cut the joints and peel them open to see if full coverage is attained on the two mating surfaces. Practicing on joints that are oriented in different directions will be effective learning aids.
Valves and some other fittings can be a bit trickier, but learn the essential basic steps first before proceeding to the other items. The most used fittings will probably be els and couplers. Master these, then practice on other items. Sections of tubing can be sweated to some new valves for practice now, but for future use.. compressed air and soapy water can be used to check for leaks. Since there's no water pressure in the practice piece (which would make a mess if it failed), some light hand pressure force can be applied to the tubing ends to test for strength of the joints, followed by air pressure testing. When the valves are needed, just use couplers to fit the ends in place. Valves are generally soldered in the open position. The trigger-spray water bottle can be used to cool valves and larger components quickly.
All systems should have valves at each point of use, at the minimum. Trying to get a line emptied when it's connected to 50 feet of line above is a nuisance, but if you can shut a nearby valve, the section of line drains right now. Some valves have a port with a small knurled cap to drain lines to aid in draining, and bleeding air from lines. Placing some extra valves at random locations in a system can be a great convenience in the future when repairs (leaks?) or expansions are needed.
--
WB
.........


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