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Threaded Pipe Woes
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #1
Threaded Pipe Woes
I've been doing a lot of plumbing work on my house. I'm no plumber but I used to do carpentry and remodeling for a living so I know my way around the job. My house is 37 years old and is plumbed with galvanized steel pipe.

Last summer I gutted a bathroom and had to relocate the supplies to the shower. I was going to hire a plumber but instead I invested in a pex crimping tool and had really good luck with it.

More recently I installed two tankless heaters and eliminated the old tank water heater. Again, I used pex to run the new water lines to and from the heaters. This week I'm installing a utility sink in the laundry/garage where the old tank was located. All was going great until yesterday when the bushing I installed in an existing 3/4" tee wouldn't stop leaking.

It's used to transition the cold water supply line to the utility sink from the existing 3/4" steel pipe to a 1/2" brass adapter with a barb fitting for the new pex supply line. I removed the bushing and used a close nipple with a 3/4" to 1/2" reducer. Still leaked at the existing tee connection. So, I installed a nipple and valve that was left over from the tear out of the old water heater. That fixed the leak so I could leave the water turned on to the house. I closed the valve and called it a day.

This morning I went to a different hardware store, bought a new reducer and nipple, and again it leaked in the same place! I wrapped the heck out of the threads with teflon tape and applied joint compound over that, and finally fixed the leak.

So, what the heck is going on? In all the other connections I made I simply applied joint compound and never had a leak. The only thing I can see is the parts I bought are made in China and there may be an issue with the tolerances on the thread taper and the like. But if that's the case, how did I get so lucky on the dozens of other connections I've made during the last several months? I never had one leak until this. It just makes no sense.

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03-17-2016 09:00 PM
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jonde Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Threaded Pipe Woes
I'm not a plumber either but it sounds like the tee is cracked or the hole is oversize, [may have been tapped too deep or original pipe over tightened]. If this is so, and the adapter has a shoulder... Maybe using a short piece of pipe with a female-female fitting will allow a better fit to the adapter.

Edit: I just happened to think there may be a rust 'shoulder' on the inside of the tee thats preventing full seating.
(This post was last modified: 03-18-2016 09:28 AM by jonde.)
03-18-2016 08:59 AM
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palerider Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Threaded Pipe Woes
teflon tape?
03-18-2016 03:19 PM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Threaded Pipe Woes
(03-18-2016 08:59 AM)jonde Wrote:  I'm not a plumber either but it sounds like the tee is cracked or the hole is oversize, [may have been tapped too deep or original pipe over tightened].

It's not cracked but I believe the hole is oversize because of something stupid I did. I remembered it right after I posted my message last night.

That tee had to be rotated a quarter turn because the branch previously fed the stub out for the supply to the old heater. I used a length of pipe as a my "wrench" but I forgot to tighten it past hand tight. So when I went to turn, it popped out and must have opened the joint up enough to cause the problem. I guess the reason the old nipple didn't leak was because it had some old hardened pipe dope on it, and combined with the new pipe dope it made the seal.

I suppose I should remove that tee and replace it with a new one. It wouldn't be that big of a job, but it would probably take a few hours. If it does leak it will be inside a garage exterior wall, so the damage would be minimal. Still ...

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
03-18-2016 10:48 PM
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Homerec130 Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Threaded Pipe Woes
But where you are leaks in the wall lead to the bad stuff (mold) and you wouldn't want that even if it is in the garage.

Interesting item on mold mediation, a lot of the companies around me use an acetone based, instead of bleach based, cleaner to kill the mold and prevent it. It dries faster and also leaves behind a slight residue which inhibits further growth. We had some minor mold issues when we redid our bathroom and that is what was used.

Homer
03-19-2016 12:11 PM
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