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View Full Version : Anyway to fix a tiny leak?



Wade Lippman
05-02-2018, 1:23 PM
I have pvc connected to a outside faucet that runs around the house to an faucet in the back. It was there when I bought the house 6 years ago; I drain it religiously each winter. This year a joint is leaking; about a drip every minute; wasn't there in October.

I have some "Flextape" they claim will stop leaks. I suspect they mean on unpressurized lines, but this is almost unpressurized. Would that work?
Or maybe pack some epoxy putty around the joint?

Any other suggestions? I really don't want to replace it for something so trivial.

Of course, it might fill with crud and stop leaking all by itself. Maybe. I had a leaking pipe from a bad solder joint. When I reduced the pressure from 90psi to 55 it stopped. This house is 65psi. I would reduce it, but the pressure reducer is behind a tiny access door; if it starts leaking from being turned I would have to rip a wall out. (I loath the guy who built the house; he did so many stupid things)

Chase Mueller
05-02-2018, 1:25 PM
Flex tape worked well for a punctured pipe I had. It's a temporary fix, but mine held for a few months till the landlord fixed it permanently.

Ken Fitzgerald
05-02-2018, 1:34 PM
Wade, can you get all the way around the joint, 360?

Nike Nihiser
05-02-2018, 1:57 PM
Try a hose clamp with a piece of inner tube type rubber under it. On the other hand it's probably pretty easy to cut the leaking joint off and replace.

Wade Lippman
05-02-2018, 3:15 PM
Wade, can you get all the way around the joint, 360?

I can get around enough to slip some tape in, but just barely.

Now that I think of it, I used hose clamps about 15 years ago. Hose clamps over the tape ought to be pretty permanent.

michael langman
05-02-2018, 5:00 PM
I had a leak in my abs drain pipe to the septic tank, at the cement wall going outside.
I found Plast-Aid online at amazon and it has held for the past 2 years.
Plumbers use it a lot.

Bill Dufour
05-03-2018, 3:01 PM
blow dry with air then paint pvc cement over the leak. it might soak into the crack and seal it up. If not no harm done and use rubber patch with hose clamp. I suppose you could pull a vacuum on the pipe to suck in the glue. A shop vac would be enough.
Bil lD.

Wade Lippman
05-03-2018, 5:30 PM
blow dry with air then paint pvc cement over the leak. it might soak into the crack and seal it up. If not no harm done and use rubber patch with hose clamp. I suppose you could pull a vacuum on the pipe to suck in the glue. A shop vac would be enough.
Bil lD.

I thought about that. Prime first, or just the cement?

Bill Dufour
05-03-2018, 7:19 PM
No idea. Is suppose you could cut off a piece of scrap and glue it over the leak with a hose clamp to keep it tight until the glue dries. If it butts up to the fitting it might work. Similar to a glue on saddle tee.
Bill D

daryl moses
05-03-2018, 8:43 PM
I can't help but think that "fixing" it would be a lot easier than using the "bandaids" that others have suggested.
PVC is probably one of the easiest materials to work with.
Just cut the offending piece out, and rejoin it with a coupling. Easy peazy!!

Mike Henderson
05-03-2018, 11:15 PM
I can't help but think that "fixing" it would be a lot easier than using the "bandaids" that others have suggested.
PVC is probably one of the easiest materials to work with.
Just cut the offending piece out, and rejoin it with a coupling. Easy peazy!!

+1 They make a slip on fitting just for patching a leak in a pipe run. You glue one side and then the other side slides on without glue. The unit expands so you compress it to allow you to get it between two pieces of pipe, glue one side and then slide the slip fitting on to the other side. I haven't priced them - just examined them at Home Depot - but it would sure make it easy when you can't move the two pieces of pipe to get a patch in.

Mike

Ken Fitzgerald
05-04-2018, 11:07 AM
+1 They make a slip on fitting just for patching a leak in a pipe run. You glue one side and then the other side slides on without glue. The unit expands so you compress it to allow you to get it between two pieces of pipe, glue one side and then slide the slip fitting on to the other side. I haven't priced them - just examined them at Home Depot - but it would sure make it easy when you can't move the two pieces of pipe to get a patch in.

