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Emergency curing time for silicone caulk on outside of pipe, not in water, please help!!!

glb

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I had a small leak develop in this elbow from the return pump into the tank. It’s very gradual but I saw the dried salt around it. I used DAP 100% reef safe silicone around the joint to seal it. The caulking is on the outside of the pipe and will not be in the water. The directions say 48 hours to totally cure but I had to turn off my return pump to make the repair and can’t leave it off that long. How quickly could I reasonably turn the pump on? Like I said, it’s a small leak (maybe a drop every few minutes) #reefsquad can you help? I’m on a time crunch!!!
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Flippers4pups

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It's a toss up depending on how thick it was applied.

Are you trying to buy time to repair it permanently? Most likely a new bulkhead and 90 with pipe and a new union.
 
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glb

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It's a toss up depending on how thick it was applied.

Are you trying to buy time to repair it permanently? Most likely a new bulkhead and 90 with pipe and a new union.
This is just buying time. I think if I took it apart and put it back together I could fix the leak. It’s at a seam and I don’t think anything is cracked. The silicone is maybe 1/4” at the most in a few places. Probably more like 1/8” overall. It’s already got a dry skin.
 

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I agree that silicone on the non pressurized side is unlikely to fix the leak. You might get lucky. If you don't, my recommendation is to get some silicone tape. It looks too good to be true, but it does work well. It's a stretch fit, not adhesive. I have used it in much more challenging situations with good success. You can put a hose clamp over the wrap and it's practically a permanent fix.
 
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ReefHomieJon

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Just wrap that “flex seal” as seen on tv tape around it it lol I bet you it’ll work. It’s never under any pressure cuz it’s constantly draining. They sell that stuff at Home Depot now
 

Mastiffsrule

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Hi,

I am going to assume it is a street slip into a slip bulkhead? I would have tried to inject a bit of pvc cement around the fitting as a temp fix, assuming it is a slip to slip and you glued it to begin with.
 
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glb

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I really doubt silicon is going to seal it from the outside. Is it a threaded fitting going into the bulkhead?
It’s the l-shaped fitting that leads to the bulkhead screw. I think the bulkhead is fine. You’re right that silicone is a short term fix. Thanks!
 
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glb

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I agree that silicone on the non pressurized side is unlikely to fix the leak. You might get lucky. If you don't, my recommendation is to get some silicone tape. It looks too good to be true, but it does work well. It's a stretch fit, not adhesive. I have used it in much more challenging situations with good success. You can put a hose clamp over the wrap and it's practically a permanent fix.
That’s a great idea! Off to Home Depot I go. Thanks!
 
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Hi,

I am going to assume it is a street slip into a slip bulkhead? I would have tried to inject a bit of pvc cement around the fitting as a temp fix, assuming it is a slip to slip and you glued it to begin with.
I think the bulkhead itself is ok. The salt creep came from the 90 degree fitting, which was screwed in. It’s been 4 years since I built the plumbing so I don’t quite remember. I’ll go back to my build thread to check. Thanks!
 
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glb

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Just wrap that “flex seal” as seen on tv tape around it it lol I bet you it’ll work. It’s never under any pressure cuz it’s constantly draining. They sell that stuff at Home Depot now
Thanks! I love “as seen on tv stuff”!
 
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glb

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After about 4 hours I fired up the return pump and no leaks at all. Since the silicone that’s still curing isn’t in contact with the tank water I’m not worried about it being toxic to the tank water. Thanks everyone for your help. You’re the best!!!
 
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That’s a great idea! Off to Home Depot I go. Thanks!
Is the silicone tape you’re talking about that super thin white stuff you wrap around the threads of plumbing? If so, I already have some.
 

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No, although i have in a pinch used teflon tape for ~40psi with a hose clamp backer. It is on my sprinklers, so i haven't replaced it. It's still working. The tape i meant is not so thin. Flex seal is one brand. Common in hardware and auto parts stores.
 
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ReefHomieJon

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I think the bulkhead itself is ok. The salt creep came from the 90 degree fitting, which was screwed in. It’s been 4 years since I built the plumbing so I don’t quite remember. I’ll go back to my build thread to check. Thanks!
Either way it’ll work lol. Kinda janky right? I kno, not the advice you’d expect from a union plumbing foreman
 

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Silicone won't work jb waterweld will it's good up to 60psi we use it for temporary plumbing repairs for work it's also reef safe as I use it for frags etc. Lust make sure you cover the entire seam area with epoxy then coat your fingers in water and smooth it all the way in the seam. Keep smoothing untill it starts to harden.
 

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