Because so many houses use it in the main plumping system, everyone should learn how to repair a PVC leak. If you follow some basic steps, you’ll hardly ever have to call a plumber for simple problems. Unlike copper pipes, there’s no complicated soldering involved. If you can use glue, you can repair a PVC leak yourself.
To repair a PVC leak, you will need:
- A hacksaw
- A ruler
- PVC pipe to match the size pipe you’re replacing
- PVC couplings to match the size pipe you’re replacing
- PVC primer
- PVC solvent cement
- 2 small brushes
- Clean rags
- Shut off your water supply. Locate the shut off valve for your house and turn it off. Run faucets and flush toilets to use up the remaining water in the plumbing system.
- Cut out the portion of pipe with the leak. Cut through the pipe with the hacksaw in two places removing the leaky portion.
- Measure and cut the replacement section. Measure the portion of the pipe you just removed. Mark the new pipe and cut, making sure the ends are straight.
- Dry fit the new pipe and couplings. Place the couplings on each end of the open space where you removed the leaky portion of PVC pipe. Fit the new portion of PVC pipe between the couplers. Shorten the new PVC pipe if it is too long to fit. Discard and cut a new piece if it is too short.
- Prime the ends of the PVC pipe and the couplers. Brush PVC primer on the outside of the PVC pipe ends and the insides of the couplers. Allow primer to dry.
- Apply PVC solvent cement. Brush PVC solvent cement on the outside of the PVC pipe and the insides of the couplers. Use a different brush than was used for the primer.
- Assemble the new portion of pipe. Place the couplers on the ends of the old PVC pipe where you removed the leaky portion so that the old pipe extends about halfway into the coupler. Note that the couplers usually have a shoulder to indicate the center. Insert the new portion of PVC pipe between the couplers. You may have to wiggle and push to get it to fit.
- Turn the pipe about a quarter turn. Turning the pipe spreads the cement evenly and helps it cure correctly. Hold for 30 seconds. Wipe excess cement off with a rag.
- Wait for the cement to cure. Curing can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on humidity and temperature. Most of the time, you’ll be safe if you wait an hour.
- Turn the water supply back on and check for leaks. Start over if the new PVC pipe section is leaking.
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