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I installed a new kitchen sink faucet into a kitchen with over 60 year old plumbing. I tightened the connections at the point where the rigid piping meets the flexible risers, and there was some dripping, but only 10 to 20 drops per hour. I tightened them as much as I dared; any more and I fear I would have risked damaging something.

I put cups under both connections. The cold has stopped dripping (or maybe it now drips so infrequently that the water in the cup evaporates before I can look at it). The cup under the hot has only 1 or 2 teaspoons of water in it after 3 days.

Need I be worried? I live in an area with very hard water and I suppose lime deposits are flowing out and have blocked/will block the hole. The hot pipe in particular had streaks of lime all over the pipe threads; I tried to clean it but didn't get very far.

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  • 1
    Did you use any tread sealers on connections, tape or paste? If tape, might have not done it right and removed it when turning. For cleaning lime from treads, use vinegar or CLR type cleaner and soak treads, wrap a rag around them with cleaner.
    – crip659
    Feb 25 at 12:01
  • I considered using teflon tape, but since the risers had plastic washers at the tips, I figured those were there to seal the joint instead of tape. I'll redo it all if I need to, but would rather let sleeping dogs lie if I can.
    – Jennifer
    Feb 25 at 12:17
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    I had a small drip from a toilet supply that I couldn't see until I pulled up the floor. It caused rot in a floor joist. A properly installed plumbing fitting should not leak and I would not ignore it.
    – JimmyJames
    Feb 25 at 20:48
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    What sort of connectors are they? We need to be very careful here. @crip659 is assuming that they seal on the threads, but Jennifer is somewhere in Europe (profile), where I think some similar compression fittings are used to the UK - threaded, but the thread isn't the seal. Lubricating the thread can help, and some sealants do that at least at first. Tap tails with washers or O-rings again don't seal on the thread, and trying to make them do so won't help
    – Chris H
    Feb 26 at 11:42
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    If you're going to DIY, recognize that you won't always get things right the first time. You've got to be prepared to take it all apart, figure out what you did wrong, and do it again until you get it right. It does take time and effort, but it's also an investment in your home. If that seems like too much work, there are always professionals.
    – J...
    Feb 26 at 12:57
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It is a problem, and you should fix it because small leaks tend to become bigger leaks. You can't rely on hard water deposits to seal things, and drips can cause corrosion and damage to your kitchen. Even if it stays a slow drip you'll always have it at the back of your mind. This is a case where it pays to do it right at the beginning.

It sounds like you have crud on the threads, or maybe the threads are worn. If you want to use the existing threads then clean them off thoroughly, you can use an old toothbrush to start, and a wire brush if that doesn't work. Then use teflon plumbers tape or thread sealant.

If the threads are worn or damaged you're better off cutting the pipe a bit and then either re-threading them or using a push-on or compression fitting.

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  • I'm going to redo the hot connection, after I monitor it for a while; and yes, there was lime on the threads. The drip rate there is down to less than 2 drops per hour. The cold connection has stopped dripping totally.
    – Jennifer
    Feb 26 at 11:30
  • Good idea @Jennifer, make sure you clean off any crud on the crush washer as well.
    – GdD
    Feb 26 at 12:25
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    @Jennifer what country are you in? Someone in a comment on your original question brought up that in Europe sealing is often done with compression fittings rather than thread sealing. Try to do it right for your area, so that when an uninformed plumber (hired later, subsequent homeowner, etc) goes to work, they're not surprised by this "non-standard" setup. Also, even a slooow drip can cause rot over a period of years!
    – Doktor J
    Feb 26 at 17:35
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Did you use hemp sealing? Because hemp is the only sealant used in plumbing that has some (partial and !temporary!) ability to self-seal small leaks.

And no one uses hemp anymore (for a lot of reasons).

Small leaks always develop into bigger leaks (even if it seems that they self-seal for a while).

Fix it.

The most probable reason is a rough surface of the old pipes that is pressed into the rubber washers. Make it level and smooth and assemble everything back.

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Do the job right. If there is even the slightest doubt in your mind, replace the supply valves and hoses.

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