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I noticed that my spigot was leaking. It was only leaking out of the hole where the water normally comes out. I made the mistake of slightly tightening the packing nut without having another wrench to hold the spigot in place. Now the original leak still exists and I now have a very slight leak coming from behind the spigot. Wonderful. Thankfully, I have a separate shutoff valve for the two spigots on my house. I shut it off to prevent any more leaking while I try to figure this out.

I'm guessing that the new leak is due to the soldering joint cracking whenever I tightened the packing nut. I honestly didn't put much torque on the packing nut. I'm surprised that the soldering cracked due to this. I've taken the spigot off to take a look at the pipes coming in. I've got pictures below.

The problem is this: I'm on a slab (it's a townhouse). The spigot has an immediate elbow since it is right behind the dining room wall. What should I do here? Should I make a hole in the dining room wall to have access to this? I'd love to avoid that if possible. Should I remove some of the hardie board on the exterior so that I can possibly get enough room to solder a new one on? Is there some other solution that doesn't require soldering?

Outside wall. Not much to work with.

Old spigot

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I wanted to post what I did to fix the problem in case it helps anyone. I did not have to do anything with the drywall or damage the outside of the house either. The most difficult thing to do was getting the solder into the wall to apply to the joint.

I purchased the following items from Home Depot.

  1. Plumbing soldering kit that came with propane torch, solder, flux.

  2. Copper 1/2" male adapter so that I could simply screw the new spigot on: http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-2-in-Copper-C-x-MPT-Adapter-C604HD12/204620255

  3. Threaded 1/2" spigot: http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-2-in-Sillcock-Multi-Turn-Female-Thread-to-Pipe-Valve-UV65204/206827980

  4. Thread tape

I fixed it as follows:

  1. I tore up an old sock and stuffed it in the copper pipe to soak up the water.
  2. I used some sand paper to clean off the old solder on the pipe.
  3. Remove the sock.
  4. Apply flux paste to the outside of the copper pipe coming out of the house.
  5. Push the male adapter onto the copper pipe. Make sure the flux paste was applied to the correct length.
  6. I had a very tight spot to work with, and the solder wire needed to reach back into the wall to where the joint was at, so I went ahead and straightened out a piece of solder about 7 inches long with a tiny bend at the very end. This is the only way I could apply the solder without removing material from the wall.
  7. I used a water bottle to spray a good bit of water into the wall to dampen everything up.
  8. Fire up the torch and apply heat to the male adapter. I couldn't apply heat directly to the joint since it was inside the wall and I didn't want to catch anything on fire. It took a while to heat the entire adapter up.
  9. After the male adapter is sufficiently heated up, I poked the solder into the wall and applied it to the joint. I then pulled it back out, made another tiny bend at the end of it, and stuck it back in on the other side to make sure that it was soldered all the way around.
  10. After letting it cool off, I applied the thread tape to the male adapter and screwed on the spigot. I turned on the water and made sure it works.

It seems to be fixed. It's been a few days and I haven't noticed any leaks.

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There really is not magic here. Start by cutting an investigatory hole inside to investigate what you are working with and plan a repair.

The repair could replacing with the exact same parts or converting to another material like galvanized or pex and working in new materials; many DIYers do not feel comfortable soldering.

Then, once you have a plan, enlarge the access as needed to complete the repair. You should be able to complete the repair with access only from inside.

Professionals need less room to work due to their skill level and "tricks" so you might consider hiring one to minimize the access required.

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