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Old 07-01-2020, 09:23 AM
 
320 posts, read 2,528,064 times
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Experiencing a possible very slow leak/weep on a couple of joints on copper piping on main water line coming into house. Not sure why didn't notice this before, but I never really eyed the pipes, and just recently noticed. This is new construction, about 15 months old, and judging by the blue patina on pipes, I'd say it has been weeping a while. This is in the basement, I do have a dehumidifier running, so I don't think this is condensation. Pipes themselves are not sweating.

I tied some paper towel to various joints so I could source where leak seems to be happening. Seems to happen in the top & bottom groove of two coupling nuts (where added red arrows). It is a very slow seep, filling the groove let's say in 24 hrs. Aside from trying to tighten more, would adding joint compound help? If have to call a plumber, so be it. Just wanted to see what I could try first

Note: the wide shot of the system was taken a year ago, that's why no corrosion on the pipes in that one.
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Fix slow leak on copper pipe coupling?-img_1894.jpg   Fix slow leak on copper pipe coupling?-img_1896.jpg   Fix slow leak on copper pipe coupling?-img_4698.jpg  
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:31 AM
 
3,346 posts, read 2,195,878 times
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To repair it, you'll have to cut off water at the service valve. Can you do that? (I always had easy access to the street valve until this house, where it's five feet below grade level...)

Undoing the joint, cleaning it and redoing it with new teflon tape is probably the first thing I'd attempt.

But the problem — at least to my eye — is that you have a heavy valve? pressure limiter? backflow preventer? flying saucer? just hanging from those connections, which looks like seriously sh*t work to me. I'd cut the street water, undo those joints, redo them with new tape,and then put a support of some kind (PT timber, concrete block) under that thing so that strain and vibration don't cause any further problems.

Interested in some experienced/current work plumbing opinion here, too. This layout seems ridiculously placed and braced and assembled, just waiting for a box or something to be shoved into it and cause a disaster. IMVHO, it should be tucked more against the wall and braced to hold that cantilever weight, and I'd put a protective bar around it to keep anything from crashing into it over the years.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:32 AM
 
Location: The Triad
34,088 posts, read 82,920,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motifone View Post
Experiencing a possible very slow leak/weep on a couple of joints...
Take it all apart and start over.
And that's a UNION not a coupling. The weeping is about misalignment.

Quote:
This is new construction, about 15 months old...
Okay. Call the builder's rep. Have their plumber come by and do it all over.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:36 PM
 
320 posts, read 2,528,064 times
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The UFO looking thing is the water meter. One of those shine the light on it, see usage, and water company reads it from the street. Water shut off is there on the incoming pipe. Had both town and hired inspector come through at purchase... no comment on setup, so interesting. I agree seems could use more bracing. I’m going to have neighbor come check it out since our house is by the same builder so we can compare setups. Next step contact builder. Was a 1 yr warranty but oxidation clearly shows has been ongoing a while no?
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:14 PM
 
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If it is the connections at the water meter in our town I would just call the water department and they would come out and check it out. Ours was just replaced last winter as part of the rotating upgrade plan we have (when meters get old they start to read lower than they should and can eventually stop showing any usage). They came back a month later just to make sure it was still tight. It is a problem they have noticed with meters located in basements that are installed during either very cold or very hot weather. As the metal acclimates to the controlled temperature the joints loosen. For new construction they put them in a 'meter vault' out by the street.


ours is mounted similar to that but has a U shaped pipe frame on either side of it bolted to the wall. The meter isn't that heavy. Ours is 3' off the floor.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:26 PM
 
320 posts, read 2,528,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidValleyDad View Post
If it is the connections at the water meter in our town I would just call the water department and they would come out and check it out. Ours was just replaced last winter as part of the rotating upgrade plan we have (when meters get old they start to read lower than they should and can eventually stop showing any usage). They came back a month later just to make sure it was still tight. It is a problem they have noticed with meters located in basements that are installed during either very cold or very hot weather. As the metal acclimates to the controlled temperature the joints loosen. For new construction they put them in a 'meter vault' out by the street.


ours is mounted similar to that but has a U shaped pipe frame on either side of it bolted to the wall. The meter isn't that heavy. Ours is 3' off the floor.
Thanks for the tip, I’ll give the water department a call as the leaking unions are where the water meter connects to the incoming and outgoing water pipes.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:30 PM
 
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Based on the comment above, maybe just give each nut on the union a tightening tug?
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:50 PM
 
5,114 posts, read 6,084,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motifone View Post
Thanks for the tip, I’ll give the water department a call as the leaking unions are where the water meter connects to the incoming and outgoing water pipes.

Depending on the department they may just tell you to do it yourself but it is worth a call. We are a smaller town (less than 2000 water customers) so they pride themselves on the service. And we are middle of the pack for water rates in the area!
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:13 PM
 
320 posts, read 2,528,064 times
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Neighbor showed me photo of his same setup in their basement, same patina in same places but doesn't remember it being wet and not wet at moment. Theirs is a basement open to garage, so different ventilation. Still wondering about condensation.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:33 PM
 
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It looks screwy, but the weight of the meter apparatus is actually being supported. What you have is a leak before the meter and a leak after the meter. In most parts of the Country, the water Co is responsible for leaks on the supply side of the meter. The leak on the house side of the meter is your responsibility. Maybe you can sweet talk the water Co guy when he comes to fix their leak, and get him to tighten the other a bit while he at it. Those just need a little tightening, but it needs to be done carefully, as in by someone that knows what they doing.

Lower leak is water co leak, and upper leak is your leak.
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