Tips For Fixing Leaking PVC Pipes

Do you suddenly have a dripping pipe in your basement or under a sink? The fix will depend on the material of the leaking pipes. PVC pipes have an entirely different repair process than copper lines. Fixing the pipes doesn't require a license, but you should always leave major work – or work stuck behind walls – in the hands of a plumber, like Valley Rooter Ltd plumbers.

Here are a few tips for fixing leaking PVC pipes. Always turn off the water once you've identified the leak source so that your repairs don't flood the basement.

Quick Repairs

Where the leak is coming from will detrmine how you have to fix the pipe. Is the leak occurring where two pipes connect together with glue? Or is the link somewhere that one pipe is threaded onto another part such as the p-trap under your sink or a threaded junction?

For a glue failure, and if the connected pipes are in good condition, you can simply glue them back together again. A leaking threaded part could have a problem with the actual threads, so it's best to replace that part entirely. It can be handy to take a picture of how the parts are currently threaded together to remind you of the general positioning once you get the replacement part at the hardware store.

Replace Damaged Pipe 

Is the actual pipe damaged and in need of replacement? Installing a new section of pipe is a bit complicated but possible though you should leave the job to a plumber when possible.

If it's a small middle segment of pipe that's damaged, you can often cut out the broken area and then reassemble the segment using couplers. But if there's significant damage, you want to replace the entire segment. Either way, there are a few prep and installation tips that can help.

When cutting pipe segments, make sure the cuts are clean and level using a saw with fine teeth and a higher grit sandpaper to rub off the rough edges once the sawing is complete. You then need to make sure the new segment is secured to the existing pipework tightly.

Apply plumber's cement around the exterior edge of the new pipe and the interior edge of the existing pipe. You want the two cement sections to press together once the new pipe is inserted. Work quickly because the cement sets fast. Twist the new segment of pipe into the existing segment so that the cement can meld and the new pipe can work further into the existing pipe.