Water Damage Project w/Pix

Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:59 pm

About 18 months ago our kitchen suffered severe water damage from a slow leak (23gpd), behind the refrigerator. It ran for months under the tile till it was discovered. That repair is done. Tonight we found that a copper elbow in the ceiling of a closet near the bathroom at the other end of the house has destroyed 3 walls, the bathroom floor, hall floor and the ceiling. How does a copper sweat elbow develop a leak after 28 years? Never, ever seen that happen before.

Guess I won't be working on the Cub. :shock: :shock: :shock:

Darn it.

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Re: Water Damage Project w/Pix

Wed May 01, 2013 8:14 pm

In my past experience I found that copper erodes from the inside out from the sewer gasses and the liquids that pass through them. Doubt you will have that problem with plastic that you replace it with. I feel for you plumbing leaks can cause a lot of damage when the go undiscovered for a long period of time. Steve

Re: Water Damage Project w/Pix

Wed May 01, 2013 8:33 pm

Thankful for a mostly full basement. Makes it easier to spot problems. Still have leaks with the newest technology. Once found water spraying on subfloor from crack in water line. Recently a slow leak filled up a plastic storage bin with two piece folding lid. Ruined contents. No plumbing is foolproof, worse if you don't have a competent plumber. Hate it when you have to tell a tradesman how to do a job correctly .

Re: Water Damage Project w/Pix

Wed May 01, 2013 9:21 pm

When I built my house back in '87 the only thing that I did not do was the electrical and the propane install. I wrote the exam for the Dept of Labour proving I knew what I was doing and that I could plumb my house. Skilled/licensed tradesmen can challenge the exam for other trades to do their own work ..... so I plumbed my own house. Copper hot and cold supply and ABS waste and vents. That was what .. 26 years ago? When I ordered the stock I ordered L and I got M. Oh well... anyways, during our last project where we had to redo the upstairs bathroom (toilet cracked, rotted floor, filled the ceiling with water (yes -- the ceiling was vapour barriered as the upstairs wasn't finished right away in 87. Thank God for the vapour barrier = it kept the water away from the drywall. Anyways, we ended up checking all the copper supply lines - after 25 years - almost 26 years the type M was starting to degrade. The copper began to oxidize and you could see that there were pinholes delveloping in the pipes. So I have been replacing the pipes with Type L pipe - man that stuff has gotten expensive.

A lot of plumbers up here are moving to PEX. I had one do an install for my back wall spigot with a ball valve. He used PEX. When Leo and I redid the piping, that PEX was the first thing that came out. I will not have it in my house ever. Just as expensive as copper but I don't like it nor do I trust it. Type L will outlast me and probably my kids. Be good for a very long time.

Oh yeah, when the Dept of Labour inspector came to inspect the job he said it was done better than most plumbers he knew. :{_}: It was my house and I made well over 3-400 joints with all the different runs. I only had one joint that I had to redo. It still hasn't leaked yet :D I was pretty proud of that job. I still do the majority of my plumbing .. and I did all the plumbing on my residential instals.

Re: Water Damage Project w/Pix

Thu May 02, 2013 6:08 am

Last night the leak was stopped - Rudi - close your eyes - I used a Shark Bite Elbow....

When we did our kitchen over I used PEX and quite honestly I'll never use anything but PEX again. As with all things like Ford's and Chevy's the rift between PEX and Copper will rage on. I suspect back in the day - the same fight existed between Copper and Black Iron and then Galvanized.

Ok Rudi - you can open your eyes again :) The leak was caused by an almost invisibly sized pinhole in the elbow.

Wish you all a great day - Ken