Can You Repair PVC Pipe?
Polyvinyl chloride pipe (more commonly known as PVC pipe) has gotten more and more popular since the 1950s. It’s durable and economic, which makes it the material of choice for pipes used in water and sewage systems. But like most other materials, PVC pipe can sometimes wear out or spring leaks. The good news is that small repairs are often possible, so full replacement isn’t always necessary.
From pipes to joints, there are some serious situations where you will need to repair PVC material. Despite the fact that PVC is supposed to withstand the harshest of conditions and may seem impossible to fix once the unthinkable has occurred, there are still ways you can mend the material. As soon as you discover damage to your PVC piping, it’s important to repair immediately. Ignoring a small leak in your washing machine drain pipe, for example, can lead to water damage and contamination throughout the home, creating several problems that could have been prevented with a little bit of sealant or silicone solvent.
Fixing Small Cracks with Sealant
Cracks are the most common issue you’ll run into in PVC pipe repair. If the crack isn’t major, you should be able to apply sealant to the area. You will have to stop water flow from the pipes in order to allow the sealant to set; consult the sealant manufacturer’s instructions before undertaking this fix. You can find silicon sealant at the hardware store, and it should only be used for hairline cracks in lateral pipes. Do not use silicone sealant for main lines.
If any of the cracks are larger than a hairline or if they are on the mainline of the piping system, do not try to repair the crack. Instead, it’s best to replace that segment of piping with a new piece of PVC pipe. Using a hacksaw, you or your plumber should cut the drained pipe six inches on either side of the crack. Make sure your new pipe segment will fit securely in the pipeline and place sealant and a coupling on each end. Apply sealant to the ends of the original pipeline as well, then slide the new piece into the older pipe.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing a PVC pipe repair, leave it to a professional. Turn off the water to avoid making the problem worse and call a plumber. They have the tools and expertise to get the pipe fixed or replaced quickly.