How can I repair PVC pipes and joints? (with photos)

The use of PVC pipes and joints has become commonplace in the home. As with all types of pipes, opportunities will arise where PVC pipes need to be repaired. Here are some tips on how to handle PVC repair.

PVC pipe fittings.

One of the most common types of repairs you may have to do will be repairing cracks in your home’s PVC pipes. Depending on the severity of the crack, you may be able to repair the PVC pipe by applying a sealant to the cracked area. However, it is important to remember that the sealant will have to be able to harden, which may or may not be practical. Also, the silicone solvents used in PVC pipes and gaskets shouldn’t be used for anything other than fine cracks, and even then, not on the main lines of your home, just on the sides. High quality silicone sealant compounds can be purchased at hardware and home repair stores.

Silicone sealant in a caulking gun, which can be used to repair PVC pipe.

If the crack is in a main line in the house, or if it is longer than an inch, the most prudent thing to do would be to not attempt to repair the PVC pipe that is cracked. Remove the cracked section and replace it with a new segment of PVC pipe. You can do this by draining the pipe section and cutting at least six inches on either side of the crack, using a hacksaw. The idea is to make sure you’re far enough away from the visible crack that you don’t miss any fine cracks that could cause a problem later on.

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When repairing cracks in PVC pipe, a saw should be used to cut 15 centimeters on each side of the cracks.

Prepare a replacement section by obtaining a length of PVC pipe the same thickness as the original pipe. Apply sealant around each end of the pipe, then add a coupling at both ends. Slide the tube into place, taking care to apply sealant to the ends of the original tube and sliding the couplings over the new segment and the original line, creating a sealed portion. Depending on the location, you may want to apply channel locks to each of the couplings until the sealant has cured and set in place.

Polyvinyl chloride pipes, or PVC pipes, are very versatile and used for a wide variety of things in modern society.

To repair PVC gaskets, follow the same guidelines. Use sealant for minor cracks that are not located on the main lines. But in the event that the crack is too large to be treated with sealant alone, or is found on a main line, you will need to replace the joint altogether. Be sure to add some sealant around the threads of the new gasket as you put it in place, or you may find yourself with other repair work to do.

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