PVC is a preferred material for plumbing applications, and they generally last a long time, but they occasionally crack or spring a hole. Damage to PVC pipes commonly occurs from nails, pipe thawing, or accidental drilling.
You should be able to fix the damage without replacing the entire pipe. However, it should be fixed immediate to avoid extensive damage. Follow this step-by-step guide to fix PVC pipe damage.
Prepare to Fix the Pipe
To fix to PVC pipe, gather:
- work gloves
- old towels
- emery cloth or 220-grit sandpaper
- 60-grit sandpaper
- deburring tool (optional)
- hacksaw or ratchet pipe cutter (optional)
- small paint brush
- PVC couplings (optional)
- PVC epoxy
- replacement pipe (optional)
Shut the water off to the pipe by rotating the valve to the right. If there are no shut off valves, turn off the main water supply. Run a nearby faucet until it stops dripping to relive water pressure.
If you don't know exactly where the leak is, wrap an old towel or paper towel around the suspected area. A wet towel or paper towel is sign of a leak.
Fix a Hole with Epoxy
The surface must be roughened for the epoxy to hold, since PVC seals differently than other material. Determine if the pipe is high-water pressure or low-pressure, and buy suitable epoxy.
Sand the hole or crack with sandpaper or an emery cloth, working one-fourth inch beyond the damaged area. Use a clean paper towel or towel to wipe dust.
Mix epoxy according to directions or until it forms a solid color Wearing plastic gloves, shape the putty into a dime-size ball, and push it firmly on the center of the sanded surface.
Use your fingers to work the putty into the pipe an inch passed the damage, and let it cure for the suggested time. After the putty cures, sand the area again lightly with 60-grit sandpaper, and clean dust.
Repair a Crack
To fix a crack, measure the missing section of pipe, and mark the figures on the new pipe. Cut the new pipe to the needed length with a hacksaw or ratchet pipe cutter. Use the deburring tool to remove burs, and clean the inside of the old pipe.
Apply PVC sealant around the inner edges of the new pipe and couplings. Slip the couplings over the new pipe ends, attach the pipe, and rotate the couplings one-fourth of a turn with pliers to spread the sealant. Add clamps, if needed, to hold the pipe in place while it dries.