How to fix a water pipe.

“Wake Up! A pipe burst!”
Not what you want to wake up to at 5:15am. Luckily it was not a burst pipe or even a broken one. It seems that when the spigot in the garage was installed, the exterior pipe feeding it has an extension that is capped. Think of a copper pipe coming up through the ground about 2.5 feet that is capped at the end and a spigot 2 feet above the ground.

What it looks like is that it is a DIY job where the section above the spigot slides into the pipe below it. It looks like they put some compound on the upper pipe, heated the lower pipe, slid the two together and counted on the pressure of the lower pipe on the upper one (once it contracts) to withstand the water pressure - which it did until this morning. There is no weld and certainly no solder (probably from fear of lead even though there are lead free solders) to hold it.

Not a horrible idea and if I had a brulee torch, I might have tried to do the same thing today to hold it until a plumber came. But to satisfy my curiosity OR if the landlord can’t get someone out today

  1. What compound would have been on the inner pipe.
  2. Why would it have let go this morning? Was it a matter of time since no weld or could it be related to the arctic freeze?
  3. If I need to fix it, I will heat up the lower pipe and insert the upper pipe. Should I use a compound like the last person did or should I solder it with lead free solder or both?
  4. If I fix it according to #3, should I still have a plumber come look at the pipe? It is not an interior pipe and just feeds the spigot we give the dogs water out of but turning off the water main at 5:15 ain’t fun if it lets go again.

I would just solder it on (with lead free solder ofc) and forget about it. A plumber isn’t necessary. Just remember : heat the pipe, not the solder. Once the pipe is hot enough, the solder will flow on it’s own.

As for the arctic freeze causing the failure : almost certainly.

Sounds like that extension is a air chamber to help prevent water hammering.

If your garage can get below freezing (mine certainly did last night), I would think that a shutoff and drain valve somewhere inside the heated building would be prudent. Or one of the long shutoff valves used in an exterior faucet.

I just can’t imagine why this joint wasn’t soldered, other than it was missed.

yeah you and landlord want a drain-back shutoff valve inside heated space.