Mike

+2 The use of a slip joint is one reason I asked if he had complete access to 360 of the joint. I would consider cutting out the leaking joint including some more PVC pipe and replacing the joint without it being a slip joint. I have a lot of experience repairing the PVC in my irrigation system circuits as we have changed our landscaping regularly and I have found the existing pipe using a shovel too many times.:o

daryl moses
05-04-2018, 11:23 AM
In a pinch i've drilled the shoulder out of a regular coupling and used it as a slip joint. Where there's a will there's a way.:)

Todd Mason-Darnell
05-04-2018, 11:28 AM
+1 They make a slip on fitting just for patching a leak in a pipe run. You glue one side and then the other side slides on without glue. The unit expands so you compress it to allow you to get it between two pieces of pipe, glue one side and then slide the slip fitting on to the other side. I haven't priced them - just examined them at Home Depot - but it would sure make it easy when you can't move the two pieces of pipe to get a patch in.

Mike

+3. The PVC tape is a short term fix and will not perform well after freeze/thaw cycle.

Cut the pipe and use a slip joint to fix.

lowell holmes
05-04-2018, 11:34 AM
Is the leak in the pipe or a fitting?

I have changed out hose bibs that were leaking. A pipe wrench and thread sealant is all you need.

Otherwise, a knowledgeable neighbor or a plumber might be in order. Don't wait until it is an emergency.
I had a hose connection fail one night and was flooding the yard. I had to turn off the water and call a plumber.
A plumber call at night is an expensive event.:)

roger wiegand
05-04-2018, 12:32 PM
+4 on just fixing it permanently with a splice. It's faster and easier than the temporary workarounds.

Kevin Beitz
05-05-2018, 7:48 PM
Drain water... Heat to dry (hair dryer).... Hook vacuum cleaner to line to create a vacuum...
Squirt some lock-tight on the leak... Let it dry... Works great...
The vacuum will pull the lock-tight in the crack and harden.

Ronald Blue
05-05-2018, 8:27 PM
+5 On fixing it right once instead of needing to revisit in the future. Get a cutter like I have put the link to and its an easy fix even in tight quarters.
homedepot.com/p/HDX-Ratcheting-PVC-Cutter-TMC0001J/204284860

Wade Lippman
05-06-2018, 10:46 AM
385393
I put pipe cement in the joint, but that didn't do anything useful. I then packed epoxy putty (lighter area between the T and the elbow). That worked.
Replacing the joint would have required replacing everything shown in the picture. Since it is all hard up against the joist, it probably would have been easier to rip the whole thing out and start from scratch. That is why I was intent on stopping the leak.

lowell holmes
05-07-2018, 6:52 PM
If you don't want to do it, call a plumber. You don't want the leak getting worse, and it will. Don't ask me how I know.

Larry Frank
05-07-2018, 7:51 PM
Strange thread...I would only do repair as shown as temporary. I would do it the right way by cutting it out and replacing the whole thing. It likely will start to leak again at the worst time.

Bruce Wrenn
05-07-2018, 9:37 PM
385393
I put pipe cement in the joint, but that didn't do anything useful. I then packed epoxy putty (lighter area between the T and the elbow). That worked.
Replacing the joint would have required replacing everything shown in the picture. Since it is all hard up against the joist, it probably would have been easier to rip the whole thing out and start from scratch. That is why I was intent on stopping the leak.Sorry, but I don't see any problem with replacing whole assembly. Cut vertical pipes and horizontal one. Assemble joint, starting with upper vertical, and horz. on left side in picture. Cut a short section of PVC to go between elbow and tee, only gluing it into elbow. Attach elbow to vertical pipe, with elbow aimed to fit into tee. Lastly, bend vertical pipe on right back enough to solvent weld the stub into the tee. ( Don't worry about that epoxy holding. When you are very busy, it will let go. If it's leaking, or on fire, it has to be taken care of NOW! Bruce, P-1 plumbing licensee holder in another life time

Bill Dufour
05-08-2018, 12:11 AM
Sunlight will degrade PVC pipe and it may be brittle so cutting with the normal slicing type cutter may not work. Depending on age and exposure you may have to cut it with a hacksaw instead. I agree looks easy enough to do a cut out and replace.. I would use a slip sleeve splice for the last vertical part rather then risk bending the old stuff that far. Or use a hotbox.
Bil lD