Leak Under Sink - Galvanized Pipe

This was not an inspection. This is my home. Long story short: Replaced faucet. By running into more trouble than I thought, I hired a plumber (friend recommended). We decide to replace the valves while installing new faucet. He’s turning the damn thing and thinks he may have disconnected pipe (down to fitting). Potential leak at finished basement. Not sure what lead him to even bring up this possibility. I mean I don’t get in my car thinking, there might be an accident pending. Anyways, connect the valve and pipe. It leaks below the connecting, where plumbers putty is. He suggested I get an epoxy to plug pipe. I looked online and they said use clamp. Any advise on plugging hole leak and potential disconnect leak.


Replace that galvanize pipe.

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Replace it to the fitting or cut into the section shown?

I’d recommend replacing galvanize piping back to the source. Replace with copper or pex tubing.


Replace the whole system? I just want a fix for this problem now. I understand long term, copper is best.

Replace the whole pipe. ‘Temporary’ repairs on your own house rarely become ‘permanent’ till it breaks again. Which is always sooner rather than later! Been down that road.


Bob, when you say “replace the whole pipe” are you saying to the joint or the whole piping distribution system?

You have to use your best judgement. I would follow the pipe back to where its joined to the next section. Replace from there or continue further along if necessary. Don’t patch the pipe, replace with better materials.

For heavens sake, if a plumber can’t install a new shut-off valve on an existing pipe without gobs of putty, they need a new career. The leak, according to you, is right there at the valve & pipe.

If you lack the skills to repair this, call another plumber. Maybe that small section of stub-out needs to be replaced, or maybe not. Pretty basic task.


I’d also recommend full replacement, I just replaced galvanized pipe in my home and tried to hold a 12 inch section I cut Up to the light and you couldn’t see anything through it, that’s how much buildup those pipes can get inside. Water pressure was also WAY better!

If this were an inspection for someone else, what would you recommend they do? Would you tell them to just patch it? I would hope not, so fix it properly, a patch only comes back to haunt you.
Follow the recommendation you would give to others.

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The problem with working with galvanized fittings and pipe is as soon as you touch one some thing upstream begins to leak. You are going to have to go into that finished basement and replace this section of pipe with a new one there’s just not a practical way around it. When removing the old nipple be very careful with the fitting the pipe is screwed into you don’t want a domino effect.

As a afterthought use a new straight stop with Blue Monster PTFE Teflon Tape and Tru Blue pipe dope. This combination works well on loose connections

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Roughly 1,150 sq, what am i looking at price-wise to get the copper replacement?

That depends if your jurisdiction allows copper piping in the M schedule or L schedule. If they allow PEX tubing I would go with PEX tubing. Create a manifold in an accessible area and feed fixtures individually so you do not have fittings that are concealed by ceiling and drywall.

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I would charge between $2,500 to $3,500 to replace your galvanized pipes with type L copper pipe for your square footage.

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I would give even odds that the plumber didn’t want to jack with the galvanized stuff and start that domino effect. Nothing like unscrewing a stub out and seeing part of the fitting still stuck to it…

If you have not had pressure problems in the past, you may want to go back to the first fitting and see if a new piece of pipe can be replaced from there up to the valve, Mike.

Get a plumber with a brain so you don’t have to ask here how to help him. One of two things going on 1) you got a crackhead plumber or 2) you didn’t want to pay the guy. It is very simple, have the stop valve removed to examine the threads and condition of the galv pipe. If it cannot be reused to install a new, replacement valve, then you will have to go back to the next fitting with threads and so on. If your line is in very bad shape, replace it all. BTW, putty is not to be used to plug up leaks in a pipe, only homeowners do that as a temporary fix.


Don’t replace part of the system with copper. Only use copper if you’re replacing all of it. If it were me and I didn’t have the appetite for a full repipe, I would replace that stub back to the fitting with CPVC. Before you put a wrench to anything, make sure your know what you’re doing. You need to back up that fitting with a wrench before you start wrenching on that stub or you’re going to make a new problem further up the line.

One of the reasons to hire a plumber is that they should have the knowledge to help prevent issues like you’re having or at least fix them if they do. I’ve never seen a competent plumber abandon a client with an active leak like that.

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Mike, you are going to have to follow that into your finished basement and replace that section with copper or Pex. You may be lucky and it is a short stub, but probably not. Eventually you will have to replace all of the galvanized pipe in your house so this will be a good start on learning how to do it. If you are uncomfortable about doing it yourself, bite the bullet and hire a good plumber. If the Cost to do your whole house is prohibitive at this time just have the plumber replace the problem section.
Good Luck and let us know if you tackle it yourself and how you do.

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