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How to repair a "pin hole" leak in a return (on New Years Eve)

mattm Member Posts: 40
Hi there, after spending lots of effort to get my old steam system running quietly and efficiently with many thanks to the contributors here... I moved and have a new one pipe steam system, and with it lots of "deferred maintenance."

We've only been here a week, but the return line sprung a substantial leak - the hole was just over 9/16 in size. It looks like the pipe had been repaired in the past and the patch finally came loose. In addition, the return does not look like it is pitched correctly. My primary concern is patching this leak in a semipermanent way. No one is willing to come out and fix it. I'm reasonably competent, but not a plumber. No matter what I'm going to have to make a trip to a plumbing store (if any are open) to try and plug it myself as it is emptying the whole system and having a ton of makeup water in.

Any suggestions? I tried to use a 9/16 stainless screw to plug the hole. I got the screw in, but the hole is bigger. If necessary, I could try drilling gently and tapping it, but then what would I fill it with? It would have to be 5/8, or 11/16 and the pipe is only 1 3/8 OD (I think). I'm in Newton, MA.