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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fix For a Simple Leak

I have some friends selling their home in Inglewood. The buyer's home inspection found a very slow drip coming from a pipe under the house and they called me to track it down.

The leak was somewhat deceiving because the pipes were all covered with pipe insulation. I had to keep removing the insulation until I got to the source of the water. Finally, I found that it was an solder joint at a copper elbow that was dripping very slowly.

The entire area was very accessible from the crawlspace, so this would not be too difficult to reach. I cut the elbow and about a foot of the copper pipe that had already had several repairs in the past. For cuts like this I use a simple copper tubing cutter that I like to use because it's very compact and will fit into tight spaces.

I installed a new elbow, about 14" of new 1/2" copper pipe and a coupling to join it together.

To make this repair as quickly as possible for the homeowner I used a couple Sharkbite fittings. These fittings can be used for Pex or copper pipes and just slide on. It's quite simple, and though the fittings are more expensive than copper ones it can save you money if you don't have the soldering supplies. (They are also easy to take apart if necessary.)

In the end the entire fix took less than 30 minutes once I had the parts in hand.


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